METLIFE HELPS CONSUMERS GET THE STRAIGHT STORY ON LIFE INSURANCE
New York, NY, May 24, 2010
MetLife announced today a new life insurance needs assessment tool and simple tips that mark the beginning of a major initiative to change the way Americans think about and purchase life insurance. MetLife’s new online tool – the Life Insurance Needs Calculator – provides clear guidance for how much life insurance consumers really need and, importantly, how much it will cost. Ten Simple Life Insurance Tips will make it easier for them get started. By removing purchase barriers and simplifying the life insurance purchase process, Americans will be better able to easily and affordably protect their families.
Nearly six in ten middle class households (59%)i – defined as Americans ages 25-44 with household incomes under $100,000 – recognize the need for more life insurance protection and half of these households intend to buy coverage in the next year.
"Buying life insurance is challenging for even the most motivated," said Beth Hirschhorn, senior vice president and chief marketing officer for MetLife, the largest U.S. life insurer. "Of those people who say they will buy life insurance, research shows that more than 80% will fail in their attempt."
Consumers who are motivated to purchase life insurance often don’t succeed for several reasons, among others:
- They turn to the Internet for information and grow confused because they get widely varying recommendations regarding how much and what kind of life insurance they need.
- They often assume coverage will cost too much for their budgets and the lack of easy-to-find cost information drives many out of the buying process early on.
- Those who actually do apply for coverage often confront a complicated and cumbersome process that can be more time-consuming and complex than expected.
Life Insurance: How Much and How Much ($$)
To help overcome these barriers no matter where individuals end up buying, MetLife has introduced a new online tool to provide clear guidance about life insurance.
MetLife's new Life Insurance Needs Calculator (www.metlife.com/straightstory) makes it easy for individuals to learn about the right amount of life insurance for their family's needs based on their personal situations. To design the new tool, MetLife worked with hundreds of consumers and incorporated learnings from months and months of research. With this tool, MetLife had one goal in mind: providing consumers with a unique user experience that’s intuitive, relevant and groundbreaking in its simplicity. The new tool poses a handful of questions that are easy to understand and easy to answer. What’s more, the tool deconstructs the recommended coverage amounts so that consumers understand how the recommendation was calculated and what it will cover.
MetLife's online Life Insurance Instant Quote Tool, which complements the new Life Insurance Needs tool, makes it easy for individuals to get a no obligation quote without having to enter personal information (and without any sales pressure). The "Click to Call" and "Click to Chat" features embedded in the tools help consumers get immediate answers to questions that might pop up along the way, in whatever way they are most comfortable.
"What's good for the consumer is good for MetLife. By spending months 'walking in our customers' shoes,' we recognized the buying process was less than ideal. That’s why we are changing the customer experience now with more improvements to be introduced in the near future," added Hirschhorn.
Life Insurance: 10 Simple Tips to Get Started
For those who are interested in purchasing life insurance but don’t know how to begin, below are ten simple tips to get started:
- If you have children or people who depend on the money you earn, you need life insurance. Its primary purpose is to protect your income. Life insurance helps those you care about keep on living as they would if you were still earning a paycheck.
- Basically, life insurance replaces your paycheck if you aren’t there to earn it. 60% of annual income times years to retirement is a quick way to estimate how much money that means over your working life.
- Some life insurance is better than no life insurance. A good starting place is coverage equal to outstanding debt + 5 years of salary. Outstanding debt could include mortgage, car payments and student loans.
- Life insurance is less expensive than you think. A healthy 35-year-old can pay as little as $30 a month for $500,000 of term coverage. Since life insurance does get more expensive as you get older, it may make sense to buy as much coverage you need while you’re young and healthy.
- Life insurance is a smart financial move. Spending 1% of your annual salary protects years of income. To get the amount of coverage MetLife recommends, you can expect to pay about 1% of your annual salary on the annual cost of term life insurance.
- Make sure you know how much life insurance you get at work. Buy additional coverage – through work or with a personal policy – to meet your unique needs.
- Life insurance needs change over time because of life events such as a new family member, a new job, a move or even a pay raise at work. Review your coverage annually.
- If you don’t have life insurance, term insurance is an easy and inexpensive way to get started. Because term life insurance runs out at the end of the term, use it to protect needs that you can anticipate such as paying off a mortgage or funding college for your children. Permanent life insurance may also be an appropriate component of your lifetime financial plan.
- Life insurance is a guarantee. The financial strength and reputation of the company you buy it from matters. Ask around and do some research before you buy.
- There is no substitute for good advice. The more you know about life insurance basics, the more control you have over deciding what’s right for you. To find out how much life insurance is right for you if you want death benefit protection and living benefits, or to leave a financial legacy, you need to talk to a professional.
MetLife is a subsidiary of MetLife, Inc. (NYSE: MET), a leading provider of insurance, employee benefits and financial services with operations throughout the United States and the Latin America, Europe and Asia Pacific regions. Through its subsidiaries and affiliates, MetLife, Inc. reaches more than 70 million customers around the world and MetLife is the largest life insurer in the United States (based on life insurance in-force). The MetLife companies offer life insurance, annuities, auto and home insurance, retail banking and other financial services to individuals, as well as group insurance and retirement & savings products and services to corporations and other institutions. For more information, visit www.metlife.com.
iStrategic Research Insights Macromonitor Consumer Study