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What You Should Know About How Consumers Purchase Insurance Today

What You Should Know About How Consumers Purchase Insurance Today

The insurance industry is traditionally behind the times when it comes to incorporating technology, but there is data to indicate that this could be changing. Part of the challenge for bringing the insurance industry into the digital age has been a lack of implementation of online searching tools. However, that doesn't mean you have to be behind the times. More Consumers are searching online for the YOUR products every year.

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The Insurance Industry Is Playing Catch Up

The insurance industry is traditionally behind the times when it comes to incorporating technology, but there is data to indicate that this could be changing. Part of the challenge for bringing the insurance industry into the digital age has been a lack of implementation of online searching tools.

Given that many people start their search for various types of insurance including health, life and long-term care online, it is important for the industry to be able to adapt and to provide the information that consumers need to make informed decisions at their fingertips. Another challenge for the insurance industry has been the number of blogs and other types of information that have popped up in an effort to educate people about insurance needs. However, there is now so much information that it could almost be overwhelming for someone who is interested in researching their options.

There are plenty of different myths out there in particular about health insurance and long-term care insurance that could ultimately dissuade consumers who had every intention of researching and purchasing from following through. Although there is current uncertainty related to health care reform and the fate of the Affordable Care Act, for example, consumers have become increasingly confident in shopping for insurance online.


 

Pro Tip: As an agent understand clients research online but you should be prepared to dispel any myths and lead them in the right direction. Build confidence even if you are a young insurance agent.

Research Process Begins Online

According to a new study conducted by Connecture, the health involvement software company showed researched results for more than 8000 Americans who tried to get health insurance on their own.  They found that there was an increase from 14% to 42% when comparing the number of consumers who began their search online in 2012 through 2017. Four times as many Americans are using online tools to shop for insurance online and this has important implications for the insurance agents in the industry who are looking to form personal relationships.

Connecting one-on-one with the potential customers in-person can be an extremely powerful experience but it is one that today’s consumers rarely have time for. Given the ease of online tools, it is important for insurance agents to adapt their own strategies to meet the consumers where they are at.  If a consumer, for example, is interested in shopping online, the agent should have an online presence that is replicated throughout social media, a website and elsewhere.

Consistent engagement with consumers in this way and publishing high-quality content whether it is in the form of a video or written material can help to illustrate the expertise the insurance agent and provide meaningful information that empowers consumers to make informed decisions about their future.

Every year, JD Power conducts a U.S. Insurance Shopping Study to illustrate how consumers are engaging with auto insurance, health insurance, and life insurance. The 2016 results showed that insurers that lead in online presence we're also the leaders in premium growth. The study which has been conducted annually for a decade looks at purchase behavior, purchase experience satisfaction and auto insurance shopping behavior among customers who recently purchased insurance.

They look at distribution channels, price, and policy offerings to determine a consumer satisfaction. Since shopping for insurance has become more popular online than ever before, trends in auto insurance are likely to transfer over to health, life, disability and long-term care. Those insurance companies that invested in making their website easy to use and improving functionality experience a much higher percentage of premium collected than their competitors.

Reach Customers Where They're At

Consumers who are shopping for an insurance provider often go online to do so: since 74% of shoppers will investigate their first options by getting quotes, researching information or using insurance aggregators. It is important to realize however that although many people start their search online, it rarely concludes that way. The JD Power Study showed, for example, that only 25% of people purchased their policy online.

Did you know that the vast majority of closed policies come directly from an agent?

Up to 22% of people who ultimately purchased a policy did so through a call center but 50% came from an agent. This means that as an agent you should tailor your opportunities and conversations to initiate the communication online but still rely on the in-person communication that can help to close the sale. The truth is that while many people want to arm themselves with information before making a decision, they ultimately want to close the experience by working directly with an agent.

This can help you craft a 2018 marketing plan aligned with these facts and your individual preferences. While many people want to shop online consumers want to talk to someone when they purchase insurance to ensure that they get their questions answered about the policy and to verify whether or not they are getting the right coverage. This opportunity for agents is a huge one that can be exploited both in the fourth quarter of 2017 and throughout 2018.

Key Takeaways In This Article

  • 3/4 of clients began their search for insurance online
  • 1/4 actually purchase their insurance online without speaking to a person
  • Develop your digital strategy with a website, social media, and high quality content (We recommend video!)
  • Information is available online for insurance but clients still NEED YOU to make the picture crystal clear before they purchase

Over to You

We'd love to hear your thoughts in the comments below on:

  1. How has digital insurance affected you?
  2. What strategies are you putting in place to secure your future with insurance?
  3. Will insurance agents be replaced with Artificial Intelligence?

If you have any questions, please leave a comment below. We will carefully read each one of them. Happy Selling!

About the Author Matthew King

Matthew King is a co-owner of TR King Insurance Marketing and partner at Independent Life Insurance Agent Association. When he's not creating processes, content, and developing SEO strategies, he likes to immerse in gaming with his wife and friends.

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