Over the course of the last six months, consumer behaviors and needs have shifted because of the unforeseen circumstances of COVID-19. Few people grasped or could have planned for such a life-changing event, but a silver lining of the pandemic is consumers realizing the importance of financial planning, including life insurance. This increased demand, and the constraints of COVID-19, have led consumers and insurers to change their approach to buying and selling insurance.
Unexpected Events Have Consumers Seeking More Financial Security, Including Life Insurance
Although it’s always a good idea to have comprehensive financial goals and plans for the future, using a change in circumstance like COVID-19 to get finances in order is not abnormal. According to an article in Forbes, “A survey conducted in May and June 2020 by Life Happens, an industry-funded education group, found that 67% of Americans say that the pandemic has been a wake-up call for them to examine their finances. And 30% say that life insurance has been one of the top topics for dinner table discussion.” Shopping for life insurance has changed in several meaningful ways for consumers during the pandemic.
Telehealth May Become The New Normal For Life Insurance Plans That Require Physical Exams
During the pandemic, telehealth has increased in popularity for obvious reasons, which includes insurance policies that require a physical exam. Forbes notes that many insurers are “working on ways to use data (such as electronic health records and prescription databases) as a substitute for medical exams and to digitalize the life insurance buying experience.” Although innovative, telehealth exams are not always possible or preferred, and insurance brands quickly adapted by offering competitive “no-exam” rates to consumers shopping for good deals.
As with many new digital and service adaptations that have evolved during the current crisis, what will last into the new normal remains to be seen, but brands that meet consumer expectations for affordable, frictionless exchanges may increase loyalty and positive word of mouth.
Life Insurance Brands Can Use Digital Marketing Strategies To Differentiate Their Offerings During COVID-19
Although the pandemic has spurred many people to consider the need for life insurance, the health risks inherent with COVID-19 could also impact who is eligible for certain life insurance plans. Travel frequency and destinations, previously a mostly perfunctory question for insurance brands, is now more important and could cause delays for consumers shopping for insurance. Overall, consumers should expect some postponements because of increased health concerns or if they have recently traveled. When shopping for insurance, these factors should be a consideration. According to some life insurance experts, a “vast majority of the life insurance market” has instituted changes to underwriting because of COVID-19.
Life insurance brands that are able to be clear and concise with their policy guidelines and differentiate their offerings via content marketing, targeted advertising and personalized messaging should be able to offer peace of mind to consumers shopping for insurance during these difficult times. Insurance insiders believe that the pandemic will ultimately lead to a more efficient and less burdensome life insurance application process as brands are forced to be agile and meet changing consumer needs. However, the changes aren’t likely to be immediate, with digital adaptations and seamless integrations evolving over time.
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