Life Insurance Awareness Month, the time of year that the insurance industry reaches out to educate the American public about life insurance. LIMRA, an association that provides consulting, research and other services to insurance and financial services companies worldwide, publishes their Facts of Life, a statistical analysis of the life insurance industry. Out of all the life insurance statistics they provide, I find the ethnic studies to be the most interesting. These life insurance trends are from their 2011 study:
More than 80 percent of African Americans believe the main reason to buy life insurance is because you love your family:
- In comparison to other ethic groups, African Americans are more concerned about not putting a burden on others with their funeral expenses and leaving an inheritance for their family. They are more likely to own life insurance for these reasons than other ethnic groups.
- African Americans have a better understanding than other ethnic groups about how life insurance works, including how it protects the family and why families should own it.
- When buying life insurance, African Americans, compared to other ethnic groups, place more importance on being certain they understand exactly what they are purchasing and less importance on getting a fixed price that cannot increase.
- Hispanics are less likely to feel insurance agents are knowledgeable and consequently are less likely to buy from an insurance agent than other ethnic groups.
- Hispanics are more likely to cite paying for a college education as a reason to own life insurance.
- Hispanics are more likely to prefer to buy life insurance direct from a company via the Internet than any other ethnic group.
These statements are from several of LIMRA’s life insurance consumer studies and are not based on my experience. While I find statistics like these to be fascinating, I believe that any time you group the experience of any ethnic group, you are liable to make broad generalities.
As people come to our Website and get life insurance quotes anonymously, we have no idea of the ethnic make-up of each visitor. When our visitors apply for a policy, all of our contact is via telephone or email, so we still don’t learn the ethnicity of our visitors.
LIMRA’s mission is to help their members improve their marketing and distribution effectiveness. I imagine the life insurance companies can use the data from these surveys to learn how to market to different groups. However, because of the relative anonymity of the world of online life insurance brokers, this is data that will never be used by us…and I like it like that.