Research published by insurer NobleOak reveals that the internet is the predominant source of life insurance advice, with just under a third (32.2%) of respondents saying they preferred to use the internet, while 25.4% use an adviser and 20.4% rely on family members.
The study, conducted in December 2017, asked over 1,000 Australian adults aged between 30 and 60 about their research and buying behaviour with regard to financial service products, including life and income protection insurance.
The aim was to establish the impact of digital technology.
No advice, thanks
One of the key finding was that customers are less willing to pay for financial advice.
Greater access to online information and calculators has led to a more empowered consumer and is challenging people’s willingness to pay for financial advice, NobleOak found. Over half (56%) of respondents are unwilling to pay anything for life insurance advice.
The impact technology has had on how clients use financial services products has varied significantly between financial products.
An overwhelming majority (79%) of respondents believe technology has changed their interaction with banks over the past three years, while life insurance and income protection remain laggards at 37.3% and 33.6%, respectively.
According to NobleOak, it is inevitable the use of technology for purchasing life insurance will increase just like other financial services products.
Researchers found that while a vast majority of Australians search for life insurance or income protection insurance products online, very few purchase directly online – at this stage.
Their intention to do so in the future however shows an imminent change in consumer behaviour. While only 6.5% of respondents have purchased life insurance products online 38.6% would purchase life insurance online or through a mobile device if they needed it.
A majority (72%) of respondents told researchers they would be confident in purchasing a Life insurance or Income Protection product online, without financial advice, if the right resources were available.