In the midst of a gaping hole in life insurance coverage, Mintel Comperemedia, a research and consulting agency that specializes in direct marketing, released statistics regarding the life insurance sector’s marketing targets and found that carriers are drifting further and further away from the bull’s-eye.

Consumers between the ages of 31-45 received a 13 percent share of direct mail volume for the first six months of 2011, which is down three percent from the same period in 2010. According to Mintel, the 31-45 age bracket is “more likely to consist of families with children, breadwinners approaching their prime earning years, and those beginning the daunting task of caring for aging parents.”

"Broadly speaking, the 31-45 age group consists of the folks most in need of life insurance, and carriers are missing an opportunity by not marketing to them directly," says Gary Wooley, director, Insurance Consulting at Mintel. "They are interested, but they need more information and a call to action."

At a broader level, potential customers aged 18-45 also saw a four percent decrease in year-to-year percentage of volume, from 19 percent to 15. Conversely, 85 percent of the direct mail volume was targeted at consumers 46 and older, up from 81 percent during the same period the previous year.

"Perhaps this is partially a function of marketing activities," adds Wooley. "When carriers market life insurance directly to consumers, they overwhelmingly continue to target those over the age of 45 -- effectively alienating other potentially lucrative demographics."

-- This article first appeared on Insurance Networking News.