Advisors and agents are still the preferred source of information among insurance consumers—thanks to baby boomers. But how much longer will they continue to hold off the convenience of the Internet and acquaintances?

That's the question posed by a recent study from LIMRA, which paints a clear picture of generation-by-generation growth in the use of Internet and acquaintances/family as a primary source of insurance information. The Internet is already close behind insurance professionals, and while the category "Friends/relatives/coworkers" received only half as many nods, it showed by far the sharpest growth in popularity among the youngest consumers.

More telling, but perhaps less surprising, are the changes in what is considered the "most valuable" resource since the last survey of this nature that LIMRA conducted in 2006. At that time, only 18 percent of recent researchers considered Internet to be their most valuable resource, which improved to 25 percent in 2012. In stark contrast, consumers that rated advisors and agents as their most valuable in 2012 dropped eight percentage points to 29 percent from 37 percent in 2006-drawing the two almost even.

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