The majority of Generation X and Y policy owners and almost half of Boomer policy owners who have visited their life company’s website sought online services from their insurers, according to LIMRA. “With Internet usage growing almost 150% in the last decade, it is vital that companies understand who their online audience is and what their expectations are and develop a website that offers the important services that these customers say they want,” says Mary Art, LIMRA research director, technology in marketing and distribution research.

So, what do they want? Customers are interested in obtaining a wide variety of online services, with billing information, email and mailing address updates, forms access and policy information high on their list, according to LIMRA’s “Connecting for Service Online: Customer Service for Life Insurance.” LIMRA researchers suggest that insurers also offer information on managing finances and planning relevant to their financial concerns, such as saving for college, building an emergency fund, saving for retirement and saving for a home.

Other findings from the report include:

• At least one in two life insurance policy owners (whether or not they have used the company website) consider a site search box on the company website to be very important.

• More than 50% of policy owners are interested in the availability of price and product comparisons of products from their life insurance company on the site.

• LIMRA’s survey found that consumers want to be able to make beneficiary changes, loan requests and fund withdrawals online.

• Of those who visit the website, seven in 10 register. Registrations are higher for Generations X and Y than for older generations, with about three-quarters of Gen X and Gen Y policy owners taking the time to register on the website, while only two-thirds of percent of baby boomers and those in the Silent generation register on the site.

• At least one in two policy owners who obtained services online found the service experience “very satisfactory” in the case of 18 of the 19 services. The single exception was using the calculator or worksheet, and even for this service 44% were very satisfied.

“Customers — particularly Gen X and Y customers — want online services and they expect your company to offer a range of services online,” notes Art. “It is important for companies to offer a well-designed, easy-to-use site that appeals to consumers in their 20s, 30s and 40s since they are your current and future customers.”

Among a number of recommendations in the report, LIMRA suggests life insurers offer the most-desired features and focus on ease of use.

Carrie Burns writes for Insurance Networking News, a SourceMedia publication.

Register or login for access to this item and much more

All Employee Benefit Adviser content is archived after seven days.

Community members receive:
  • All recent and archived articles
  • Conference offers and updates
  • A full menu of enewsletter options
  • Web seminars, white papers, ebooks

Don't have an account? Register for Free Unlimited Access