For over a decade, a number of life insurance companies have attempted to use the power of the computer to assist in the direct selling of individual policies. The chief form this assistance taken has been the comprehensive planning of the customer’s insurance needs. While this use has grown in recent years (from 17 percent in 1966 to 45 percent in 1970 among those companies surveyed by the Life Insurance Agency Management Association), there is nevertheless fairly wide spread resistance to this technique, particularly among individual agents. Although preliminary evidence seems to indicate that larger sales do result from computer-aided selling, a closer look at the data suggests that these conclusions are flawed by the failure to take into account certain key variables. Thus the potential benefit from this application of the computer to life insurance marketing still remains to be proved.

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