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A session at the 2013 CAILBA Annual Meeting warned insurance advisors they’ll face competition from clients going direct to insurers.

Advisor.ca is live tweeting from the event. A sample:

10:52 AM: Some firms will maintain the status quo until they retire. Others will go for opportunistic growth, with no model changes. The best will diversify product lines and be less dependent on carriers.

10:49 AM: More consumers are reporting buying insurance without a face-to-face meeting. And Wal-Mart is experimenting with term insurance sales. #CAILBA

10:46 AM: CCIR paper says functions like product development and claims rests with carriers. So MGAs need to show they earn their keep. Captive agents may make a comeback in that environment, but through firms that provide access to multiple carriers. #CAILBA #LIMRA

10:40 AM: Carriers are increasingly seeing the cheque writer as their customer, as opposed to advisors. So what’s that mean for distribution? It changes who owns the customer. US courts are saying it’s the carrier by default. That means carriers may be reluctant to give up ownership of the customer. #CAILBA. #LIMRA

10:27 AM: Carriers have concerns about how long they can rely on the face to face selling channel — in part because of rising advisor age. For the next five years, the advisor channel is safe, but regulation and other factors may change things. A shrinking pool of new agents, aging brokers, service cuts from carriers, and regulation all will limit growth. #CAILBA #LIMRA

10:21 AM: The majority of consumers do research on line. 61% go online during the process of buying life insurance. Those who buy online cite convenience and lack of pressure are the primary reasons. #CAILBA #LIMRA

10:13 AM: 76 percent still say they want to buy insurance face to face from an advisor and many say they need more insurance. The ability to look someone in the eye is paramount and 29% decide to buy in the first five minutes. #CAILBA

10:11 AM: Life insurance ownership trends are slipping from 55% of households to 43%. This could be due to both immigration trends and large numbers of Gen Y household formations who haven’t yet purchased insurance. #CAILBA

Originally published on Advisor.ca
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AMI.MAISHLISH

Re:

[paste]
10:21 AM: The majority of consumers do research on line. 61% go online during the process of buying life insurance. Those who buy online cite convenience and lack of pressure are the primary reasons. #CAILBA #LIMRA

10:13 AM: 76 percent still say they want to buy insurance face to face from an advisor and many say they need more insurance. The ability to look someone in the eye is paramount and 29% decide to buy in the first five minutes. #CAILBA

10:11 AM: Life insurance ownership trends are slipping from 55% of households to 43%. This could be due to both immigration trends and large numbers of Gen Y household formations who haven’t yet purchased insurance. #CAILBA
[/end paste]

It is interesting to read these three tweets together. When read together, these tweets may also suggest an alternative possibility – the possibility that the majority of those who shop online are either tire-kickers or “do research” in preparation for a face-to-face meeting with an advisor or are simply cross checking whether the advisor really shopped the market for the best value.

Also, combining key parts of the above tweets may suggest that shoppers who shop for life insurance online only are less likely to be buyers or long-term clients: “61% go online during the process” and “life insurance ownership trends are slipping from 55% to 43% while “76% want to buy insurance from an advisor”

There is no doubt that the majority of consumers do research online; that is also the primary purpose of winquote.net – to provide consumers with the most objective and credible independent research resource. IMO, in large part, such online research is in effort to receive the best value for the premium dollar and to feel comfortable that the advisor who says that (s)he shopped the market really did so. An advisor who is equipped with LifeGuide can easily show the client that (s)he has shopped the market, and often can easily demostrate to the client that (s)he is able to deliver even better value than can be any online life insurance quotation and comparison site. In some cases, the value that a LifeGuide equipped advisor can deliver over and above any of the online shopping sites can be as high as 25% in terms of better value for the premium, for the same premium on the same product, same underwriting class, and from the same carrier.

Thursday, May 16, 2013 at 4:28 am Reply