"We expect online comparison shopping for long-term care insurance will double each year," noted Jesse Slome, executive director of the American Association for Long-Term Care Insurance http://www.aaltci.org. The executive addressed a group of insurance executives focused on Internet marketing of insurance products.
According to Slome, more consumers should be using the Internet to comparison shop for what many once considered complex insurance products. "It just makes dollars and sense. If you want the best deal, meaning the lowest cost for the most coverage, you need to be able to shop the market because costs can vary significantly simply because each company sets their own prices."
Internet long-term care insurance buyers are looking for information first and foremost, Slome shared with the group. "Information may lead to a request for costs which may lead to a purchase but it's not a one-and-done event," he acknowledged. "Simple products like term life insurance or critical illness insurance can yield immediate online applications, but not the more complex and costly insurance products such as long-term care insurance.
The Association has seen traffic to its website grow significantly over the past two years, Slome told the group. "Consumers view our Consumer Information Center as the best, unbiased information on long-term care insurance costs," he added. "Many take the next step and require a free long-term care insurance quote," evidence of the organization's value."
Slome shared with the group that for traditional, non-insurance products the average time delay between a consumer's first visit to a Web site and their first purchase was just over 19 hours, with over 20% of shoppers delaying their buy decision for more than three days.
About one-third (35%) of shoppers took more than 12 hours to make a buy decision, he noted and twenty-one percent took more than three days, with 14% of these "cautious shoppers" taking more than one week to decide where to buy.
"For long-term care insurance, the time span from first online inquiry to purchase can be a year or longer," Slome noted. "That has to be acceptable to insurance companies because it's what the consumer wants to do."
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The American Association for Long-Term Care Insurance http://www.aaltci.org is the national trade organization focused on educating individuals about the importance of long-term care planning. The Association's Consumer Information Center was voted the #1 source for information by consumer interest group rating and can be accessed at http://www.aaltci.org/