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January 30, 2020

Selling the Urgency of Life Insurance

Summary:

To ensure that people have all the life insurance they need requires insurers to better express the urgency of financial safety.

Photo Courtesy of Pexels

The most essential things are not always the essentials people have or know they need to buy. 

Life insurance is one such thing not enough people have, given that the lives and livelihoods of many depend on the security that insurers can provide. 

To provide for the survivors, to care for a man’s widow and his orphan, is not an act of charity but a declaration of independence; that the living will have the liberty to protect themselves from poverty; that they will have the means to live without fear of eviction or exile; that they will have the freedom to pursue happiness.

To make these promises a reality—to ensure that people have all the insurance they need—requires insurers to better express the urgency of financial safety. 

According to David Albanese of Ameraquest Financial Group

“Insurers need to remind people about the safety life insurance offers. Whether they issue reminders for the second or third time, or for the first time in a long time, what they tell people must be clear and compelling. Anything short of that standard is a loss for everyone.”

As a scientist, I can speak to Albanese’s point about clarity of communication. I do speak to his point, in my own way, whenever I speak to nonscientists about biology or chemistry; which is to say I speak to persuade, I speak to inform, too, so I can get people to join my efforts or support my work.

Before they send a reminder to current or potential clients, insurers need to remind themselves of the importance of clarity of speech.

If people do not know why they need life insurance, if they do not comprehend the value of comprehensive coverage, if they do not know what they should know, then insurers have a duty to explain themselves.

See also: Pricing Right in Life Insurance  

Insurers have a duty to educate us about life insurance. That duty starts with a campaign that has a clear message and a consistent theme, so there is no confusion among those who see or hear the message, so the right people—those who need life insurance—get the point and spread the word, so people may buy all the life insurance they need.

This campaign must include traditional media and social media, because people receive messages through multiple outlets. We send and receive messages by email, voicemail, text, video and chat. 

The conversations we have, the news we share, the comments we post and the posts we publish—all of these things have the power to influence how we act.

If life insurance is to be a topic of conversation, if we are to talk about this subject among our friends and family, if we are to do more than talk, then insurers must campaign to earn our trust.

Transparency is a good way to earn that trust.

Free of ambiguity and devoid of the slightest uncertainty, insurers can improve the world by proving to consumers that life insurance is a necessity.

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About the Author

Michael D. Shaw is an MIT-trained biochemist and former protégée of the late Willard Libby, the 1960 winner of the Nobel Prize in Chemistry. Shaw is a frequent writer and speaker about a variety of public health issues.

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