November 2017 – Client Account Details: Grading the Availability of Important Information

Contract information and performance details are vital to the account management experience for the simple reason that clients need to be well informed at all times. Annuity providers should strive to provide comprehensive policy information in an organized, intuitive manner on their private sites. Firms that achieve this foster positive interactions with their clients and minimize the need for customer assistance. Clients logging on to view account details should be able to access relevant information quickly and rely on thorough help resources throughout the private site. Firms that provide adequate policy details can also help clients make immediate account-related changes, such as updating their personal information or performing a transaction. Further, offering a full spectrum of relevant details promotes transparency, especially considering that contract owners often regard fees in annuity contracts as hidden. This Annuity Monitor Report analyzes the private site policy information offerings of all 19 firms in our coverage group, focusing on the level of detail available, overall organization and ease of navigation.

Annuity Monitor last investigated this topic over three years ago in October 2014. Since then, we have added State Farm and USAA to the coverage group, and multiple firms—most notably MassMutual and Prudential—have implemented significant changes to their account detail offerings. On the other hand, several firms have failed to upgrade their contract information sections and have received lower grades than before as a result. Despite this, firms performed well overall, with just over half (53%) receiving a grade in the A range. Leading firms house all relevant contract and investment details in an easily findable, centralized location with an appealing interface that includes navigational action and help links. AXA leads the way as the only firm to receive an A+ for its comprehensive Account Details section complete with detailed help resources and a unique custom video.