April 25, 2012

The Life and Health Insurance Foundation for Education (LIFE) and LIMRA released their annual Insurance Barometer study today, polling 2,011 adults on their opinions, attitudes and behaviors about life insurance, health insurance and financial planning.

While a third of those surveyed believe they need more life insurance coverage, the overwhelming reason they have not purchased more is that they believe it's too expensive, a sentiment shared by 83% of those surveyed. But when asked how much they expect a policy to cost, consumers expected a price point more than twice as expensive as a sample policy.

"If people think that something is too pricey, they often won't give it a second thought," said Marvin H. Feldman, CLU, ChFC, RFC, president and CEO of the LIFE Foundation, in a statement. "The fact is, the cost for basic term life insurance has fallen by about 50 percent over the past 10 years and has never been more affordable."

This cost pressure has led more than one in three women to go without what they feel is enough life insurance coverage, the study continues. In fact, a Northwestern Mutual study also released today found that "Men regardless of age are significantly more likely than women to feel financially prepared to live to age 75 … 85 … and 95."

Women are said to be much more engaged with social media, so perhaps this is why that channel is gaining popularity quickly among life insurance carriers. But it seems that it's not enough to just demonstrate the utility of the products: Insurers will have to figure out ways to weave messaging around cost into their social marketing efforts, to fight negative perceptions in the marketplace.

[Read 5 digital marketing imperatives for insurers.]

ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Nathan Golia is senior editor of Insurance & Technology. He joined the publication in 2010 as associate editor and covers all aspects of the nexus between insurance and information technology, including mobility, ...