Research suggests that the idea of "quick and easy" applications may backfire as a way to promote interest in life insurance.
Last week, industry research group LIMRA published the results of a study which presented consumers with eight different messages that challenged biases about owning life insurance. Their responses were then compared to reactions to a control statement that was a familiar marketing message on the importance of life insurance. The researchers were relying on a behavioral economics approach to understand consumers' subconscious motivations and then compare them with objective responses.
The least effective approach
One message suggested that life insurance can be quick and easy to purchase by simply answering a few questions, and pointed out that coverage can be obtained online in about 10 minutes with no medical exams or lab work. When people were asked to indicate which messages they found to be the most compelling, LIMRA says that the "quick and easy" pitch proved to be the least effective.
"To be clear, researchers noted there is still great value in simplifying the life insurance sales process," explains LIMRA. "However, this research suggests that when ease of purchase is emphasized too early in the sales process, before consumers understand the value of the coverage, they may perceive the quality of the life insurance offered to be less desirable."
LIMRA suggests that the reference to buying online may have also triggered negative responses from those who are unsure about making purchases over the internet, and notes that others may have doubted the 10-minute claim.
"These findings reinforce the idea that companies must first persuade consumers of their need for life insurance coverage," concludes the report. "Once that communication takes place, shoppers are likely to welcome the ease of purchase."