1 in 5 life insurance shoppers use their workplace

By Maryalene LaPonsie on May 3rd, 2012

While only one in five consumers shops for a life insurance policy through their workplace, most of those shoppers will actually make a purchase. That is one finding of a recent study released by LIMRA, an industry group.

The report also highlights the characteristics of those shoppers and identifies ways producers - also known as agents or brokers - can improve their service to workplace customers.

Convenience triggers shopping

Of workplace shoppers, 30 percent indicate they shopped for life insurance simply because it was offered through their employer. This reason trumps the other main triggers leading individuals to shop for life insurance in the workplace, such as a change in marital status or a new baby.

"More and more people are turning to their place of work to get the financial products they need," said Kim Landry, analyst for LIMRA Group Product Research, in a statement. "Clearly, the convenience of having the resource at their place of work coupled with the security felt by working with someone their employer has (implicitly) approved, are drawing consumers to this channel."

In addition, the majority of those shopping for life insurance at work ultimately purchase a policy. According to the LIMRA report, 75 percent of workplace shoppers purchase a whole life, term life or other life insurance plan.

Workers want more follow-up

Although shoppers are buying policies through work, some indicate insurance producers could do a better job. Nearly half of these shoppers say their producer failed to follow up with them. In addition, 40 percent say they do not believe the producer took their budget into account when preparing life insurance quotes. More than one in three say they were not presented with enough product choices.

The LIMRA study found workplace shoppers tend to be younger than those searching for term life or whole life coverage through other channels. The organization speculates that these younger shoppers may be less experienced when it comes to life insurance and need additional information from producers to fully understand their options.

LIMRA also identified the following characteristics of workplace shoppers:

  • 55 percent are male
  • 75 percent are married or living with a partner
  • A majority have minor children in their household

The group also notes that these shoppers tend to have higher average incomes and more investable assets.

Maryalene LaPonsie
Maryalene LaPonsie has been writing professionally for more than a decade on topics including education, insurance and personal finance. She holds a Bachelor's Degree in Political Science from Western Michigan University.
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