Despite the unsettled economy over the past half year, public confidence in insurance agents is at an all-time high, up dramatically from a low recorded in the wake of the 2008 crash, according to LIMRA data.
In October 2008, only 9% of consumers had “extreme/quite a bit” of confidence in insurance agents and brokers in LIMRA’s Consumer Sentiment Survey conducted.
In May of this year, that percent had risen to 32%, a 255% increase.
That increase occurred even while confidence in the economy overall plummeted from its post-2008 high notched this January, with 56% of consumers having “extreme/quite a bit” of confidence in the economy. That number slid to 21% in May, a 62.5% drop in just a few months.
Consumer confidence also increased in insurance companies, with 40% of consumers saying they had “extreme” or “quite a bit” of confidence in life carriers.
Jennifer Douglas, LIMRA Research Quality and Performance research director, said consumer contact with their carriers was an important factor.
“One of the factors that may have contributed to consumers’ increased confidence in life insurers was contact with one’s carrier during the pandemic,” Douglas said. “A third of life insurance policyholders had heard from or reached out to their carrier since March. Of those, seven in 10 were satisfied with the customer service they received. These individuals report very high levels of confidence in life insurance companies. It is important to note, however, that these satisfied policyholders with recent contact represents just over 10% of those surveyed. So, this is not what’s solely driving the increased confidence. In fact, we see a boost in confidence among owners and non-owners alike.”
Financial advisors saw a similar increase in their esteem among consumers. In October 2008, 11% of consumers had “extreme” or “quite a bit” of confidence in financial advisors. That grew to 36% by this May.
First initiated in early 2008 to gauge consumer opinion of the economy and the financial services industry, LIMRA’s Consumer Sentiment Survey has continued to monitor Americans' sentiment about the economy and confidence in industries since 2008. The latest results are based on responses from 2,000 Americans ages 18+, weighted to the U.S. general population. The most recent survey was fielded May 19-20, 2020.
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