Playing The Insurance Game

November 14, 2011 -

AXA Equitable, a life insurance company in Farmington, Connecticut, has created a video game to introduce life insurance to women in their 40s. AXA's Pass It On! launched on the web in September and now a mobile application is heading to more portable devices. Pass It On! lets players pick an avatar and walk the streets of New York City collecting gold and avoiding expenses. The character can also buy permanent life insurance (represented in-game as a gold shield worn as a backpack) or term life (a silver shield).

Pass It On! becomes more challenging as the game progresses. New challenges and obstacles appear that can instantly kill the player. Different levels in the game are represented by different U.S. locations. After New York, players go to is St. Louis, New Orleans, Mount Rushmore and San Francisco. The game seems to be at least a moderate success, so far attracting almost 64,000 unique visitors who played it more than 231,000 times, according to the company.

The biggest draw, its creators say, is the sweepstakes linked to the game. Players can enter to win a $25,000 or $15,000 cash prize if they play between now and Dec. 31.

AXA Equitable turned to video games to reach potential customers because of the generational shift in marketing strategies. While the company sees a majority of baby boomers between the ages of 47 and 65 owning policies that provide money at death, people between the ages of 31 and 46 (Generation X) and between 19 and 30 (Generation Y) have no coverage.

"Life insurance sales are at a 50-year low," notes David O'Leary, head of AXA Equitable's financial protection segment. He gets his figures from research conducted by Windsor, CT.-based LIMRA. "Some 11 million U.S. households with children younger than 18 have no life insurance. Many of these children would face immediate financial trouble if a parent died."

Hall came up with the concept of Pass It On! while riding the Metro-North to Connecticut after a conference in New York.

"I went to a social media conference in New York about a year and a half ago, and I heard three stories there that totally inspired me," Hall said. The most impressive was a game, Mad Men Yourself, which allowed gamers to create a personality within the 1960s Madison Avenue advertising world that is the basis for the hit AMC TV series "Mad Men." The game helped propel the popularity of the show.

"They were trying to reach the same market that I am," Hall said. "They were talking about reaching the 35 to 55's. So, that got me thinking about gamification. Can you gamify life insurance?"

Source: The Hartford Courant

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Re: Playing The Insurance Game

I love life insurance.  It lets me take huge, irresponsible risks with my life since I know my wife will be taken care of if I die.

 
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Matthew Wilsonyes it help a sub section of the poor, but hurt both the middle and upper class. in the end way more people were hurt than helped. also, it hurt most poor people as well.04/16/2014 - 12:13am
SeanBJust goes to show what I have said for years. Your ability to have sex does not qualify you for parenthood.04/15/2014 - 9:21pm
NeenekoSo "worked" vs "failed" really comes down to who you think is more important and deserving04/15/2014 - 7:04pm
NeenekoThough I am also not sure we can say NYC failed. Rent control helped the people it was intended for and is considered a failure by the people it was designed to protect them from.04/15/2014 - 7:04pm
NeenekoIf they change the rules, demand will plummet. Though yeah, rent control probably would not help much in the SF case. I doubt anything will.04/15/2014 - 1:35pm
TheSmokeyOnline gamer accused of murdering son to keep playing - http://cnews.canoe.ca/CNEWS/Crime/2014/04/15/21604921.html04/15/2014 - 11:50am
Matthew Wilsonyup, but curent city rules do not allow for that.04/15/2014 - 11:00am
ZippyDSMleeIf SF dose not start building upwards then they will price people out of the aera.04/15/2014 - 10:59am
Matthew Wilsonthe issue rent control has it reduces supply, and in SF case they already has a supply problem. rent control ofen puts rent below cost, or below profit of selling it. rent control would not fix this issue.04/15/2014 - 10:56am
NeenekoRent control is useful in moderation, NYC took it way to far and tends to be held up as an example of them not working, but in most cases they are more subtle and positive.04/15/2014 - 10:24am
PHX CorpBeating Cancer with Video Games http://mashable.com/2014/04/14/steven-gonzalez-survivor-games/04/15/2014 - 9:21am
Matthew Wilsonwhat are you saying SF should do rent control, that has never worked every time it has been tried. the issue here is a self inflicted supply problem imposed by stupid laws.04/15/2014 - 8:52am
E. Zachary KnightNeeneko, Government created price controls don't work though. They may keep prices down for the current inhabitants, but they are the primary cause of recently vacated residences having astronomical costs. Look at New York City as a prime example.04/15/2014 - 8:50am
NeenekoI think free markets are important, but believe in balance. Too much of any force and things get unstable.04/15/2014 - 7:25am
NeenekoWell, the traditional way of keeping prices down is what they are doing, controls on lease termination and tax code, but it will not be enough in this case.04/15/2014 - 7:24am
Matthew WilsonI said that already04/14/2014 - 4:22pm
E. Zachary KnightMatthew, The could also lower prices by increasing supply. Allow high rise apartment buildings to be built to fulfill demand and prices will drop.04/14/2014 - 3:48pm
Matthew Wilsonthe only way they could keep the price's down, would be to kick out google, apple, amazon, and other tech companies, but that would do a ton of economic damage to SF, but I am a major proponent of free markets04/14/2014 - 2:54pm
NeenekoThe community people are seeking gets destroyed in the process, and the new people are not able to build on themselves. Generally these situations result in local cultural death in a decade or so, and no one wins.04/14/2014 - 2:09pm
NeenekoWell yes, that is the 'free market', but the market is only a small piece of a much larger system. The market does not always do the constructive thing.04/14/2014 - 2:06pm
 

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