Life Insurance Awareness Month Through the Eyes of a Marketer

This September marks the twelfth year LifeHappens.org is sponsoring Life Insurance Awareness Month. This year, the organization is promoting life insurance awareness using the following headlines:
life-insurance-awareness-month

LifeHappens.org is looking to address the misconception of the expense associated with life insurance along with emphasizing the importance of owning this product. In promoting Life Insurance Awareness Month, Anthony Anderson has been named the celebrity spokesperson for 2015. This is done from personal stories and experiences from the spokesperson as well as ordinary individuals. The stories talk to those who were lucky enough to have financial protection with life insurance, as well as those who had troubles because their parents or partners did not have life insurance protection. For me, it is always the stories about families who encountered trouble because they did not have proper coverage that make me value the importance of insurance. These heartbreaking first person accounts are incredible in shedding light on the reasons why everyone should have life insurance, but do they motivate people to purchase?

In my past blogs, I have talked about owning different types of insurance, how to market insurance to women and the importance of quality customer service. None of those issues matter if the consumer is not aware of or in the mindset to purchase insurance. The intent of Life Insurance Awareness Month is to provide people with the information they need to comprehend why it is important to own life insurance and to turn the comprehension into action.

While I am up to date on my own coverage, I find myself thinking about how I would react to this marketing effort if I did not currently have life insurance. Are the messages and media outlets used for this campaign doing enough to achieve this goal?

When I review the headlines, here are my personal thoughts on each of the key points:

    • 1 in 3 Women believe they don’t have enough life insurance
      • While all individuals have the same concerns regarding protecting their families, women have much stronger feelings about this. If I was learning about my options for life insurance for the first time, I would want to hear from other consumers who have similar circumstances to mine as to why they purchased, how they decided who to purchase from, and how much coverage was needed. Although we all think of ourselves as individuals, we naturally compare ourselves to others. Insurance purchases are no different. Understanding what my needs are and how to have them met is critical.

 

    • Average spent on take out food $75/Month v. Average spend on life insurance $35/Month
      • This is compelling messaging. As someone who orders in significantly more than she cooks, this comparison puts the cost of life insurance into perspective. It will be hard for me to look at my next Chinese food delivery without visualizing my next premium payment. Understanding the costs vs. benefits are key in making any type of purchase. This comparison shows me that I will be able to afford the monthly or annual premiums within my budget.

 

    • 1 in 5 people wished their spouse or partner had life insurance or more of it
      • When you choose a partner to go through life with, the vows include for richer or poorer, in sickness and in health, ‘til death do us part. No one likes to think about the last part of the vows, but it is important to plan for it. This is the part of life insurance that no one wants to talk about, but it is the harsh reality. It is a difficult decision to have with each other, with an advisor or with your aging parents. There should be suggestions incorporated into Life Insurance Awareness Month to make this an easier conversation to start.

 

  • Those with no life insurance think its 3x more expensive than it actually is
    • This is the easiest issue to address. Using comparisons like the cost of takeout and other utility payments puts the cost into perspective. Online life insurance calculators can also help the consumer gain a better understanding of costs and coverage amounts. Online quote aggregators give consumers the ability to request insurance quotes at any time of the day. However, if they do not understand the type of life insurance needed or the proper amount of coverage, the cost of the premium can be misconstrued. Many carriers have online calculators, as does LifeHappens.org. It is important that these tools are easy to use and provide helpful tips throughout the process. Some direct to consumer messaging compares the daily cost of a cup of coffee to the daily premium cost. Comparing life insurance protection to a Venti Mocha Latte is like protecting your family’s future with a $5 gift card.

Establishing a relationship with the consumer before asking for the sale is important in cultivating long term customers. The messaging used for Life Insurance Awareness Month identifies the right concerns. The methods for creating awareness across all generations need improvements. Next week, I will share my thoughts on using different media channels as part of the campaign.