March 2018 – Who Wore It(s Annuity Comparisons) Best?: Analyzing Comparison Tables and Product Selection Tools

Comparison tools help prospects differentiate available product types to understand which will suit their needs. As prospects are unlikely to purchase a product they do not understand, it is essential that firms facilitate prospects’ clear understanding of how different products fit their goals. Product selection tools differentiate product types by matching product features to prospect profiles. By offering personalized recommendations, they focus prospects’ research and encourage them to learn more with the confidence that they are on the right track. As prospects continue researching, comparison tables complement product pages by combining varied descriptions into a single location. These tables summarize key elements of complex annuity contracts, synthesizing information into a scannable format that allows direct comparison. This Annuity Monitor Report reviews public site product selection tools and comparison tables from 12 firms, highlighting features that enhance clarity and transparency.

Nearly every firm in this report (91%) offers a product comparison table, 42% provide product selection tools and 33% provide both. Both kinds of resources focus more on product types, with 64% of tables and 20% of tools additionally discussing specific products. Resources that discuss fees and surrender periods stand out for providing valuable and transparent content, demystifying an often-distrusted product. Firms also encourage prospects to learn more, with many tables linking to product pages (64%) and some also linking to contact information (27%) and brochures (18%). As firms continue to expand available product types, such as by introducing structured annuities, comparison tools will remain a vital part of prospect education.

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