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Research

Better Understanding the Middle Market – Phase 1:Young Families

Research Projects – Life Insurance

Ownership of life insurance in the middle market is low compared to other markets. It has been suggested that one of the reasons for this is that many insurers think about the middle market as an undifferentiated whole. The Marketing and Distribution Section initiated a multi-phase research effort to better understand the middle market for life insurance and to identify segments that would allow the industry to better target customer needs.

Supported by the Committee on Life Insurance Research, Product Development and Reinsurance Sections, the phase one research examined young families between the ages of 25 and 40 with household income of $35K-$125K and who have individual life insurance or financial dependents. Performed by Dr. Walter Zultowski of WZ Research + Consulting and Dr. Brian Perlman of Mathew Greenwald & Associates, this study addressed such issues as:

  • How confident this middle market segment is regarding their insurance and finances;
  • How knowledgeable they are about financial and insurance products;
  • What types of insurance they have and how they purchased it;
  • What type of insurance they would be likely to purchase in the future;
  • The importance they place on insurance and attitudes toward insurance.

In analyzing the attitude data, the research team found three compelling segments that can help life insurers better understand and target the middle market. The sponsors are pleased to present the results of the study as well as a paper by Dr. Zultowski discussing how companies might use the results of the study to develop marketing approaches for the identified sub segments. Also provided are the questions used for determining the three market segments.

The sponsors would like to thank the following individuals that served on the Project Oversight Group:

Adam Vanevenhoven, Chairperson
Doug Bennett
Jeffrey C. Harper
Jeff Johnson
Donna Megregian
Scott Sheefel
Michael Shumrak
Ronora Stryker, SOA staff

If you have questions or comments on this research, please contact Ronora Stryker, SOA Research Actuary, at rstryker@soa.org.