Although most consumers still prefer buying life insurance from an agent, 17 percent said they would be willing to buy a life insurance policy from a store such as Wal-Mart or Target, according to the "2013 Insurance Barometer Study" by industry trade groups LIMRA and the LIFE Foundation.
Customers cited the reasonable cost, lack of sales pressure and a simple and convenient process as reasons to consider buying life insurance through a retailer.
"While the number of consumers willing to purchase a life product through a retail outlet is not overwhelming, it certainly is worthy of note," Todd Silverhart, corporate vice president and director of LIMRA Insurance Research, said in a press statement.
Last year, Wal-Mart partnered with MetLife to sell pre-paid life insurance policies.
Life insurance ownership has remained flat in the three years since the annual survey was first fielded. The 2013 study found that 85 percent of consumers agree that most people need life insurance and 65 percent say they personally need it. However, just 62 percent of consumers indicate they have life insurance coverage today. One third of all consumers said they do not have enough life insurance, including one quarter of those who now own a policy. About 45 percent said the might buy life insurance in the next year.