July 2015: Online Account Maintenance Options

For each of our 19 covered firms, we examine the account service location, diversity and organization. Firms offering an assortment of account and profile services in a convenient, intuitive platform, ranked highly in our analysis.

This report focuses on the following criteria:

  • Location of the account maintenance options
  • Profile setting options availability
  • Policy-related services availability (e.g., change contract, update personal details)

All Annuity Monitor firms provide clients with the ability to make profile and/or account-related changes online, but the service options differ greatly among firms. The most common online account maintenance options offered include updating login and contact information, while account-related update options were the least common. One firm provides a notable selection of account maintenance options, including the ability to add, edit and remove beneficiary information, all in an accessible and intuitive platform.

The majority of firms (84%) provide clients with options to update personal contact information, such as mailing address and email address. Thirty-six percent of firms offer clients some form of profile customization options, such as creating a nickname or choosing a start page (homepage). Only a few firms (26%) allow clients to make personal and beneficiary changes online.

Online policy and profile update capabilities can help firms cut back on processing paperwork and fielding customer service calls all while adding convenience for clients. While there is a concern of security, firms can add extra security steps before clients submit any changes – 37% of firms apply this practice.

Additional key findings include:

  • One firm places a temporary hold on accounts when clients update their contact information.
  • All firms allow clients to update their password information online.
  • Two firms allow clients to update their country of citizenship status online.