In times of recession and challenge, consumers have often sought stability and flocked to products like insurance. During the unprecedented times of the past year, that was no different. Franklin Madison wanted to know more about these behaviors, so we took a deep dive into the effects of the pandemic on the purchase of life insurance.
At Franklin Madison, we’ve long supported our bank and credit union clients in their efforts to positively impact consumers. In fact, one of our core company values of providing financial well-being underscores how critical insurance is to their overall financial health. It adds the protection piece of their financial plan that ensures that in times of need, they have the additional funds to help guard their assets and pay key expenses without depleting their savings.
Over the last year, we’ve seen consumer behavior validate this premise with purchasing and researching life insurance policies happening at an all-time high rate. For example, Google searches of life insurance policies were up 15-30% across 2020 and most of the topline insurance companies cited a 15% jump in life insurance policy sales. 
Franklin Madison saw increased purchases of life insurance but also another key interesting piece of data: our current consumers displayed historically high retention rates, meaning consumers were paying for and keeping their policies at higher rates than ever before.
In February, we conducted a consumer research study surveying over 4,500 consumers across the country on their thoughts on life insurance and why they were or were not purchasing it from their financial institution.
The results were fascinating:
- The first substantial result was that the data confirmed the industry trends stated above, such as high retention and purchase rates.
- The second shocking discovery was that while traditionally boomers and Gen X had gone to their employers and insurance companies to purchase life insurance, the case for younger generations, the results revealed that millennials and Gen X groups were Google searching life insurance at an all-time high rate and were more educated on life insurance than many of their older family members.
- The third result was that most consumers did not know their bank or credit union offered life insurance, but they said they would go to them if they were aware and educated. This resulted in many bank and credit union clients asking to how to better educate consumers on insurance options and more specifically use data to target the segments of consumers that need or are searching for life insurance.
So, the next big question is now that the industry trends and consumer demand are aligned – what can we do about it?
We are working with a credit union partner to add insurance elements to their overall Financial Health Score. And it is very exciting that we are seeing early results that consumers with insurance do have a stronger overall financial health profile. With this type of data, insurance becomes a key piece of the entire consumer financial health picture.
It is evident that using the power of data in very simple and effective ways can help develop consumer segments and opportunities to build high level education and product programs for those consumers based on their segmentation profile. Through social media and online channels, we can use data to organize awareness campaigns to help consumers gain insightful knowledge about insurance and work towards the overall goal of improving financial well-being.