Leaders in the life insurance industry predict new technology and techniques will create opportunities in the field, enabling providers to overcome challenges posed by the weak economy. LOMA recently interviewed these industry leaders for their annual industry forecast, and found profitable growth and enhanced customer service are top priorities of providers.
Many interviewees said insurance providers will need to find innovative ways to attract customers, train new talent and communicate with a tech-savvy consumer base. The industry could experience significant growth if it takes successful marketing strategies from other industries and integrates those practices with traditional life insurance industry norms and information.
One challenge the experts predicted will have to be overcome in 2012 is a shrinking distribution. Fewer financial advisers are offering life insurance as part of their packages, and college graduates and young professionals are not flocking to life insurance providers in large numbers. Therefore, providers must focus on emphasizing life insurance's benefits, options and innovative products that can complement a variety of financial portfolios. Providers must also utilize technology such as social media to connect with both consumers and young professionals.
Other technologies the experts predicted will play key roles in the growth of life insurance include mobile applications, cloud computing and predictive analytics. Mobile computing is a priority as more consumers and employees are operating through smartphones and tablets. Social media and digital communications are also important channels to connect companies with clients and advisers in real time.
The experts also noted consumer demand for improved safety and guarantees with financial planning products. More policyholders want reliable retirement income solutions such as annuities. It is the responsibility of the provider to meet these needs through new methods of distribution and higher product standards.