How has consumer interest in life insurance products changed since COVID?

How has consumer interest in life insurance products changed since COVID?

How has consumer interest in life insurance products changed since COVID? | Insurance Business Canada

Life & Health

How has consumer interest in life insurance products changed since COVID?

Canadians are still looking to insurance professionals to do business

Life & Health

By
David Saric

According to Canada Life’s Fabrice Morin (pictured), executive vice-president of individual wealth and insurance solutions, Canadians have been more aware of their mortality and the impacts of it on family and finances since the pandemic began in 2020.

“I think COVID, especially in its early days, has awakened everyone to the fact that these things can happen anytime and even with the slightly higher mortality across ages these days,” he said.

“They’ve also become more interested in critical illness insurance as well. Whether it’s cancer or other  illnesses, they’re becoming more cognizant of how these scenarios can have emotional and financial strains on household.”

In an interview with Insurance Business, Morin spoke about why the life insurance market is still primarily driven by a direct connection with consumers, the need for increased protection during a period of widespread digitization and cyber threats, and why carriers need to continue to innovate better investment strategies.

Deepening the client relationship

For consumers looking to purchase life insurance, Morin noted how there is a growing number of Canadian consumers flocking to the digital tools and platforms that the industry has been innovating over the years.  

“There is a segment of society that prefers to do things online without any help from a professional and the industry should honour the choices of those individuals and invest in those digital channels,” he said.

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Morin noted how creating a more sophisticated digital presence will help reach younger consumers who have vastly different shopping expectations and habits than the traditional insurance consumer.

For the majority of Canadians, whether a large account or small, the complexity of life and making sound decisions for the future is linked to the seasoned professionals that the life insurance industry offers.

“Ninety per cent (90%) of these transactions are still done through an advisor, which showcases how important relationship building is in this sector of the market,” Morin said.

“With many accounts, both small and large, the larger ones are almost fully invested in the expertise of advisers. But even the smaller ones can be relatively complex, with new family or unique financial situations.”

Upholding consumer trust

With the increasing threat of cyber loss events creeping up in every industry, it is more important than ever that insurers uphold a commitment to safeguarding client data as the threat landscape evolves.

“We make promises and keep them, even if an account was created decades ago – the guarantee to safety and stability still stands,” Morin said.

“It makes for a complex technological infrastructure to keep track of all these promises and maintain the features of these products.”

An insurer’s responsibility is to take care of a client’s personal, financial, health and security information and keep it out of harm’s way.

With this in mind, Morin has noticed carriers such as Canada Life, and others, investing in technology not just for the consumer’s benefit, but also to create more secure data storage that can stave off threat actors.

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Maximizing value through investment strategies

Morin believes that the insurance industry needs to continue to increase the sophistication of its investment strategies, similar to what it is doing with digitization.

“First and foremost, it is important to ensure optimal diversification for a given level of risk taking,” he said.

“Large insurers have an advantage here in being able to access a broad range of asset classes.”

“Large insurers also have an advantage in accessing private debt, a broad range of real estate investments, and private equity investments,” Morin added.

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