Life insurance direct salesforces are failing to capitalise on loyal customers by not contacting them regularly enough.
According to research by Limra International, 35 per cent of customers surveyed had not been contacted for at least a year by their life insurance provider.
The survey, which covered over 4,000 people, found that 25 per cent could not remember when they were last contacted.
The research says respondents found that, while initial service from the provider was good, it dropped off radically as time went on. Around 75 per cent of customers said an ongoing relationship with the provider is important but found that performance across the board was low.
A Limra International spokesman says: "In general, the companies surveyed performed well on the service attributes relating to the initial meetings with the financial adviser – his or her knowledge; how approachable customers found them and how well they appeared to listen.
"Customers reported a high level of service at the beginning of the relationship when dealing with the financial adviser but this fell as more remote dealings became the norm.
"It is clear that life insurance companies have large numbers of very loyal customers.
"To capitalise on this is a significant challenge to most life insurers, whose salesforces tend to focus on new contacts rather than nurturing existing customers."
The research found that the most important aspects of service relate to the behaviour of the salesperson.