Insurance companies in the US are increasingly taking an approach to lead generation that is shutting out the country’s traditional big business of lead generation systems and strategies: partnering with retailers to leverage the retailer’s consumer reach into warm leads for life and health insurance products.
Costco, for example, is one of the largest membership wholesale big box stores (what the UK would call a superstore), with more than 40 million paying members in the US.Ameriprise is marketing homeowners and auto insurance to Costco members, and Costco is also providing individual and group health and dental plans to its members in partnership with Aetna.
Aetna markets ‘wellness cards’ at retailer Best Buy, enabling buyers to access one of three of Aetna’s online health management programmes – smoking cessation, weight management, and stress management – without having to be insured by Aetna.
Walmart, one of the largest (if not the largest) retailer in the world is another big retailer taking the step of making insurance available to its customer base.
In the US, its stores and hypermarkets sell a wide variety of goods, from general household merchandise such as apparel and kitchen goods to groceries, home décor and, rather famously, firearms and ammunition.
Many also have on-site pharmacies, alcove shops such as hair and nail salons and movie rental stores, local bank branches (or at least ATMs) fast-food outlets, auto supply and flower shops.
Life Insurance in a Box
One item Walmart did not sell, however, was life insurance. This changed in October 2012, when it entered a partnership with MetLife, one of the largest global providers of insurance annuities and employee benefit programmes, to pilot a programme in its South Carolina and Georgia stores, where Walmart customers could buy ‘life insurance in a box’.
Here is how the programme works: Four different simplified-issue policies have been developed at two face amounts – $10,000 and $25,000 – for four age ranges (18 to 44, 45 to 54, 55 to 59, and 60 to 65), with premiums customised for each age range.