Today, more than 73 percent of
Americans use the Internet.
Many conduct their day-today
activities online, such as
paying bills, buying products, looking for
a job or reading the news.
Across the board, the Internet is playing
a more significant role in how people
gather information. In the past few
years, companies in every industry have
recognized the importance of a robust,
easy-to-use, good quality Web site when
trying to attract customers. Home Depot,
Nike, Ford and even the White House
have established strong, interactive Web
sites to engage their target audiences
and raise the level of awareness for their
brand or ideas. How does the Internet
factor into consumers' behavior when
buying life insurance?
A 2009 consumer study by LIMRA
found that 52 percent of consumers who
were seeking information on individual
insurance or annuities looked online, in
comparison with only 38 percent in 2006.
The most common sources are Web sites
of insurance companies.
LIMRA researchers found that while
insurance professionals still remain the
top source for information, most consumers
are enlisting help from employers,
friends, family or Web sites.
LIMRA estimates that 13 million U.S.
households have purchased life insurance
through a direct channel (mail,
phone or Internet). Furthermore, one
in three consumers who purchased life
insurance after shopping for it chose a
As more Americans-especially
the younger generations-look to the
Internet for information, companies need
to ensure that their Web sites are userfriendly
and have the information that
consumers want prominently available.
So what kinds of information do consumers
say they want to see?
Price, product and details about
your company remain the top interests
online. Therefore, it is important to
offer information on these three areas,
with access from the home page. Other
features are popular, too, and can add
value for the increasing number of online
consumers. Consumers specifically have
mentioned that they'd like to see online
calculators and other interactive tools to
help educate themselves on products.
Today, online information continues to
be far more useful than online purchase
options, so your site should emphasize
education. Eighty-six percent of consumers
view the Internet as a good source of
information and 73 percent would turn
to it for advice. The perceived value has
increased significantly since 2006.
But consumers also said they wanted
other information, like options to locate
an agent, contact the company or
Making it easy for consumers is
important. Almost two in three said
they were looking for convenience when
they purchase online. Relative to 2006,
today's consumers buy online far more
often because they are comfortable with
the Web site, know the product they
want and find a company with good
Online insurance sales are likely to
increase as consumers become more
confident that they will have the customer
support and security with online
transactions that they experience with
traditional sales methods.