December 2012: Client Account Information Displays

This Annuity Monitor report evaluates the private website client account information displays of 18 coverage firms. The displays were analyzed with a strong focus on the following three key criteria:

  • Overall page layout including organization and positioning of contract information.
  • Accessibility of the client account information display within the private website.
  • The quality and depth of contract information details and performance values.

Overall,
Annuity Monitor firms generally offer adequate client account information displays to annuity customers within the private website. The majority of the account information displays analyzed in this report feature a strong collection of basic contract information but a limited offering of the more complex data points. Consequently, many of the grades handed out in this report were average and ranged between a C+ and B.

Navigation is a strength for the firms analyzed in this report, as every firm either utilizes the account information display as the private website homepage or provides easy access to it from the homepage. The layouts and organization of the account information display vary greatly across the coverage firms. A few firms utilize convenient display features such as clear borders, expandable sections and bolded fonts to highlight pertinent contract data. Conversely, a couple of firms provide jointed layouts that scatter key contract information across multiple pages, making it difficult to find desired contract information. Unfortunately, the absence of complex contract performance and fee data is by far the biggest shortcoming among firms. Personal rates of return and contract net investment returns are offered by under one-quarter of firms.

 

Additional key findings include:

  • Investment option summaries are provided by all but two firms.
  • Four firms utilize the account information display as the private homepage.
  • 56% provide total policy withdrawals.
  • Only 39% offer a historical value search.