| When most people think of getting insurance quotes online, they think about car insurance, but the life insurance business is surging in cyberspace. |
According to comScore, an online market research firm, searches for life insurance information grew to 16.6 million queries in 2009, charting an increase of 15 percent over 2008. During the same time period, consumers requested more than two million online quotes for life insurance, a sign that consumers are warming to the Internet as an instrument for sourcing life insurance.
"The numbers don't surprise me at all," Richard Reich, of www.lifeinsure.com, said. "The consumer experience for life insurance customers online has improved dramatically over the last couple of years, even though some obstacles to continued growth still remain."
Reich, an industry insider for nearly 20 years, said that the majority of the consumers represented in the study wound up on specific company sites, instead of sites that broker for many different companies. Those consumers were likely to have a less than satisfactory online experience, he added.
"One giant pitfall is that many companies require that people enter their names, email addresses and phone numbers to get life insurance quotes," Reich said. "This almost always leads to your email box filling up and your phone ringing off the hook as multiple agents contact you to sell you policies. Other sites show customers low quotes that may be unrealistic, and then requote higher rates as they get more information from the customer. So, buying life insurance online can still be rife with pitfalls for the uninitiated consumer."
Reich's advice for consumers looking for life insurance online includes:
The final rate will always be determined by the insurance company upon completion of the underwriting process. However, the more information factored into your original quote, the closer that quote will be to the insurance company offer.
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