FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
LIFE INSURANCE AWARENESS MONTH BUILT MOMENTUM IN
Survey Results Indicate Strong Industry Support for LIAM; Planning Underway for Campaign
January 5, ‘ With company participation in the Life Insurance Awareness Month (LIAM) campaign up by nearly 30 percent over the prior year and a survey that finds strong industry-wide support for the initiative, the LIFE Foundation today announced that LIAM will take place for the third time in September . To assess the impact of LIAM, LIFE conducted a survey of company officials who served as point people for LIAM for their respective organizations. Of the 77 company officials who responded to LIFE‘s survey, 95 percent believe that ‘LIAM is important to the industry as a whole,‘ with 74 percent ‘strongly agreeing‘ with that statement.
‘In just two short years, LIAM has become a very important initiative for the industry,‘ says David F. Woods, CLU, ChFC, president of LIFE and CEO of the National Association of Insurance and Financial Advisors (NAIFA). ‘LIAM provides us with the opportunity to come together as an industry to make sure that at least once a year all Americans are reminded of the importance of taking stock of their life insurance needs.‘
For the second year in a row, LIFE retained a celebrity spokesperson to help reach consumers with its message about the importance of proper life insurance planning. Actress and best-selling author Marilu Henner shared her personal story about the death of her father and the critical role life insurance played in securing her family‘s financial future. Through 30 television and radio interviews during August and September, Henner helped the industry reach more than 25 million Americans. She also testified before the California state legislature in support of a LIAM resolution and participated in a national LIAM kickoff event on the steps of the capitol in Sacramento.
To further support the industry, LIFE spent $2.5 million on a print and radio advertising in August, September and October. LIFE‘s media buy included multi-page special advertising sections in Newsweek, TIME, Parents, Child and Ser Padres magazines, as well as a sponsorship of ESPN Radio‘s coverage of Major League Baseball‘s Pennant Chase. Other LIFE efforts in September included aggressive outreach to the consumer print media, resulting in dozens of articles and millions of media impressions, a national radio public service announcement (PSA) series, and special features on its Web site, www.life-line.org.
Industry participation grew in with 90 companies and 13 national trade associations declaring themselves ‘official‘ LIAM participants. The roster of participating companies included such industry leaders as State Farm, New York Life, AEGON, AXA Financial, MassMutual, Principal Financial Group, Penn Mutual, Guardian, Prudential, John Hancock, Allstate, Nationwide, Southern Farm Bureau, COUNTRY Insurance & Financial Services, Farm Bureau Financial Services, The Hartford, Mutual of Omaha, Genworth Financial, Thrivent Financial and Union Central.
According to LIFE‘s LIAM Impact survey, 83 percent of participating companies engaged in motivational efforts and/or incentive programs aimed at producers, 71 percent sponsored educational efforts aimed at home-office employees, and 68 percent conducted marketing/outreach efforts aimed at consumers. Eighty-four percent (84%) of company officials surveyed believe that LIAM is ‘an important initiative‘ for their respective companies. Ninety-one percent (91%) believe that LIAM is accomplishing its main objective of ‘educating the public about the industry‘s products and services,‘ with two-thirds strongly agreeing with that statement.
Many of the nation‘s leading political figures voiced their support for LIAM. For the second year in a row, President Bush sent a letter of support in which he thanked the industry for providing valuable services that help workers and their families meet their financial needs. In addition, the US House and Senate passed separate resolutions nationally recognizing September as Life Insurance Awareness Month, and 27 governors and the mayor of the District of Columbia took similar action in their respective jurisdictions.
Looking Ahead to September
Planning is already underway for LIAM . LIFE is planning another aggressive media outreach effort and has begun its search for a new celebrity spokesperson. LIFE‘s plans will include targeted outreach to Spanish- and Chinese-language media outlets. LIFE is close to finalizing its advertising buy, which again will be a big part of its September contribution to LIAM. LIFE also hopes to drive awareness by getting more of its educational materials in circulation next September and by engaging in more grassroots and web-based outreach activities.
Many companies and other industry groups have also begun their planning for LIAM . In January, LIFE will again be distributing LIAM planning tools throughout the industry.
The Life and Health Insurance Foundation for Education (LIFE) was founded in response to the public‘s growing need for information and education on life, health, disability and long-term care insurance. LIFE also seeks to remind people of the important role insurance professionals perform in helping families, businesses and individuals find the insurance products that best fit their needs. To learn more about these topics, please visit www.life-line.org.
About Life Insurance Awareness Month
Life Insurance Awareness Month was created in response to growing concern about the large number of Americans who lack adequate life insurance protection. According to LIMRA International, more than 30 percent of adult Americans have no life insurance coverage whatsoever and those with coverage have considerably less coverage than they themselves feel they need. Held each September, Life Insurance Awareness Month is an industry-wide effort that is coordinated by the LIFE Foundation.