Consumers are interested in life insurance and understand its value, but somehow there is a disconnect in the sales process, according to a new study from LIMRA and Maddock Douglas.

“Jargon-filled communications and images that don’t resonate with potential customers may discourage and confuse them, causing sales to short-circuit. The study found that 18.7 million Americans “truly see the value in life insurance and think it is something they should have, but have gotten stuck somewhere in the shopping process.”


The researchers released a short video, available for viewing at this link, featuring input from several consumers who say they are put off by the marketing messages from the life insurance industry.

One respondent said she would prefer to speak face-to-face with an expert, rather than searching for answers on a website. Another said she had no time to read through pages of marketing materials–she would prefer one sheet with bullet points to learn more about the product. And another participant in the study said it was hard to relate to the marketing materials he looked at, because they rarely included images of young people like himself.

“The industry needs to communicate using authentic language and relatable imagery,” said study coauthor Scott Kallenbach, research director, LIMRA Strategic Research. “Our goal here is to help financial services companies set the stage for wholesale, industry-wide changes in communications. When customers and would-be customers are able to see the value in companies’ products clearly, they’re much more likely to take an interest in them and make a purchase.”

The study’s authors recommend organizations make a necessary shift in thinking about the way they attempt to connect with a diverse community of potential buyers. Those companies that are able to perfect the formula of “relevance and authenticity” of their communications will gain a competitive edge.

“Change your language to better connect with consumers,” said study coauthor Maria Ferrante-Schepis, managing principal, Insurance and Financial Services Innovation, Maddock Douglas. “We can’t stress enough the importance of keeping it simple and emotionally resonant.

To access the report, follow this link to the LIMRA web site (registration required).

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