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Word of mouth seems to be the main reason why a person joins an association, according to new research by Metropolitan Life Insurance Co.
MetLife recently released a report called "The Association and Affinity Marketplace: Expanding business opportunities by understanding member preferences by association type." The report's intent is to guide insurance brokers and third-party administrators on tapping into associations.
The research shows a large portion of members join associations based on recommendations by friends and family (14 percent), and by colleagues (14 percent). Other reasons are the association is well known (10 percent), the person joined because he attended an event sponsored by the association (9 percent) and that the association has a good reputation (8 percent).
Only 6 percent of those surveyed said lobbying/political influence was a reason they joined an association, same as good benefits and previous experience with the association.
The report found that only 37 percent of members have access to insurance through their primary association. Just 14 percent report actually obtaining insurance through an association, though, according to MetLife, insurance companies offer coverage for many financial concerns of members. The top-five concerns are economic climate, 60 percent; money to retire, 49 percent; future health concerns, 45 percent; pay bills, 45 percent; and emergencies, access to health insurance overall financial situation, 43 percent each. Details: www.metlife.com.