The latest Roy Morgan survey shows the most popular means of purchasing life insurance policies from January to November 2017 was over the phone. One quarter (25 per cent) of the 7632 consumers polled in Roy Morgan’s Single Source survey rang the supplier to buy life insurance. The next most popular method of acquiring insurance was an employer or group insurance channel, sitting at 24 per cent.
In the last five years the number of policies purchased over the phone has dropped from 89,000 (26 per cent), while policies purchased via group insurance increased from 155,000 (19 per cent). The number of life insurance policies bought online has risen from 168,000 policies (5 per cent) to 349,000 (11 per cent). Financial planners account for seven per cent of current policies.
A recent Noble Oak study found that consumers are relying more on the internet and digital devices to purchase life insurance instead of financial advisers, with 29 per cent of adults aged 30-60 using the internet for financial advice compared to 25 per cent who use a financial adviser.
Norman Morris, Roy Morgan industry communications director said there are several major differences in consumer profiles when using different channels to purchase life insurance. Groups with a higher income have a greater preference for using insurance brokers, the internet, and financial planners, while lower-income groups prefer purchasing policies over the phone or in person.
Men are more likely to purchase life insurance in person, through insurance brokers or online, whereas women prefer to use financial planners and the phone.
Morris explained that how life insurance is obtained is moving away from more traditional insurance brokers and towards online purchasing and the employer, which is generally combined with superannuation. Life insurance has generally needed more of a selling effort compared to general insurance, with data showing that there are major differences across demographic groups regarding how life insurance is bought.