Life insurance coverage calculators earned low marks in a recent analysis by the Customer Respect Group, which suggests that more can be done to help consumers determine adequate coverage levels.

After examining 22 life insurance Web sites, only 15 of which contained calculators, the CRG found that consumers visiting these sites “will not have a clear idea of what the question ‘how much life insurance do I need?’ actually means.”

The report insists that insurers need to focus on the point of view of fresh consumers looking for life insurance. The insurers providing the best examples of how to do this, according to the CRG, are USAA, State Farm and Allstate. Easily accessible calculators, clear language and integration with other steps in the research process were common attributes among the leaders.

Overall, however, the results were poor; complicated language, hard-to-find calculators and confusing presentations of results, were all cited as common hindrances to the online consumer experience.

Huge variations in information requested and coverage amounts suggested also presented difficulties for consumers. The number of data fields that needed to be completed varied from less than 10 to more than 30. The CRG created a persona representing a typical family, coverage suggestions ranged wildly from $221,226 to $775,338.

For customers trying to compare quotes, this is frustrating and leads them to not trust the information they are getting.

For customers looking to engage any one site, 65% of the life insurance calculators did not provide the next step in the process (e.g., receive a quote, find an agent, call the company).

Justin Stefani writes for Insurance Networking News.

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