August 4, 2014
Insurance products can be difficult to decipher for those outside the industry, even for the financially savvy. A recent survey commissioned by MoneyTips echoes those results, finding that approximately half the respondents were confused when trying to find the right insurance products to fit their needs.
The survey found that about half of middle-income respondents (between $40,000 and $80,000 annual salary) and of baby boomers aged 50 or greater find it confusing to research insurance products and select the best one for their situation. This is not terribly surprising, given the large number and variety of life insurance policies. An additional area of confusion is that tax implications are not always straightforward.
A majority of respondents in both groups – 56% of middle-income respondents and 64% of baby boomer respondents – choose to consult with insurance agents or brokers. However, many also search online, with 46% of middle-income respondents and 38% of baby boomers doing so.
Where do the respondents go for their online searches? Both middle income and baby boomer respondents preferred to use basic search engines such as Google or Ask.com to search their terms, at 59% and 49% respectively. About 4 out of 10 respondents in both groups surfed news sites, making them the next-most popular choice. At lower rates between 16-26%, our respondents reported using financial planning sites such as LearnVest and PlanandAct.com; online communities such as Zillow and Quora; newsletters; and television or radio programs such as those hosted by Suze Orman and Dave Ramsey. Within these options, middle-income respondents showed a slight preference for the online communities, while boomers preferred television and radio shows more than the middle-income group.
The use of virtual or in-person classes and seminars came in just behind between 12-15% for both groups – the same amount using miscellaneous methods. So, the searching methods are fairly diverse, but the results appear to be equally confusing to the searchers. While there are small differences between the two groups, the results are reasonably consistent.
However, when both groups do consult an insurance agent, they are generally able to find an insurance product that meets their needs. When asked if their insurance agent supplied a variety of financial products meeting all of their insurance requirements, nearly three-quarters of respondents in each group replied agree, strongly agree, or totally agree. Only around 10% of both groups totally disagreed with that statement.
So insurance salespeople of the world, take heart – people may like to search on their own for insurance deals and research insurance topics online, but in the end, a significant majority of people rely on you for help. Your in-depth knowledge of insurance products allows you to quickly assist people and save them from wasting time searching over a multitude of websites to find their solutions. Remember – even in the Internet age, personal service can make a big difference.
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