Buyers of life insurance still prefer a personal  touch, a fact that should cheer advisors at banks and credit unions. 

More than three in four consumers (78%) say they prefer to purchase life insurance face-to-face, according to new study from Kehrer Saltzman & Associates, a management consulting firm for the financial advice industry.

That’s good news for bank advisors as 76% of likely life insurance buyers say they do not have someone they consider their life insurance agent. The void creates an opportunity that banks and credit unions haven’t yet fully tapped, according to Kehrer Saltzman.

• Read More: Bank Insurance Brokerage Income Slides in First Half of 2013

The report identifies ways in which bank advisors can boost their life insurance sales. For example, they should look to current owners of life insurance to sell more insurance.

“Most banks and credit unions see their life insurance opportunity as selling to customers who don’t already have insurance,” Christine Kehrer, a co-author of the report, says in a press release. “But 63% of likely life insurance buyers already own life insurance and are looking to add to or replace current coverage.”

The report also recommends that advisors not limit themselves to selling just term insurance. “Our research shows that nearly as many consumers want to purchase permanent life insurance as want to purchase term,” Paul Field, another co-author of the study, says.

Strong producers of life insurance sales revenue have a powerful impact on a financial institution’s bottom line. For example, banks and credit unions in the top quartile of average life insurance productivity generate 39% more investment and insurance services revenue and contribute 63% more profit than other financial institutions, relative to the size of their consumer deposit base, according to the report.

The report, titled “Selling Life Insurance in the Financial Institution: Integrating the Consumer Perspective,” is based on data from the MacroMonitor Survey, a comprehensive survey of U.S. consumers’ use of financial services and their perceptions and preferences for products and providers.

Read More:
• Bank Insurance Brokerage Income Slides in First Half of 2013
• Members Trust Credit Unions, Not Their Advisors
• Credit Unions Short on Advisors