With most of the life insurance industry struggling to provide sufficient online self-research tools and content without diminishing the influence exerted on decisions by an agent, MetLife is tossing another monkey wrench into the works. Recently, the company announced “Life Insurance in a Box,” and it literally is a box, placed on the shelves of 200 Walmart stores in North Carolina and Georgia.

Is the consumer ready to load up their carts with life insurance alongside their groceries and Taylor Swift T-shirts? I doubt whether life insurance will become a Walmart bestseller anytime soon, but it is a bold step aimed to further demystify the product and expand market penetration. Life insurance ownership is at record low levels, yet many consumers remain hesitant to invite an agent into their homes while the industry struggles with an image and trust issue. According to Woody Allen, “There are worse things in life than death. Have you ever spent an evening with an insurance salesman?” MetLife is therefore looking to change the perception of the industry and enjoying its role as an innovator, first offering online quote engines, then a completely automated online purchase, and now a box of insurance.

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