5 things life clients wish agents knew about them

Help more clients by understanding their needs.
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When you’re helping online shoppers become buyers, understanding them is the key to meeting their needs as they make a critical decision for their family.

As a company on the forefront of online life insurance sales, Ethos has unique insight into online consumer needs and wants.

Some of it’s stuff clients will tell you—you don’t need us for that. But there are unspoken concerns. Here’s what we’re seeing.

No. 1

Life insurance confuses them.

No. 1

Life insurance is complicated

They don’t know what they need. Our agents tell us their clients are generally uneducated about the difference between term and permanent life insurance.

Often their confusion follows common themes, according to LIMRA’s 2022 Insurance Barometer Study.

  • They think it’s too expensive. Consumers think life insurance costs at least three times more than it does.
  • They don’t know what they need. Thirty-one percent of uninsured consumers weren’t sure what type of insurance they needed or how much to get.
  • They think they aren't eligible. Life insurance agents have a more intimate understanding of which carriers are best suited for health conditions. And approval can be easier than consumers think with the Ethos platform, which approves 95% of applicants.

Your clients want you to bring the knowledge. Even if you’re not a licensed life agent, sharing the benefits of life insurance is a win for clients.

“I really have to break down what term and whole life are. With term, I compare it to the president. You serve your term and are out. Whole life is how it sounds. It’s for the rest of your life.”

Insurance realities for seniors

The need for information spans all generations, with many seniors unaware of the reality around coverage amounts and premiums.

  • They can get life insurance. Many seniors believe they’re 
not eligible for coverage due to health or age, but they can often get coverage up to age 85.
  • Face amounts are lower. Compared to when they were younger, seniors usually have lower coverage needs.
  • Final expenses will need 
to be addressed. Even after death, expenses are there. Final expense coverage can help reduce the burden to your family.
No. 2

They don’t want a hassle.

No. 2

Simplicity is key

With jobs, families, and a barrage of commitments, consumers are looking for the path of least resistance, according to Ethos’ consumer research.

And medical exams, blood tests, and visiting the doctor are among the leading roadblocks that derail consumers from committing, regardless of how important life insurance is to them.

“I didn’t want to have to go and get a physical. I needed life insurance now. I really appreciated the easy questions, it made it seem like the application was automatically done for me.”

This is where you can guide them toward a platform that simplifies the process. And this shift can help you turn consumers into clients.


According to LIMRA’s 2021 and 2022 Insurance Barometer Studies

No. 3

They feel financially insecure.

No. 3

Nobody likes feeling financially insecure

But it’s a pressure many experience, and it’s an additional concern when consumers have 
 a family to support. LIMRA’s 2022 Insurance Barometer Study found that two in five parents feel this way.


According to a report from the FINRA Investor Education Foundation and the George Washington University School of Business

Having life insurance is proven to help alleviate financial stress

LIMRA found that 68% of people with life insurance report feeling financially secure compared to 47% of people with no life insurance. This is especially true when life insurance coverage comes from multiple sources, such as workplace plus individual coverage, with 78% of people in that situation feeling more financially secure.

With your expertise, you can offer clients support, reliable coverage, and a first step on the path toward financial security.

No. 4

They started searching after a key life event.

No. 4

Emotions are tied to their decision

Ethos’ research reinforces the data that shows that life events—buying a house, having 
a baby, or experiencing the death of a loved one —are often the driving force behind consumers seeking out coverage.

“I’ve recently had family and friends lose people and stress about paying for final expenses, so I decided to take learning about life insurance more seriously.”

The pandemic has also been a significant driver, with 31% of respondents in LIMRA’s 2022 Insurance Barometer Study saying they’re now more likely to buy life insurance as a result. “The lasting impact of COVID remains at the forefront for many,” says Faisa Stafford, LUTCH, president and CEO of Life Happens.

Just be aware that consumers’ emotions may be raw based on their reason for coming to you, so do your best to guide them in the right direction while being sensitive and listening.

Whether it’s a happy or sad event, Ethos’ research found that learning about life insurance brings up a range of complicated emotions. LIMRA’s 2022 Insurance Barometer Study found that 40% of respondents felt discomfort with end-of-life discussions.

While these discussions may be difficult, agents can focus on the positives:

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No. 5

They’re concerned about a health condition.

No. 5

Pre-existing conditions can seem daunting

With an estimated 50% of Americans having a pre-existing condition, according to the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, it’s a big concern for many.

Younger consumers with minor health issues and consumers who don’t want to go through a medical exam are attracted to simplified issue policies.

One 46-year-old Ethos agent says, “I sell a fair amount of this. I think of simplified issue as policies that are a bit more [liberal with underwriting questions and requirements].”

Health concerns are especially prevalent among seniors. With age often comes elevated risk factors that can make purchasing life insurance a challenge.

For seniors and people with elevated risk, cost is secondary to approval, speed, and carrier reputation.

“Trust is important. There are a lot of horror stories out there,” says an Ethos policyholder with elevated health risks.

This is why working with financially stable, top-rated carriers with long track records of paying claims matters.

The bottom line: Life insurance isn’t a luxury. It’s a need.

But many consumers get lost in the red tape and confusing language.

“There are still over 100 million people in this country who don’t have enough life insurance,” says David Levenson, president and CEO of LIMRA and LOMA. “And while new policy growth jumped last year to the highest levels since 1983, there’s still a lot that our industry can do to ensure that families are properly protected.”

Educating consumers and guiding them to a 100% online platform such as Ethos allows you to get them the coverage they need in the least complicated way possible.

Visit Ethos today!
Find out more about the industry’s top online sales platform for life insurance professionals.