If you purchased a life insurance policy more than 30 years ago, you probably bought it from a door-to-door salesperson who carried around a rate book that allowed them to offer you a quote, based on your health, age, and policy amount. If you were interested a policy, they probably had to go back to their office to contact the insurance company in order to request a paper application – which of course, was then sent to you by “snail mail”. When you received an offer from the carrier, you probably accepted your policy by agreeing to make the monthly payments by paper check.
Fast forward to 2013. When you purchase a policy today, many times your first correspondence with an insurance agent (or company) is through email. After your agent obtains the information needed for a quote, they can typically obtain rates from about 50 carriers within a few minutes (depending on the complexity of the quote). After you’ve gone back and forth a few times and have selected a policy type that you feel comfortable with, you may be ready for your first face-to-face meeting with your agent. In some cases, you may not have to meet with them at all. Many applications can be taken over the phone, or even filled out on the computer in the comfort of your own home, and some carriers are even experimenting with digital applications, which are signed digitally (by stylus, etc.). Now, when you receive an offer from the carrier, you can accept it by authorizing scheduled automatic withdrawals from your bank account, saying “goodbye” to paper checks and paper statements.
What will the future bring? It seems like the industry is pushing towards less human contact and quicker transactions. Life insurance agents were once a significant voice in your family’s financial planning, but nowadays it’s not uncommon for the client to tell the advisor how much coverage their family needs. The convenience factor of digital applications and online financial advice may make it easier to purchase a life insurance policy, but not having custom-tailored advice from an insurance agent may cause more families to be underinsured.
In summary, it’s good to see that technology is being brought into the life insurance industry, as certain changes were far overdue. As far as the depletion of individualized, personal attention that clients are receiving now, one can only hope that along with the ease of purchasing comes better internet-based financial advice. However, there are still some agents who take the time to meet their clients face-to-face…so why not take advantage of it? Talking about death can be difficult, but making sure your family is well protected with the right amount of life insurance can be easy, especially with the help of a well-trained and experienced insurance agent.
The way you buy life insurance may change, but your need for it will always be there. Contact our office today and our agents will be happy to meet with you to discuss your coverage options.