Twenty percent of life insurance shoppers went through their place of work to purchase the product, and 75 percent of workplace shoppers bought life insurance, according to a recent LIMRA study.
One-third of shoppers said they bought the product simply because it was offered to them at work.
“More and more people are turning to their place of work to get the financial products they need,” says Kim Landry, an analyst at LIMRA's Group Product Research. “Clearly, the convenience of having the resource at their place of work coupled with the feeling of security felt by working with someone their employer has (implicitly) approved, are drawing consumers to this channel.”
LIMRA says life triggers—such as changing marital status or having or adopting a baby—are most likely to drive people to shop for life insurance. Similarly, in the workplace, a change of marital status or a new baby round out the top three reasons consumers said they shopped for life insurance.
Who buys at work?
According to LIMRA’s study, workplace shoppers are more likely to be male than female (55 percent vs. 45 percent). More than three-quarters are married or living with a partner, and a majority have children under 18 in their households. Workplace shoppers tend to be younger than those who shop through other channels; they have higher average incomes and tend to have more investable assets.
Producers’ report card
Eight in 10 workplace shoppers felt their producer provided good information about the policy, and was very knowledgeable about insurance in general. Nearly three-quarters felt they could trust their producer.
According to LIMRA, shoppers also provided some negative feedback. Nearly half of workplace shoppers said their producer failed to follow up with them (a third of workplace shoppers who didn’t buy said they weren't finished shopping), and four in 10 workplace shoppers didn’t feel that their producer considered what they could actually afford. More than a third said they didn’t receive enough product options.
How can producers improve?
There are three things LIMRA identified that workplace producers can do to improve:
- Since workplace shoppers tend to be younger and less experienced, producers should ensure these consumers fully understand the products and how they work.
- Provide additional information if needed during the decision-making process, such as printed reference materials or a link to information online.
- By all means, follow-up with the workplace shopper.
“We were surprised to see so many workplace shoppers feeling that they needed more follow-up from the sales rep, which was a significantly higher percentage than we found for consumers who shopped through other channels,” Landry notes. “Our behavioral economic research indicates that consumers may need time to consider their decision and, as our study found, if we don’t follow-up with them, we may be leaving money on the table.”