Age affects the way people buy insurance

Monday, October 8, 2012

We live in an age of convenience. It wasn’t long ago that people had to actually walk to the TV to change channels. The birth of the Internet gave humanity access to more information and convenience than ever possible. Competition levels have skyrocketed with companies constantly innovating and creating more convenient ways to use their products or services. The insurance industry is one such example.

For the first time ever, consumers are able to log in their information and receive insurance quotes without ever talking to a human being. Companies and agencies compete to give consumers “comparative” quotes in as short of time as possible. The insurance market has made a shift to offer consumers convenient quotes. But what if this wasn’t the best strategy?

Recently, in a random sample survey hosted by Cheap Insurance, consumers were asked which way of purchasing insurance was the best? 56 percent of respondents said, “local agent in person” while only 19% said, “online”.

Digging a little deeper into the results, Cheap Insurance found 70% of 45 to 60 year-old respondents preferred local agents in person. So what does that mean? Here are four things to take away from this information:

  1. Most insurance agencies are targeting convenience and “ease-of-quote” in their ad campaigns. While consumers are interested in convenience, they would rather talk to someone in person who can help them handcraft an insurance plan.
  2. Older generations don’t want to make the shift to online forms. Data shows that older individuals prefer peer-to-peer contact–especially for plans such as insurance.
  3. Consumers wants have been misinterpreted. Agencies across the country compete against one another to prove who is the most convenient and who has the fastest process. Consumers are more interested in working with someone who knows the ins and outs of insurance and can help build the best policy.
  4. Insurance is complicated. Insurance sites can not possibly hope to make consumers experts before purchasing plans. Not surprisingly consumers don’t want to be experts, they want to work with experts.

Processes don’t always have to be convenient and fast. Some times old fashion face-to-face contact is the best solution in an ever-evolving industry. The most important thing to remember is consumers come first. Companies who focus on the consumer before anything else, will always be one step ahead.

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