Suspicious Sites

Suspicious Sites:

May 07, 2008
by Colleen Brondou
This site claims to educate and empower you with information on the insurance industry but is produced by insurance agents with a blatantly pro-insurance message.

The Skinny

facebook is the Web site for the Life and Health Insurance Foundation for Education (LIFE). The site’s “About Us” page tells you that it’s “a non-profit organization dedicated to addressing the public's growing need for information and education about life, health, disability and long-term care insurance.” It goes on to tell you that the organization “educates consumers and empowers them with the knowledge needed to make informed insurance decisions.”

The Suspicion

How does the site “empower” you with knowledge? A video clip on the homepage relates the tragic story of a woman whose husband died at the age of 30 as the result of a car accident. Luckily, you’re told, the couple had life insurance. A cryptic message on the lower left says, “You can control some things in your life but not everything,” furthering the fear tactic and not-so-subtle message that life insurance is a necessity.

You might expect the information presented on the site of a nonprofit organization to be unbiased and trustworthy. Yet if you continue reading the “About Us” page, you’ll learn that LIFE was formed “by seven insurance groups, representing 160,000 agents.” Though the site says it’s dedicated to “addressing the public's growing need for information and education," some may reasonably argue that it addresses the founding members’ growing need to earn sales commissions. The “education” information provided isn’t meant to educate or empower you—it’s meant to convince you to buy insurance, especially through an agent.

The Solution

If LIFE truly aims to educate and empower the public on the insurance industry, it would best accomplish this by providing unbiased information from sources that don’t have a vested interest in selling insurance. At the very least, the site could drop its pretense of education and empowerment and be more transparent about its true aim—selling insurance.

For genuinely unbiased advice on insurance, visit InsWeb for an overview of the different types of insurance available. Motley Fool provides an excellent introduction to life insurance and guides you through the process of buying life insurance. For even more information you can trust, be sure to see the sites recommended in findingDulcinea’s Life Insurance Web Guide, the “Homeowners Insurance” section of findingDulcinea’s Home Protection Web Guide and the “Health Insurance Options” section of findingDulcinea’s Health Web Guide.

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