Applicants want to see our commitment to them

Transparency:  characterized by visibility or accessibility of information especially concerning business practices.

I recently came across an article on my LinkedIn news feed posted by LIMRA – “What kind of experience do consumers want when buying life insurance.” I was excited to gain this applicant insight because:

1) The MIB index showed three consecutive months of decline (Jan – March 2017)
2) If our industry is shifting, we need to understand how the consumer’s expectations are shifting too
– or are they?

3) I thought it may be a “trick” question, because I thought obvious answer would be , “A pleasant and
convenient experience.”

So I read it and here it is: Consumers want transparency – the same way they would if they were buying other retail products or travel. This got me wondering, “Are we, as an industry, being transparent enough to life insurance applicants?” And my answer is, “No.” In March, I wrote about how our industry is changing fast. This article confirmed that being more transparent is a great example of how we can change for the better.

Here are three reasons I feel we can be more transparent to those in the market for life insurance, making their decision for this important investment easy and simple.

Communicate the affordability of life insurance

The 2017 Barometer study, conducted by LIMRA and Life Happens, showed four in 10 millenials overestimate the cost of a term-life policy by five times the actual cost. Why do consumers think life insurance is so expensive, when in reality, people spend more on cell phones and eating out, versus the monthly premium of life insurance?

The younger someone is, the more affordable life insurance typically is. This is because they are more likely to be healthy with fewer existing/pre-existing health conditions. Help them see the importance of the inexpensive investment today to protect their loved ones tomorrow.


Stress the need for life insurance, regardless of an applicant’s age.

One reason you may hear an applicant doesn’t need life insurance is because they don’t need it at their age. AFLAC provided a great myth vs fact infographic on why life insurance is good at any age. Even a small term-policy can help a family or loved ones cover accrued debt in the event of an individual’s death. You don’t have to be a certain age, or married with kids to take out a life insurance policy.



Share the benefits of having a paramedical exam

Some applicants may not understand how having a life insurance exam could actually help them when applying for life insurance. Some may not even know that is an option or what it even entails. Let’s educate them and let them know that by getting this simple health exam, they are likely to receive a better premium if they are a healthy non-smoker. Additionally, when they have their health exam, they receive their laboratory results which makes them more aware of their health – a transparency of its own. While having an exam may not be necessary for all types of policies, the applicant should understand how one could help them.


Let’s come together to be more transparent. Whether it’s discussing the true cost of life insurance, or helping an individual obtain the best price for his or her policy, it is up to us to be transparent during the life insurance process. Seeing eye-to-eye with applicants helps us maintain and build trust with consumers.