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Ken Leibow

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Ken Leibow is founder and CEO of InsurTech Express. He brings more than 36 years of insurance industry experience with an extensive background in insurance technology for distribution and back office systems. Prior to founding InsurTech Express, Leibow worked for Genworth Financial, Mutual of Omaha, and as vice president of operations at Diversified Underwriters Services, Inc. As COO of Integrated Insurance Technologies, he built the largest life insurance data exchange hub in the industry, processing over one million policies per year and $30 billion of annuities (now owned by Oracle, Inc.). Some of the key initiatives he implemented include innovation in quoting and illustration tools, CRM’s, agency management systems, eApp platforms and ePolicy Delivery for long term care, life insurance and annuities. Leibow is a leader for industry technology standards, working with ACORD, LDTC, LIDMA, NAILBA, LIMRA, LOMA and IRI. In 2019, he was appointed to sit on the ACLI Innovation Committee. He is on the ACORD Life & Annuity Program Advisory Council and won the ACORD Leadership Award in 2022 and ACORD Community 50th Anniversary Award in 2020. He is a past winner of the NAILBA Chairman’s Award and NAILBA’s ID20 Award. In 2022, he was the winner of the LIDMA Innovation Award. Leibow can be reached by telephone at 402-740-7356. Email: ken@insurtechexpress.com.

A New Era Of Cancer Screening And Life Insurance

At the Insuretech Connect conference (ITC) in Las Vegas last year, I had the opportunity to meet with one of my clients, Munich Re. During our discussion they informed me about their partnership with GRAIL, a healthcare company whose mission is to detect cancer when it can be cured. This collaboration aims to introduce GRAIL’s groundbreaking Galleri® test, which is a multi-cancer early detection test, to the life insurance industry in the United States.

“As a leading life reinsurer, we believe we have a responsibility to society to help advance early detection and treatments that produce better outcomes for cancer patients. At Munich Re, we are incredibly proud to embark on this journey with GRAIL to bring its pioneering Galleri test to the life insurance industry.” Marc Giguere, president and CEO, Munich Re Life US.

The Galleri test, through a simple blood draw, has the capability to detect a signal shared by more than 50 cancer1 types and predict the tissue type or organ associated with the signal to help healthcare providers determine next steps. Galleri can do this by checking for more than 100,000 DNA regions and over a million specific DNA sites to screen for a signal shared by cancers that could be hiding.2 The test looks for cell-free DNA and identifies whether it comes from healthy or cancer cells. DNA from cancer cells has specific methylation patterns that identify it as a cancer signal. Methylation patterns also contain information about the tissue type or organ associated with the cancer signal to guide next steps.3

To be eligible for the test, individuals must meet certain criteria based on age or family history of cancer. Fortunately, I qualified on both counts and was also fortunate enough to get a prescription and receive a complimentary test. Last year my test results came back negative, which was a relief, but I plan to take the Galleri test annually.

Now, a year later, the progress that GRAIL and Munich Re have made is impressive. They have a number of partnerships underway, with M Financial and John Hancock being the most public. In February, John Hancock announced expanded access to customers participating in their Vitality PLUS program. The key takeaway here for me is that Munich Re, GRAIL, and its carrier partners are making headway in adopting Galleri into the life insurance industry. Meaning achieving milestones such as the cost-benefit of detecting cancer early, securing approval from state regulators and ultimately getting Galleri tests in the hands of policyholders. As an advocate of innovation, I’m thrilled to see this convergence of financial services and biotechnology resonate in our industry and with our clients.

“The initial pilot exceeded our expectations in terms of the number of tests requested, validating our hypothesis that our customers want access to this level of insight into their health. It was always our intention to expand beyond the pilot phase and we are thrilled to see this version come to life.” Brooks Tingle, president and CEO, John Hancock.

So, what drove this unique collaboration between GRAIL and Munich Re? In my view, the goal of anyone in the life insurance industry should be to help their clients live a long and healthy life. And here is the key point—the Galleri test represents an opportunity to impact the status quo of cancer and potentially the life of the insured. Today, there are five recommended cancer screening tests4 and around 70 percent of cancer deaths are caused by cancers without recommended screenings.5 Adding Galleri can help screen for more cancers, including cancers that do not have recommended screening.1,6

This gap in recommended screenings relative to cancer deaths is the key opportunity for the life insurance industry. Also consider that over 600,000 American lives are lost to cancer each year,7 which was exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic when 9.4 million people missed their cancer screenings in the U.S. according to American Cancer Society. That was just in 2020.

This backdrop of cancer gives way to the strategy of Munich Re and GRAIL for life insurance. In a Munich Re published article titled Changing the future of cancer mortality, they state that, “By drastically increasing the number of cancers that can be detected through screening, Galleri® has the potential to transform the future of cancer detection leading to early intervention and higher rates of survival. Partnering with GRAIL, the life insurance industry has an opportunity to improve mortality by bringing early cancer detection testing to a large population of life insurance policyholders.” Munich Re also includes the following benefits in offering Galleri: Mortality reduction for in-force populations, sales growth in competitive channels, stronger policyholder engagement and enhanced brand positioning.

This breakthrough ability to screen for more cancers has not gone unnoticed. TIME included the Galleri test in its annual list of the Best Inventions, which features 200 extraordinary innovations changing our lives. TIME’s editors wrote: “The result is a list of 200 groundbreaking inventions (and 50 special mention inventions)—including life-mapping artificial intelligence, diamonds made from excess carbon in the air, and the most powerful telescope ever—that are changing how we live, work, play, and think about what’s possible.”

Another aspect of Galleri that’s worth noting is the user experience, as obviously not everyone is getting a comped test at ITC like me. Patients can request Galleri online through an independent telemedicine provider from PWNHealth. If prescribed, a Galleri kit is shipped and then a blood draw needs to be completed through one of GRAIL’s laboratory partners or they can request a phlebotomist to come to their home. The test results then are available in about two weeks after the sample is received at the GRAIL lab. This means with Galleri you can get screened for a cancer signal shared by over 50 cancers without leaving your home. To me this is such a win from a consumer experience perspective.

How are the results delivered? There are two possible test results: No Cancer Signal Detected or Cancer Signal Detected. If Galleri detects a cancer signal, the result will include one or two Cancer Signal Origins which predict the tissue type or organ associated with the cancer signal. Results are communicated electronically or from the healthcare provider that prescribed the test.

GRAIL will be showcasing their advancements at the upcoming NAILBA Annual Conference in November, where they will also be delivering a presentation. I had the opportunity to meet with the GRAIL team, who provided me with additional information about this first-of-its-kind multi-cancer early detection (MCED) test and its integration into the life insurance industry. If you want to learn more or hear from some industry leaders about Galleri and life insurance, go check out https://www.Galleri.com/LifeInsurance.

More to come, stay tuned!

References:

  1. Klein EA, Richards D, Cohn A, et al. Clinical validation of a targeted methylation-based multi-cancer early detection test using an independent validation set.Ann Oncol. 2021;32(9):1167-77. DOI:https://doi.org/10.1016/j.annonc.2021.05.806.
  2. Liu MC, Oxnard GR, Klein EA; et al. for CCGA Consortium. Sensitive and specific multi-cancer detection and localization using methylation signatures in cell-free DNA. Ann Oncol. 2020;31(6):745-759. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.annonc.2020.02.011.
  3. Thierry A, El Messaoudi S, Gahan P, et al. Origins, structures, and functions of circulating DNA in oncology. Cancer Metastasis Rev. 2016;35:347–76. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/s10555-016-9629-x.
  4. US Preventive Services Task Force. Recommendations Cancer. Accessed 7Mar2023. https://www.uspreventiveservicestaskforce.org/uspstf/topic_search_results.
  5. American Cancer Society. Cancer Facts & Figures 2022. Atlanta: American Cancer Society; 2022 https://www.cancer.org/research/cancer-facts-statistics/all-cancer-facts-figures/cancer-facts-figures-2022.html. Data on file GA-2021-0065.
  6. Schrag D, McDonnall CH, Naduld L, et al. PATHFINDER: A Prospective Study of a Multi-Cancer Early Detection Blood Test. Presentation at European Society of Medical Oncology (ESMO) Congress September 9-13, 2022; Paris, France.
  7. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Health and Economic Costs of Chronic Diseases. https://www.cdc.gov/chronicdisease/about/costs/index.htm.

Free Stock photos by Vecteezy

Uncovering Customer Insights And Connecting Touch-Points For Sales And Customer Success

As a regular contributor to the Broker World Tech-Tock… column, my aim is to keep you informed about the latest technologies, introduce unfamiliar platforms, and shed light on the evolving landscape of Insurtech. In this article, I want to emphasize the importance of diversification and avoiding over-reliance on a single solution. Let’s begin by examining the case of Commission Accounting and Agency Management Systems (AMS). While some solution providers offer a modular approach to back-office software for carriers or BGAs, it’s crucial to consider tailored options when selling Medicare Supplemental insurance for example. The one-size-fits-all model for AMS may not yield optimal results. Instead, opting for a platform specifically designed for a particular line of business, such as life vs. health, is likely to prove more effective.

In the realm of life insurance, the ability to measure and track the production of insurance producers is of paramount importance for both carriers and life brokerage agencies. By analyzing various metrics such as premium, territory, and product-specific performance, stakeholders can gain valuable insights that drive informed decision-making, optimize resource allocation, and ultimately enhance overall business outcomes. One key aspect to measure is the premium generated by life insurance producers. This metric provides a clear picture of the revenue generated by individual producers or teams. By tracking premium production, carriers and brokerage agencies can identify top-performing producers and reward their efforts accordingly. Simultaneously, it allows them to identify underperforming areas or producers that may require additional support or training.

Another vital measurement lies in analyzing territory-specific metrics. Understanding the geographical distribution of production helps identify regions with high growth potential and those that may need more attention. It enables carriers and agencies to allocate resources strategically, directing sales efforts towards untapped markets or specific territories that show promising results. Additionally, territory-specific metrics allow for effective performance benchmarking among producers operating within the same region, fostering healthy competition and driving growth.

In addition to premium and territory, measuring production by product and line of business provides valuable insights into the effectiveness of different offerings. Life insurance consists of various products tailored to different demographics and needs, such as term life, whole life, or universal life insurance. By examining production metrics for each product, carriers and agencies can identify the most successful offerings and adjust their sales strategies accordingly. This helps streamline marketing efforts, optimize product portfolios, and ensure that producers are equipped with the right tools and knowledge to effectively sell specific lines of business.

Moreover, tracking metrics in general, such as conversion rates, persistency, and customer satisfaction, provides a comprehensive view of producer performance and overall business health. These metrics shed light on key areas of improvement, enabling carriers and agencies to implement targeted training programs, refine sales processes, and enhance customer experiences. It also facilitates the identification of emerging trends and market shifts, allowing for proactive adjustments to stay ahead of the competition.

Measuring the production of life insurance producers by premium, territory, and product-specific metrics is crucial for carriers and life brokerage agencies. These measurements enable informed decision-making, strategic resource allocation, and optimized sales strategies. By leveraging such insights, stakeholders can maximize productivity, identify growth opportunities, and deliver exceptional customer experiences, ultimately fostering long-term success in the dynamic landscape of the life insurance industry.

Where are my customers and what do I need to know about them?
At a LIMRA conference this year, I met Xi Zhao, CFA from Spinnaker Analytics. The following week I saw a demo of their products via Zoom. There were many product solutions crossing several industries. Of course, I was interested in those products that focused on insurance. Spinnaker Analytics has been driving insurance sales growth for carriers and brokers for more than two decades. Headquartered in Boston, Spinnaker has deployed its solutions globally.

Spinnaker perfectly blends the science of data-driven insights and powerful AI algorithms with the art of brokers’ sales prowess. Its data scientists have extensive insurance experience, and Spinnaker has built up best practices and a proven toolkit of algorithms and methods honed over long-term successful deployments. But they don’t just deploy solutions, they bring clients along on the growth path through their consultative support and insights. Spinnaker has been in the Insurtech market before there was an Insurtech industry.

Spinnaker uses a proprietary rapid prototyping method to develop insights within days of receiving your data. They have a unique iterative approach which combines producer data with external data collected and curated by Spinnaker over the last 20 years. Spinnaker then applies cutting-edge and powerful algorithms to generate insights. Best of all, they do so while collaborating actively with business and IT leaders, and have successfully executed hybrid resourcing to optimally leverage both in-house and external capabilities. Spinnaker capabilities continue to grow by embracing emerging technologies. For example, Spinnaker is responsibly integrating generative AI into their client-based solutions as appropriate.

Spinnaker has a growing portfolio of insurance solutions which are easy to customize and deploy:

  • Sales Prophet™: Combine market sales and inforce data with client data to identify sales opportunities, and expand distribution footprint with intelligent producer recruiting and redesign territories.
  • Lead Prioritizer™: Predict app outcome and placement propensity by carrier.
  • Cartalyzer™: Dynamically recommend products and carriers tailored to individual clients, including cross-sell or upsell opportunities.
  • 4Qast™: Accurately forecast sales and revenue and identify areas of shortfall for remedy.

Spinnaker also has solutions addressing staffing, unit costs, underwriting, lapse prediction, and others. Spinnaker also creates customized solutions tailored to specific client priorities. A leading carrier deployed the Lead Prioritizer™ to identify attractive customer attributes to grow prospecting, marketing, and sales. Sales grew 40 percent over two years without adding to distribution or underwriting staff. A leading distributor deployed the Sales Prophet™ to increase sales in current territories while expanding in underserved markets through targeted agent recruiting. This enabled leadership to redesign territories and reassign sales goals to improve sales efficiency and effectiveness. The company grew sales by 20 percent while trimming down its fixed expenses. A life and health carrier significantly streamlined its budgeting and planning using 4Qast™, which improved sales and revenue forecasting accuracy to over 98 percent.

Spinnaker Analytics are results driven. You can see by the testimonials like, “The Sales Prophet™ is awesome—they knocked it out of the park!”—Head of Distribution, life insurer,“When I want correct answers quickly, I call Spinnaker.”—CEO, HNW brokerage, “Their algorithms are worth their weight in gold.”—CEO, life insurer, “We grew sales 30 percent without adding any headcount because Spinnaker’s solution allowed us to work smarter.”—Head of Employee Benefits insurer. With Spinnaker Analytics, brokers can harness the art and science of data analytics to unlock untapped opportunities and drive profitable growth. Visit Spinnaker at https://www.spinnakeranalytics.com or contact them at info@spinnakeranalytics.com.

Connecting Each Touchpoint on the Sales and Customer Success Journey
Built for the health insurance ecosystem of insurers, distributors, and members, Trusty.care is the end-to-end sales enablement platform that uses technology, data collection, and analysis to improve acquisition, lifetime value, member satisfaction, and payment integrity to get everyone into the right-fit plan. The modular approach seamlessly connects data, teams, and members to optimize your sales processes. Each module is powerful alone, even better together.

Trusty Select Pro is a power broker and customer sales platform from first touch to tailored plan-matching to direct enrollment. It’s an all in one platform that includes quoting and direct enrollment, bulk plan reviews, email notification, and call recording. It also has Blue Button 2.0 technology that connects members’ CMS health data automatically. There is flowing data between sales processes which reduces cost and increases efficiency.

Trusty Back Office Pro tracks and manages complicated commissions and business analytics to support sales, go-to-market strategies, and improve payment integrity. It also increases efficiency and accuracy. The platform is designed to improve broker relationships, alliances, and recruitment. It also focused on retention and damage disenrollment. Metrics are at the core of the system by measuring profitability, assessing top producers, identifying sales opportunities, and estimating future sales projections. It’s standalone or seamlessly integrates with legacy systems.

Coming next year in the Fall of 2024 they are releasing Trusty CRM Pro which manages and nurtures leads. It will run industry specific campaigns, integrate with existing enrollment and commission platforms. Visit https://www.trusty.care/.

Life InsurTech Growth From Producer Licensing Automation To Life Fulfillment Platforms

I attend multiple industry conferences every year, focusing on both life insurance and technology. These events provide opportunities for solution providers to showcase their products and services through exhibitions, speaking engagements, and sponsorships. Among the exhibitors I’ve come to know over the past two years, AgentSync stands out. They offer a cutting-edge insurance infrastructure that effectively connects carriers, distributors, and agents. I’ve consistently heard positive feedback about their solutions for streamlining the onboarding process of carriers, distributors, and producers for licensing and appointments. My aim is to introduce another solution that enhances efficiency and reduces costs within the life insurance sector.

During my recent visit to the Life and Annuity Conference in Salt Lake City, UT, organized by LIMRA, LOMA, ACLI, and the Society of Actuaries, I had the opportunity to explore various booths. At the Zinnia booth I learned about an exciting development: Zinnia had recently acquired Policygenius. Formerly known as Se2, Zinnia is a prominent company specializing in life and annuity technology and digital services. Policygenius, on the other hand, has demonstrated astute decision making by focusing on innovative InsurTech solutions for both back-office and front-office operations. As an industry influencer, I am particularly interested in understanding their new platform, Policygenius Pro. To gain insights into the platform’s features and the advantages it offers to distribution, I reached out to my contact at Policygenius for further clarification.

I want to conclude this article about the growth and evolution of technology. I know many advancements originated from COVID, but AI and the next generation who are needing life Insurance is a big driver. This is why I keep saying there is a hybrid approach.

Managing producer licensing (the right way) is time-consuming and expensive
For all but the smallest of insurance agencies and brokerages, managing state-by-state and LOB-by-LOB producer licensing is a hassle you know all too well. Tasks that were simple when you only had one or two agents working in a single state turn into complicated and time-sucking jobs as your insurance business grows.

Managing appointments, license validation, signatures, onboarding, renewals, tracking continuing education credits, off-boarding producers—and more—are some of the challenges that undoubtedly consume more of your agents’ and other staff’s time than anyone would like.

Time equals money, particularly for revenue-generating roles like producers. If it takes too long to get producers onboarded and legally ready to sell, the business suffers and the producers themselves aren’t happy. At a time when experienced insurance producers are retiring from the workforce and those still around have their choice of brokerages to work with, it’s no question that they’ll choose the organizations that provide the easiest, fastest, and most modern onboarding experience.

Then there’s the cost of human error. Not only are manual, repetitive tasks a poor use of everyone’s time, they’re also subject to mistakes. Even what seem like small typos or oversights can end up getting your agency or brokerage into regulatory hot water or an E&O claim—both of which can get costly in dollars and in reputation.

Automating compliance with modern technology saves money
Now, imagine you could wave a magic wand and simply rest assured that every producer has a valid license and the necessary carrier appointments while your administrative and operational staff have all the information they need to onboard producers and manage license renewals—without a paper chase.

Automating producer license management with the right tech solution can make this dream come true.

For insurance brokerages looking to remove the cost, time, and hassle from producer license management, AgentSync offers a new breed of compliance management solutions. Just a few of the ways it helps reduce costs for agencies and brokerages include:

  • Minimizing human touch in the producer onboarding and license management process: Producers enter their own information once and it’s populated everywhere it needs to be without repeat entry.
  • Real-time integration with NIPR, the industry’s single source of truth: On a daily basis data is pulled, synced, and pre-populated where available, to remove even more manual entry. Your team is also alerted if there’s a concern about any producer’s status.
  • Ongoing compliance checks avoid accidental non-compliance: Onboarding isn’t the only time you need to make sure producers are compliant. Automatic checkpoints, for example, at the time of a sale and before a commission is paid, can save your brokerage from unintentional compliance issues.
  • Freeing staff from the impossible task of keeping up with changing regulations: With insurance regulated on a state level, additional federal regulations, and new LOB-specific rules popping up all the time, a system with these regulations baked in eliminates any chance of missing a law that impacts your producer force’s compliance.

AgentSync provides a software-as-a-service that does all of this and more. At its core is the belief that compliance should never be an obstacle to growth. In fact, compliance should be so simple that you’re free to focus on every other aspect of your business while knowing your producers are right with their licensure, appointments, renewals, and more.

“Individual brokers are still the future of insurance, and your bottom line depends on getting them going and then getting out of their way,” said Niji Sabharwal, CEO and co-founder of AgentSync. “Making compliance an automatic background function delivers revenue, reduces risk, and makes it easier than ever to excel at your business.” Learn more about AgentSync at https://agentsync.io.

Policygenius Pro platform increases term life production
Policygenius Pro is a turnkey life insurance fulfillment platform that allows financial professionals and independent agents to offload the administrative burden of term life insurance fulfillment while staying in the loop every step of the way.

As an innovator in the life insurance space, Policygenius built an online insurance marketplace that combines cutting-edge technology with the expertise of real licensed agents to help consumers get the insurance coverage they need without the headache. Since the founding of the company, Policygenius has grown to be the largest producer of term life insurance in the country. Building on their custom-built CRM system, superior insurance products, and unique carrier integrations that have powered Policygenius’ success. Policygenius Pro launched in 2022.

To date, the platform has helped partners increase their term life production five-fold and reduced the time they spend on a term life insurance application by up to 88 percent. By leveraging Policygenius Pro, financial institutions can grow their term life offerings for their clients while offloading the cumbersome backend work that comes with term life fulfillment.

With Policygenius Pro, financial professionals can refer their clients for coverage in less than 60 seconds through an advisor portal or a co-branded landing page. The portal features two referral pathways: A simple drop ticket process and a refer with quotes option. The built-in quoting option allows advisors to review real-time quotes with their clients and explore options across product offerings, including fully underwritten and accelerated policies.

From there, a team of experienced non-commissioned agents guide the client through the application process from quotes all the way through to their in force policy. This includes scheduling any medical exams, completing the application paperwork, and collecting any medical records or requirements during underwriting. The referring advisor is kept informed throughout the process through a real-time case reporting feature and can jump in at any point in the process to check in with their client.

You can visit Policygenius Pro at https://pro.policygenius.com.

Significant growth in life insurance technology
Life insurance technology is experiencing significant growth and innovation in recent years, driven by various factors that have reshaped the industry landscape. There are many key reasons behind the rapid expansion of life insurance technology. The growth of life insurance technology can be attributed to its ability to streamline processes, improve customer engagement, leverage data analytics, offer personalized products, enhance distribution channels, and integrate with complementary ecosystems. As technology continues to evolve, the life insurance industry is poised for further transformation—delivering greater convenience, efficiency, and value to policyholders.

Technological advancements are transforming the sales process for life insurance, driven by the preferences of Millennials and Gen X. While these generations gravitate towards online interactions, they still value the guidance of insurance professionals. As a result, the industry is adapting by combining digital convenience with the expertise of agents. The hybrid approach allows customers to utilize online tools for research and policy selection while ensuring access to knowledgeable professionals or personalized advice. The goal is to create a seamless customer journey that meets the evolving needs of tech-savvy consumers, providing convenience and expertise in equal measure.

Mitigating The Risk Of Insurance Fraud

Technology creates many benefits in the life insurance sales process and in underwriting. It also opens up opportunities for fraud. I conducted an interview with Paul Marquez, vice president and Kevin Glasgow, VP of Investigative Solutions—both from Diligence International Group, LLC. Both Paul and Kevin are involved in mitigating the risk of insurance fraud, and I have asked them to help explain the types of fraud they are seeing and how to mitigate the risk. Let’s start with:

Why is it important that companies mitigate the risk of fraud? Afterall, isn’t the cost of fraud baked into the price of doing business?
Well, yes and no. Fraud costs everyone. Overall, the Coalition Against Insurance Fraud estimates that fraud costs consumers over $308 billion annually. This has to be “baked” into the premiums we all pay for insurance coverage, or else insurers would go out of business. For life insurance fraud, it is difficult to put a number on the true cost for many reasons, but one is that it is difficult to detect if the deaths occur after the policy has been in force more than two years. Simply put, companies may be paying claims that they do not know are fraudulent, which makes the cost of fraud difficult to quantify.

I would also like to point out that companies that do not have strong controls will be targeted and will potentially pay a price much higher than anticipated, and certainly higher than competitors. We have heard stories of the same applicant attempting to purchase online policies with the same company over 20 times using slightly different parameters to find what will and will not kick out. We have also heard sales calls where the insurance agent is telling the caller the thresholds used by their company along with ways to get around other, non-financial, controls such as IP addresses.

From a public policy perspective, fraud shouldn’t be tolerated and, in fact, most states have requirements that insurers have fraud detection and mitigation plans to protect the public and the company against the financial impact of payments due to fraud.

Okay, so we now know that as consumers of insurance, we all pay for fraud. When you think of fraud, what types of fraud are there?
First, there are two main types of fraud: Opportunistic fraud and systemic fraud. Both are important to mitigate, but the impact on insurance companies and how they manifest are different. Opportunistic fraud, sometimes referred to as reactionary fraud, is in response to something that has happened to the proposed insured. Some examples include a recent change in health, financial issues, or legal issues. These tend to manifest as misrepresentations on an application related to these topics. Traditional tools to mitigate the risk of this include obtaining medical records and a paramedical exam. Today, we see more reliance on records from prescription drug warehouses and companies that aggregate lab results.

Systemic fraud, on the other hand, is pervasive, organized, and often more difficult to detect. Nearly all systemic fraud with life insurance involves an imposter posing as someone who is at high-risk for an early death. The applicant is not the insured although the insurance company is led to believe that the applicant is the insured. The result is the issuance of what is essentially a fraudulently obtained contract that is a wager on the insured’s early death. Perpetrators of systemic fraud are often well-versed in how life underwriting works, the tools used (along with their strengths and weaknesses), and how to get the death records to match so the death benefits will be paid. There are many organized groups and rings that study the insurance industry, test our methods, and then seize on opportunities when processes change.

I want to come back to this systemic fraud and how it is done. First though, I have to ask, has this changed since COVID, and if so, how?
The schemes themselves have not changed per se—we have seen wagering contracts and switched identities for decades. What has changed since COVID are the methods and opportunities for the schemes to succeed.

Can you elaborate?
Certainly. COVID was a catalyst to many changes in how insurance companies operate. Many of those changes were already in the development and testing phase when COVID hit, and then the changes were catapulted into the forefront when COVID hit.

Some of these changes include moving away from the traditional safeguards for mitigating these risks such as higher thresholds for medical records, paramedical exams, and agent involvement. In some cases, the requirements were eliminated entirely. This was a direct result of the difficulty in getting these requirements when business hours were reduced or closed, and social distancing was the norm.

We also began more automated solutions and accelerated processes which rely on new digital tools. These digital tools are effective in most cases, but they were not designed to defeat the type of systemic fraud we see as evidenced by the increases.

Top all of this off with the push automation for certain claims. Many companies are not requiring death certificates, and death records are easy to falsify.

This makes life insurance a perfect environment where there is little risk of getting caught, and even if one does, generally there are few legal ramifications if any.

You mentioned new, digital tools for underwriting. Do they work?
Yes, to a point. The new digital tools are great, but like all tools, they have their limitations. Prescription checks and lab checks do not have 100 percent coverage, and if someone is interested in defrauding an insurer, there are ways around detection which, for obvious reasons, would be inappropriate to share. Also, these tools are not adept at detecting the true identity of the person who is making application for the coverage. This is the biggest threat I see to the financial health of insurance companies

Can you expand upon that?
Sure. While we are seeing more health misrepresentations on applications within the claims we are investigating, we see the largest threat to be the systemic fraud from applications taken by people posing as someone else when applying for coverage. Fraudsters do this in a couple of ways. First, they can steal the identity of a person who is either ill or at a high risk of death. Once they steal the identity of this person, they pose as that person when applying for life insurance. The second way to do this is to create a synthetic identity.

Interesting. What is a synthetic identity and how can they be created?
Synthetic identities are made-up identities that do not represent a real person. They are fake, and this is hitting the financial industry particularly hard. Some prominent sources including the Federal Reserve Board and Forbes have stated that this type of fraud is the fastest growing financial fraud, and life insurance is not immune. To create a synthetic identity, the perpetrator must first choose the name, Social Security number, and date of birth that they want to create. They then apply for credit knowing the credit will initially be declined, but this creates a profile with the credit bureaus. Rinse and repeat. They continue to apply for credit, and as the application history builds, so does the profile of the synthetic identity. Eventually, they will get some level of secured loan which they pay off. This raises the credit profile. They continue borrowing and paying off the credit until they get it to the point that they perform a “break out” by taking out larger loans and then disappearing.

In the context of life insurance, they find an unidentified body and claim it as the synthetic person, or they simply falsify death records.

Detecting a synthetic identity is difficult because the perpetrators spend years cultivating them. Even the credit bureaus are having tremendous difficulty with this which is why we have heard and believe that some form of biometric identity verification will become standard for certain financial transactions in the not-too-distant future.

Of the two schemes, which is the most common?
As sexy and concerning as synthetic identities are, stealing the identities of people at high risk of an early death and then posing as that person when applying for coverage is by far the greatest concern. This scheme isn’t new. What is new is the degree in which it is occurring due to the reasons we have already discussed. As to synthetic identities, what is concerning is when the identity stolen has multiple synthetic identities, as described below.

Keep in mind that there are organized groups who perpetrate life insurance fraud and whose members will have multiple identities that are used for different purposes. A person’s medical records may have one date of birth, but the person has other dates of birth and social security numbers they use for other records such as life insurance, legal matters, etc. This allows fraudsters to circumvent current underwriting tools looking for prescriptions or lab results, as the identifiers provided on the application don’t match the identifiers on the potential records. It also becomes easy to switch identities at time of death so that the person who died becomes the person who is on the insurance policy, which has aged to the point where the claim is unlikely to be questioned. We’ve learned that in many cases, the information reported on death certificates has been self-reported to the funeral home by the insured’s “family.” In reality, the “family” are other members of these organized groups who provide the funeral home the identifiers that match the identifiers on the policy. Assuming the policy is outside the contestable period, the claim receives little scrutiny and the benefits are paid.

How can an insurance company protect itself from systemic fraud and wagering contracts?
The best way to mitigate the risk of these types of contracts is to know the actual identity of the applicant—not who they say they are, but who they actually are. Checking that the name on the application has a real credit record doesn’t stop this type of crime. Insurers have to identify the applicant despite who they claim to be. This is true whether the applicant is a sibling posing as someone who is involved in gangs or whether the applicant is posing as the patient whose identity they stole.

Knowing the applicant involves many factors including database verification techniques and knowing the actual location of the applicant—not the IP address, but the physical postal address where the applicant is. We also believe that biometrics will become the new norm in a few years. The financial industry is ahead of the insurance industry on this, but it is bound to happen. Biometric identification can take many forms including voice patterns, facial recognition, and even how a user interacts with their cell phone.

It is because of the fraud we see getting through underwriting that we developed Prodigi. Prodigi is a software suite of tools that was designed specifically to speed the life insurance application process while mitigating the risk of the type of fraud we see getting through underwriting today.

Life Insurance Digitization: Underwriting Predictive Modeling, Building Consumer Trust, And Keeping Policyholders Healthy

I always like April’s article to include underwriting because the largest life insurance underwriting conference, AHOU, which is April 16-19 this year in Hollywood, FL. I met with Samplemed about predictive modeling for underwriting. As life insurance becomes more digitized, trust and fraud become very real, so I reached out to TransUnion. Wellness—engaging policyholders—is also covered in this article as I contacted Medix Global about their mobile app and medical services. It’s a growing trend way beyond wellness but taking it to the next level including medical prevention and early detection. All three of these topics do have an ultimate connection to underwriting and claims as AI, identity fraud protection, and the use of health IOT data are trending.

Building Trust with Consumers when Digitizing the Life Insurance Process
Digitalization continues to be an important trend in life insurance, although this sector of the industry is traditionally more conservative and has lagged behind personal lines in adopting new technology and channels. Traditionally, 90 percent or more of life insurance policies have been purchased through insurance agents, but the TransUnion Annual Insurance Outlook Survey reveals that that has truly changed in 2023: 40 percent of respondents who shopped for life insurance did so online or via app, and that holds across generations.

With this increase in digitalization, the ability to secure trust across channels and deliver seamless experiences for consumers via improved identity and fraud products is critical. TransUnion orchestrates proprietary personal identifiable information (PII), device information and behavioral insights to make trust possible between businesses and consumers. This has several potential benefits:

  • Improve customer conversion: Increase return on customer acquisition programs, reduce abandonment and grow revenue.
  • Reduce fraud losses​: Mitigate risk and secure trust at every stage of the consumer lifecycle—reducing operational costs, false positives, and manual reviews.
  • Enhance consumer satisfaction​: Seamless experiences are fast, easy, safe and secure, allowing you to exceed consumer expectations and increase loyalty with a friction-right process.

Carriers can also extend this trust process with improved communications and enhanced outreach while streamlining call center or agent outbound operations. With the right solution, you can make every touchpoint count through authoritative identity information and phone number authentication. You will enable trusted communications and reduce the possibility of your calls being identified as “spam” by adding your brand and verifying your identity on legitimate outbound calls. You can also block fraudulent calls (spoofed numbers from fraudsters) from being displayed to your customers. Call center efficiencies allow you to streamline connectivity for a better customer experience while also improving agent productivity. TransUnion’s solution has deep integration with phone companies to power greater reach across the telecom ecosystem. This was proved out by an Omdia (2021) survey that showed customers using TransUnion’s TruContact branded communications saw a 90-100 percent decrease in spam complaints. Overall, having a unified and comprehensive suite of identity and communications solutions will improve consumer trust and strengthen the business relationship. To learn more about TransUnion solutions for life insurance visit https://www.transunion.com/industry/insurance/life-insurance.

Demystifying Predictive Models for Life Underwriting
In days of AI and ChatGPT, more stable markets such as ours—the life insurance market—question themselves whether technology can really predict medical fraud and claims, or should it all be just considered a trend to areas which may be less impacted by bias like marketing or sales teams.

There is a lot of data out there on consumer behavior. It is known that, due to data privacy protection and unstructured data, health statistics remain in a black box. Without accurate structured health data, no model can be made with trustable accuracy.

No one has that data except medical providers. For this reason, I would ask you to pay particular attention to the new set of Predictive Models launched by Samplemed. With over 35+ years of underwriting, more than 500k recorded tele-interviews, thousands of medical reports collected, and a double of automated underwriting cases, they do have privileged anonymized data that no else in the market has. With its mass of specific life policyholder underwriting data and raw interviews, it unveiled in the market their own line of Predictive Models with individual scores for benefits: Death, Accidental Death, Disability due to Accident or Illness, Critical Illness, and Surgical Risks.

Their Life Predictive Model belongs to the category of supervised classification models. The choice of the model’s covariates is based on market and underwriting choice of the client, ensuring that each company will receive a unique model adapted to its own portfolio. The predictive models are available with all other features you need for underwriting life at Samplemed’s newest platform, the S.360. Used by reinsurers and insurers around the globe, it can perform automated underwriting, video-interviews, tele-interviews, accelerated underwriting, request lab exams, and consult underwriting manuals in a single flow of cases. All in a user friendly and data smart way.

All cases will be tagged down with Samplemed’s own rich self-developed risks taxonomy, the new life insurance ICD, which will ensure that no medical data will remain unstructured and unused.

In this way, a natural product of the use of the platform is the company’s own private Life Data Lake, where all medical data from all applicants remain structured and anonymized at the reach of data science department or business analysts. It is a platform to ensure deeper insights and give you the base to produce, with Samplemed, your own new predictive models. Find out more about Samplemed’s Life predictive modeling at https://en.samplemed.com.br/underwritingsolutions.

Leveraging Technology to Keep Policyholders Healthy
In 2006, Sigal Atzmon founded Medix with a mission to improve the way healthcare is provided globally, with a focus on the accessibility, implementation, and sustainability of quality care. A leading provider of innovative, high quality health management solutions, Medix has since expanded to serve close to nine million customers across 90+ countries with offices in New York, London, Munich, Hong Kong, Mumbai, New Delhi, Singapore, Kuala Lumpur, Melbourne, Jakarta, Bangkok, and Tel Aviv. Medix delivers personalized and data-driven health responses using a range of digital health tools, 300+ in-house doctors and nurses, and a global quality accredited network of 4,500+ specialists and 2,000+ hospitals for expert consultation.

Acting as the essential hub of the health journey, Medix delivers impactful responses combining the best digital tools with real human presence for any health need throughout life, including medical prevention and diagnostics, medical management and navigation, rehabilitation, mental health, and telehealth. All services are accessible via the Medix app—a personal, holistic, one-stop medical command center that puts patients at the helm of their unique health journey. The Medix App unlocks new insights and actions by gaining a deeper understanding of your full medical profile—from proprietary health assessments to record scanning and filing to lab trends to real-time doctor consultations—and connecting it all with unique algorithms and medical data sets built over two decades.

It is important to recognize a more holistic approach to healthcare that invests in prevention, so people stay healthier for longer. Wellness and lifestyle recommendations are an important start, but it is essential to go one step further and offer personalized clinically focused interventions. Medix formulates personalized health plans based on a user’s family history, genetics, screenings, and detailed health assessments. Fifty-three percent of users who have gone through the prevention service avoided or reduced unnecessary screenings and 28 percent indicated a medium to high risk to develop a (new/previously unknown) metabolic syndrome condition.

Telemedicine and digital tools, combined with a human touch, can empower individuals to take ownership over their long term health, but can also increase accessibility to quality care and reduce costs. Utilizing medical management and navigation services helps manage costs by providing patients with streamlined, coordinated care. Medix users have achieved better medical outcomes through 360-degree multidisciplinary case management and navigation. Twenty percent of cases have resulted in a change of diagnosis, 43 percent have resulted in a change in treatment plan, and in 18 percent of cases costly unnecessary major treatments and procedures have been avoided.

By offering multidisciplinary continuity of care around the clock, Medix optimizes clinical pathways and reduces costs while also offering ongoing assessment tools that reduce claims and risks to health over the long term. Medix has demonstrably raised standards, optimized care, and improved outcomes worldwide. On average globally Medix is saving close to $6,000 USD per case managed. You can get more information on medical prevention and early detection by visiting https://medix-global.com/.

Evolving Life And Annuity Sales Platforms

What’s exciting about 2023 is not just new technology, but the evolution of the platforms we use today to sell life insurance and annuities. Enhancing successful software solution platforms to help advisors sell more insurance continues to be released. Those that may have made the investment last year will see even more return this year. If you are looking for new sales software solutions, you will realize the new features will help advisors with their practice and assist IMOs and BGAs to recruit more agents.

Term Life Sales Platform to Permanent Products and Long Term Care
BackNine Insurance continues to innovate in the BGA space with some exciting new technology that has been made available to agents. I would like to highlight three new developments to their digital platform.

First on the list is the ability to quote, compare and apply for three types of long term care insurance. BackNine is the first and only company to bring long term care to the digital forefront and has been rapidly adding new features over the past few months. Within Quote & Apply, their consumer-facing eApplication platform, agents and/or clients can simultaneously compare life insurance with a long term care rider, traditional LTCI, and linked benefit, all side-by-side. Every quote has a five-minute eApplication to facilitate the opportunity. This is all from the agent’s existing website or one BackNine provides complimentary. Having the ability to give clients a full overview of these products and seamlessly pivot between illustration and product designs on the spot creates a better overall sales process and leads to higher closing rates. With the long term care tax situation that we saw in Washington soon coming to other states, this solution came at the perfect time and will enable agents to handle a massive influx of long term care business entirely online and with maximum efficiency.

BackNine has also recently added Banner’s Instant Issue Term to Quote & Apply. This recent integration is the perfect marriage between technologies and is revolutionizing the way life insurance is bought and sold. Agents and clients can now get quotes in seconds, apply and be approved instantly. This product has face amount limits of up to $2M and is available in every state currently except New York. Contracting is just-in-time and getting setup on the platform is quick and easy.

Last but not least, BackNine has created a permanent insurance platform that makes buying and selling IUL more intuitive than ever before through the Quote & Apply platform. Agents and clients can now illustrate both accumulation and protection IUL with easy-to-understand graphs showing contributions and cash value accumulation. With multiple carriers to choose from, comparing IUL products and pivoting between illustration designs has never been easier. Never before in the industry has a client been able to run their own IUL quote and complete an eApplication all in just a few minutes.

For more information on these solutions or to learn more about BackNine and how to get started, please contact BackNine Brokerage Director Ian Ryan at (516) 512-1595 or ian@back9ins.com.

Selling Annuities on a One-Stop-Platform
Before Annuities Genius, financial advisors faced a daunting task of sorting through thousands of annuity products to determine which one was the best option for their clients. In an age where the Best Interest Standard requires financial advisors to provide the best possible recommendation, this was a time-consuming and complex process. With so many options available it was challenging to ensure that the annuity product being recommended was truly the best fit for the client’s needs.

But with Annuities Genius, financial advisors have a trusted product validation process to determine client suitability. This software makes it easier to compare annuity products and determine which one is the best fit for your clients. By having access to real-time market data, comprehensive information on annuity products, and advanced portfolio management tools, advisors can make informed decisions with confidence.

It offers top-notch tools for annuity product comparison and calculation of guaranteed and projected income riders. With the ability to generate side-by-side comparison reports, clients can make informed decisions based on a clear understanding of the differences between multiple products. Additionally, the software provides index performance and backtesting, allowing users to see the historical performance of indexes and test them with different interest rates for evidence-based decision making.

In addition, Annuities Genius helps financial advisors keep impeccable, comprehensive records of their annuity recommendations. This software makes it simple to track the performance of annuity products, including underlying investments, risk and return potential, and overall portfolio diversification. This helps advisors provide a transparent and thorough record of their recommendations to their clients.

Finally, Annuities Genius includes an all-in-one compliant sales process. This software helps financial advisors remain compliant with industry regulations and standards, ensuring that they are offering the best possible recommendations to their clients. With Annuities Genius, financial advisors can feel confident that they are providing the best possible service to their clients while also staying up-to-date with industry standards and regulations.

Unlock the power of transparency and build trust with your clients. With Annuities Genius software, you can easily demonstrate the difference between annuity products and show your clients that you have their best interests in mind. This software enables you to provide side-by-side comparisons of any product type, ensuring complete transparency and making it easier for you to make informed decisions. Upgrade your practice and take the first step towards earning your clients’ trust. Learn more by visiting http://www.annuitiesgenius.com.

Turning Inforce Business into New Sales Opportunities through Insurtech
You know through your own hard work and dedication that building up a book of business is a challenging task that takes time. Each client in your current portfolio is an important relationship you’ve built from the ground up. Once you’ve invested the time and effort it takes to build a new client relationship, it’s important to continue strengthening that relationship over time.

Keeping that relationship strong means keeping in regular contact with your clients. But you don’t want those recurring points of contact to become boring or repetitive. Advisors need to think bigger and identify more ways to meaningfully engage with their clients to consistently deliver the value that instills more trust and might even lead to a referral or two.

The principle of making client engagement more meaningful is one of the founding principles of Proformex. Its life insurance engagement and servicing platform is designed to give advisors fingertip access to information about their clients and policies that is actionable. By giving advisors the right information on the right policies at the right time, Proformex makes it easy to understand which client relationships need your attention—like those who have an upcoming term conversion deadline, an upcoming premium payment due, or a policy that is lapsing prematurely.

By staying ahead of important milestones like the ones mentioned above, you’re not only providing excellent service to the clients you’ve worked so hard to obtain, but you’re also doing yourself the favor of staying top of mind. It’s often cited that an individual will make a life insurance-related decision or purchase about seven times on average throughout their lifespan, whether that’s a purchase for themselves, a family member, or even a business venture. If you’re consistently building that relationship with your client and staying present, they’re going to think of you first when a need arises.

What does that mean for you? A stronger relationship, more assets under management, and business growth without the time and labor of seeking new client relationships. Your client relationships are the most important asset for your business. Treat them as such and the value you provide to your clients will be returned to you time and time again through better relationships, more referrals, and more business written through you. Above all, knowing your clients are always protected is a great way to safeguard your relationships and your business for the future and whatever it brings. Visit http://Proformex.com to learn more.

Beware Of Cybersecurity Risks And How To Implement Regulatory Compliant Solutions

Protecting your data, implementing cybersecurity and preventing attackers who commit fraud is essential to staying in business. There are stricter security compliance requirements needed to be implemented this year in the financial and insurance industry. In this article, you will learn about the seriousness of the vulnerability of your business and necessary security solutions.

Preventing Fraud Attacks
According to the 2022 LexisNexis Global State of Fraud and Identity report, fraud attacks are following the growth of the digital economy in almost lock step, with fraudsters seeking out new vulnerabilities to exploit. Some notable learnings from the report include:

  • One in every 12 account creations represents an attack.
  • Although bot attack volume increased across all touchpoints of the customer journey, there has been a massive 247 percent increase in automated attacks focused on password resets.
  • Organizations that cannot link consumers across the dimensions of physical, digital and behavioral identity will find it more difficult to thwart synthetic and stolen identity fraud on a global scale. In one example cited, LexisNexis Risk Solutions identified a fraud ring leveraging 63 unique phone numbers and physical locations tied back to seven IP addresses and one email.
  • Social engineering attacks are among the fastest growing cybersecurity threats in both developed and emerging markets. Conventional fraud controls that use IP addresses, device and network attributes are less effective on their own to thwart these scams. Adding multiple prevention tactics, such as behavioral biometrics layered with device and digital identity data elements, offers a stronger defense against fraud.

LexisNexis Risk Solutions has made substantial investments in bringing together a world-class fraud and identity platform, including an award winning ThreatMetrix repository of global digital transaction intelligence that provides insights on more than 1.4 billion unique digital identities. Their new Emailage for Insurance solution uses email intelligence as a core risk identifier and provides a holistic email risk score and confidence analysis during various stages of the insurance policy lifecycle.

It’s clear that fraud is here to stay, and as the digital landscape continues to evolve, so will bad actors’ tactics. At LexisNexis Risk Solutions, they believe that a shared intelligence network that uses contextualized data linking insights from digital, physical and behavioral elements and shared risk events across the community is a powerful tool for preventing fraud.
Organizations that avail themselves of the latest technologies and stay on top of emerging trends will be best positioned to fight fraud now and in the future. Adopting solutions that are flexible, scalable and adaptable should help insurers stay ahead of ever-changing fraud vectors. Implemented correctly, these solutions can also be used to enrich customer experience and satisfaction, ultimately driving top line revenue.

Data Security and eSignature Compliance
Paperclip Inc., as provider of innovative solutions to the broker community, recognizes that there is a large gap between meeting cybersecurity compliance and true cybersecurity. Compliance consists of recommendations and mandates around best practices. It’s impossible for compliance bodies to account for the intricate nuances of each business operation. The goal of compliance is to guide an organization to implementing solid, measurable foundations. Like a house, you don’t stop building once the foundation is poured.

When we asked Mike Bridges, president and COO of Paperclip, “How would you explain Paperclip’s position on compliance vs. security?” he explained: “Paperclip is a lot like the companies we service. We have core compliance requirements for securing the terabytes of critical data and documents we manage. A little over six years ago, Paperclip found that the compliance requirements around encryption just weren’t enough. We saw how too many companies with minimal (compliance) required encryption at rest and in transit protection were suffering large, sometimes catastrophic data theft and ransomware attacks. Like those companies, we checked all the compliance checkboxes. We had to do more to secure the high-value, critical data. We had to make sure searchable data always remained encrypted.”

Mike continued, “This led to the creation of our Paperclip SAFE® encryption-in-use solution. SAFE was initially designed to provide a higher level of security for our internal clients. Understanding that Paperclip wasn’t unique and other companies were faced with the same challenge, we released Paperclip SAFE® to the commercial market. We have a similar story behind our new eM4® Proof of Agreement solution. In short, our clients asked for a better, more cost-effective e-signature solution they could use across a larger array of critical assets that require proof of agreement and tracking.”

Paperclip is now heavily focused on the growth of compliance controls around Privacy and Zero Trust. Many companies look at these changing compliance requirements as standalone concerns. That’s the way most of the compliance documentation is written. In reality, you can’t have Privacy or Zero Trust if you can’t secure the most sensitive data. “Paperclip has deliberately built Paperclip SAFE® and eM4® to align with both compliance requirements and robust Privacy and Zero Trust programs as well,” concludes Bridges. To learn more about SAFE, visit http://PaperClip.com.

Regulatory Requirements for a Cybersecurity Program in Financial Services
Cybersecurity is of critical importance in the financial services industry due to the sensitive nature of the data being handled and the regulations that the industry is subject to. Financial institutions are entrusted with their customers’ personal and financial information, and a breach of that information could lead to severe consequences for the institution and the individuals affected

Regulatory bodies such as the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA), and the New York Department of Financial Services (NYDFS) have established strict guidelines and requirements for cybersecurity in the financial sector to protect consumers and ensure the integrity of the financial system.

All regulations require financial institutions under their jurisdiction to implement a cybersecurity program that includes safeguards, vendor due diligence, risk assessments, employee training, and incident response plans. Most regulations also require annual certification of the cybersecurity program by a senior officer and the completion of regular penetration testing and vulnerability assessments.

The SEC has also issued guidance on cybersecurity for public companies, stating that they must disclose material cybersecurity risks and incidents in their financial filings. This is important as it ensures that investors have the necessary information to make informed decisions about the companies they invest in.

FINRA has issued similar guidance for broker-dealers and investment firms, stating that they must have policies and procedures to protect customer information and prevent, detect, and respond to cyber threats. This includes implementing safeguards such as endpoint protection, firewalls, secure passwords, and regular system updates.

In addition to meeting regulatory requirements, having a solid cybersecurity program is vital for financial institutions to maintain the trust of their customers. A breach of customer information could lead to loss of business and damage to a company’s reputation which can be challenging to recover from. Overall, having a cybersecurity program in the financial services industry cannot be overstated. It is essential for meeting regulatory requirements, protecting sensitive customer information, and maintaining customer confidence. Financial institutions must prioritize cybersecurity to ensure the security and stability of the financial system.
FCI’s cyber experts can provide a free audit of your network. Another area critical to your agency is endpoint security. Most advisors are connecting to your agency/firm site using their mobile devices, which exposes risk to personal information data. You can learn more by visiting http://FCIcyber.com.

Technology Impacting Insurance Sales Through AI Leads, Digital Sales STP, And Illustration Workflow

What’s the latest innovation in technology for insurance sales? Artificial Intelligence (AI) can be used for lead generation, lead follow-up, strategic marketing, customer retention, and client support. Leveraging AI gives you more control over the sales cycle, helping clients identify hot leads earlier and faster. Artificial intelligence is quickly becoming the most sought-after technology solutions for businesses in every industry. AI can help automate several aspects of your business, freeing up more time and resources for you to focus on revenue generation. I met with Brett Barker, chief sales officer of ATS Global. The conversational AI offered by ATS Global has been helping companies unlock hidden opportunities for businesses for more than 15 years. Let’s look at what this unique technology can do and why it’s worth considering for your business.

What is Conversational AI?
Conversational AI refers to an artificial intelligence system that can understand and respond to natural language input. This type of AI is used by businesses across industries to automate customer service responses, facilitate marketing campaigns, and assist in sales prospecting. By leveraging a powerful conversational AI platform, companies can free up their employees’ time so they can focus on higher-value tasks like revenue generation instead of mundane daily activities like data entry or customer support inquiries.

The Benefits of Conversational AI
By implementing a quality Conversational AI system, businesses can achieve greater efficiency in their day-to-day operations while also creating more meaningful connections with customers. This type of technology enables companies to process orders quickly and accurately without human intervention, identify trends faster so they can improve customer service, and even anticipate customer needs before they arise—all without sacrificing the personal touch that customers expect from businesses today. Additionally, using a conversational AI system helps reduce overhead costs associated with traditional customer service teams as well as eliminates errors due to manual data entry or miscommunication between teams.

Moreover, a quality conversational AI platform, offered by ATS Global, provides deep insights into customer behaviors so companies can better identify key opportunities and craft targeted strategies that will drive growth and maximize ROI. In fact, many companies are seeing over 20 times ROI after implementing their AI assistants. Through its advanced analytics capabilities, ATS Global’s solutions provide actionable insights so businesses can make better decisions faster than ever before.

In short, investing in a powerful conversational AI platform is essential for any business looking to stay competitive in today’s market. With ATS Global’s solutions, you can create efficiencies within your team while also creating meaningful relationships with customers through personalized interactions powered by artificial intelligence. Unlock the potential of Conversational AI and start driving more revenue today! Learn more about ATS Global at http://atsglobal.ai/.

Covr’s Digital Sales Platform a Complete Straight-Through-Process
Coming soon from Covr Financial Technologies is the official launch of Advisor 3.0, the latest version of the insurtech’s flagship technology product. Covr Advisor 3.0 provides a digital omni-channel, multi-carrier, multi-product, complete transaction management and service platform to advisors at their partner firms.

“We are very proud of the new and enhanced capabilities in our Advisor 3.0 platform,” said Ron Alexander, president and head of innovation. “Covr is constantly striving to grow and exceed our partners’ needs, and this latest version of our signature platform is the latest example of those efforts.

Features include embedded tools and journeys such as multi-product needs analysis, redesigned quoting tools and estimators for term, permanent and asset-based long term care, and new illustration management. Advisors on this platform have access to a full policy review journey, and expanded multi-carrier accelerated underwriting. Advisor 3.0 also launches new digital informal case submission, and improvements to licensing and appointment management.

In addition, the product offers 100 percent drop ticket for more than 30 carriers and 600 products. Digital application fulfillment and e-delivery and signature streamline the process for advisors and clients alike. Improved case status delivery on and off platform lets advisors easily track their cases, and a brand-new resource center houses a digital library of product resources, marketing and training materials.

Covr APIs enable seamless integration with any CRM including Salesforce.com, planning software such as MoneyGuide PRO, licensing and suitability/compliance systems, and many others. With Covr Comply, Covr has also launched a turnkey, product-agnostic compliance review unit that can be used alone or embedded in the end-to-end purchasing and transaction process. Also new is Consumer for Advisor, which gives writing agents and financial advisors the ability to send out personalized digital marketing and provide digital application fulfillment in a direct-to-consumer environment inside of the same ecosystem. All cases processed through Covr are displayed for advisors or aggregated at the home office level. Covr can also aggregate all in force policies to be managed in one centralized place with the Covr Insights in force visualization and management tool.

In September, Covr announced that Citi had chosen their technology to simplify the life insurance process for Citi’s U.S. consumer wealth management business. Covr also recently launched Covr Pro, bringing its digital life insurance technology to independent advisors. By signing up online, advisors can get immediate access to the full suite of digital BGA resources including virtual sales support, quoting and needs analysis tools, application fulfillment, case management, products from the leading carriers, and market-leading compensation—all with no production requirements. For details of these digital sales solutions, visit https://covrtech.com/.

Ensight’s Streamline Illustration Workflow Expanded to Hybrid Long Term Care Products
One of the critical business applications of technology over the past two decades is to streamline inefficient back-office processes, unleashing time for firms to refocus on the fundamentals that drive success and revenue. Regarding the wholescale transformation of the illustration (workflow) process across U.S. life distribution, Ensight has perhaps redefined the life insurance illustration experience more than any other software platform over the last several years.

The great news for the industry is that Ensight has now extended its market leading life insurance illustration platform, Ensight Intelligent Quote, to support the hybrid, asset-based long term care products, launching with a broad portfolio of the leading hybrid long term care insurance carriers, including Lincoln Financial, MassMutual, Nationwide, OneAmerica, and Securian Financial.

Ensight’s new hybrid long term care capability streamlines the illustration workflow, enabling case designers and wholesalers to simultaneously run illustrations for the leading products and flexibly benchmark product performance across different dimensions, such as: Monthly long term care benefit; overall long term care benefit pool; indemnity vs reimbursement; and other key areas. Additionally, Ensight is the first and only multi-carrier illustration platform to deliver a fully auditable Best Interest-centric illustration process, which ensures the hybrid long term care products are compared on a “like-for-like basis” specific to the actual client case. This fills a critical need in the sector and has been a long time coming. Increasingly, brokerage general agencies and specialist long term care distribution firms are required to implement Best Interest processes, platforms and auditability within their internal operations by key financial institutions and channels.

Another big win for brokerage distribution is the unification of permanent life insurance and hybrid long term care products within a single workflow, on a single platform. Long term care risk today can be managed through a traditional long term care policy, an asset-based policy or a life policy with a long term care rider. Ensight’s wide breadth of product class coverage across permanent life products and the asset-based long term care products will enable brokerage to provide financial professionals with a broad scope of options. All of this built around a more efficient illustration process enabling brokerage to focus on what really matters—client case discussions, growing relationships and closing the coverage gap. Sales Illustration platform information is available at https://ensightcloud.com/.

Consumer Focus From Wellness Apps To Digital Life Sales

Last month saw the release of the Global Consumer Study, new research carried out on consumers across the world and their attitudes towards insurance. 12,728 people from 22 global markets were asked about a range of topics, including: Buying and claiming insurance, purchase triggers, causes of stress, road and cyber insurance, mental and physical health and the use of wellness apps. As part of the study, researchers surveyed over 1,000 U.S.-based consumers, enabling us to build a picture of the modern American and what they are seeking in their insurance experience.

Americans are happy to share data
U.S. respondents showed a willingness to share data with insurers to enable them to assess risk. Interestingly, 80.5 percent of them felt either comfortable or very comfortable in sharing information about their employment with their insurance provider. This was followed up by openness around sharing previous claims data (79.2 percent) and openness on sharing data from health check-ups (76.7 percent). The possibility of a discount was the main driver for this, with three quarters of U.S. respondents interested in possible reduced insurance premiums in exchange for this data.

U.S. consumers love a health app
Findings from the study show the use of health and fitness apps has remained strong in 2022 and shows no signs of declining, with more than half of global respondents saying they have a general fitness app (51 percent). In the U.S., the popularity of such apps rises nearly another 10 percent. Curiously, U.S. women seem to have a far greater appetite for general fitness apps than their male counterparts, with 68.9 percent of American women owning one, compared to just 45.5 percent of American men. And perhaps surprisingly, the data demonstrate that Boomers and Gen X use general fitness apps more than Millennials and Gen Z in the U.S.

Consumers want multiple claim points
Multiple access points are being used by consumers in the U.S. when making insurance claims. These methods range broadly from online (33.4 percent) and email (16.3 percent), to agents (19.3 percent), apps (14.9 percent), and more. However, despite a growing movement towards digitization, the most common claim method for American consumers remains a phone call (45.1 percent). This bucks the global trend, where online claims are the preferred method. With this in mind, it should also be acknowledged that some U.S. insurers are yet to offer online claims capability.

Download the full research at www.remarkgroup.com. ReMark is a worldwide InsurTech consultancy specializing in consumer insights, marketing campaigns and tech solutions.

Plum Life delivers more fruit for less labor
In today’s life insurance sales environment, advisors are working more than ever remotely and digitally with their clients. This can lead to a lack of personal touch and critical guidance through the sale, not to mention the difficulties of lead generation and client follow-up as expressed by many agents. But it does not have to be that way… Plum Life was designed exclusively for agents and to allow them to sell completely online. As a user, the experience is simple, instinctive, and demonstrates an understanding of how agents sell. Their platform also houses all functions in one location, making it easy for agents to place business. Plum Life automates appointments, submitting and placing applications, tracking commissions and helps agents manage their inforce clients. Because they understand the entire sales process, they have been able to digitize the entire process allowing agents to customize the experience to a specific person or case. Helping agents sell life insurance is at the core of what they do.

Plum Life offers a diverse product suite from A-rated carriers, all designed for a digital agent sale. Their growing list of products and carriers boasts both an instant issue and accelerated term options, whole life, AD&D and two flavors of final expense. Registration is free with Plum Life, which makes it a good option for independent agents. It is intuitive and easy to navigate, with a sleek interface designed specifically for mobile use, allowing agents to start selling quickly. Agents also get access to powerful lead generation and marketing tools, and case management is automated.

Plum Life also keeps agents, and their clients, in the loop as they go through the sales process. With email reminders and text alerts, agents can quickly and easily stay on top of things and clients are reminded to take required actions. When asked, a Plum Life representative stated this functionality is a “big differentiator and helps drive conversion.” While there are a few other digital platforms available for life insurance sales, many of them are focused on direct-to-consumer sales and put the agent experience secondary, sometimes trying to cut them out completely. Others simply do not have the breadth of products or tools available from Plum Life. For today’s agent who is looking to work with clients digitally, Plum Life has a lot to offer. Agents can register at www.HelloPlum.com.

UComplete is seamless in the carrier’s life fulfillment process
A powerful model for straight-through processing for life insurance digital sales is an “Agent to Customer Self-Service Process.” ApplicInt has a product “UComplete” that simplifies the eApp process while engaging the agent with their client. The agent runs a multi-carrier quote and completes a drop ticket (then hands off to the client). This is done by the agent who emails a link to the customer to complete Part A of the life insurance application online. The Part B medical questions part has options where the customer can complete, or can be completed via tele-interview or by an examiner performing a digital Paramed exam. The customer will securely eSign the forms in the same experience. If the customer has any questions, then they can do a real-time chat with a call center for assistance as needed. There is a warm transfer to a call center to schedule an exam if needed. This is a seamless process. The forms and data are automatically sent to the carrier in-good-order. The agent is notified of the status via email. The agent is then freed up to focus on sales.

There is a second model for ApplicInt’s UComplete, which is a carrier direct to consumer process. This makes it easy for consumers to apply for life insurance from a carrier’s website. It would start with a secure login process on the carrier’s website. Getting a login is a quick and painless process, but very secure. Once the consumer logs in, they run a term quote. There is a health analyzer available to use so the client can be placed in the correct underwriting category, which impacts the premium quoted. If the client is approved as applied for, then the placement ratio is increased significantly. Leveraging the same functionality of UComplete above, the consumer completes Part A of the life insurance application online. The Part B medical questions are options which can be completed via tele-interview or by an examiner performing a digital Paramed exam. The customer will securely eSign the forms in the same experience. If the customer has any questions, then they can do a real-time chat with a call center for assistance as needed. There is a warm transfer to a call center to schedule an exam if needed. This is a seamless process. The forms and data are automatically sent to the carrier in-good-order.

The flexibility of U*Complete’s seamless integration is because ApplicInt is the only solution provider that has a call center solution “CallComplete” and a digital Paramed platform “ExamComplete.” Any step of the process can also be integrated using an API into a carrier’s supported system so that their workflow remains the same. Other features where ApplicInt transforms the life insurance process includes integrating with a carrier’s automated underwriting process. The ApplicInt platform can also do scoring of data based on carrier rules. The end-to-end process starts with easy access to an agency or carrier portal supporting single sign-on to delivering the data and forms to the carrier in-good-order. This reduces the overall process by five days. The ApplicInt fulfillment software solutions are used by the industry’s largest Paramedical providers. You can visit www.applicint-usa.com to learn more.

The Relationship Between Life eApp And The Carrier Policy Admin System

When we talk about sending life applications electronically in-good-order, it’s not just transmitting a data file to the carrier. There needs to be a deeper understanding of the life carrier’s policy administration system and that carrier’s fulfillment process. The eApp data could first be sent to a call center or paramedical provider as interim steps before arriving to the carrier. There are multiple models for the fulfillment process of life apps. In these models, underwriting can be accelerated or automated. Today there are always one or more data calls for automating underwriting like Rx scripts, MIB, identity verification, and now EHR. Below we will take a look at two eApp vendors that have deep relationships with policy admin system and underwriting engines. Also, of the many policy admin systems out there, one is very focused on APIs to easily exchange information with eApp solution providers.

eApp and New Business Underwriting
iGO®, iPipeline’s market leading eApp, leveraged by the industry to submit in-good-order applications has been the eApp of choice for the life insurance market for over a decade.

With more than 11 million eApp transactions completed over the last three years, iGO is an omni-channel eApp used in captive, brokerage and consumer-focused channels and is used by over 300,000 agents and advisors per year, representing over 55 carriers and 300 distributors. These agents and advisors use iGO to sell products ranging from life, LTCI, disability, and final expense to Medicare supplement and annuities to help secure their customers’ financial futures. When agents and advisors use iGO with iPipeline’s LifePipe Term Quote engine, iSolve® Permanent Quote engine, or Illustrations, they receive access to iPipeline’s full suite of tools for optimizing the sales process. iGO is vital in reducing cycle time and increasing placement ratios through the use of easy and intuitive reflexive-based questions and rules to ensure all needed information is captured up-front—ensuring a 100 percent in-good-order application and enabling straight through processing.

iGO comes with many out-of-the-box integrations to ensure accurate and clean data is captured during the application process. The eApp validates mailing and email addresses, as well as bank account information used for premium payment. It also comes with third-party integrations such as LexisNexis, HIPAASpace, Milliman, and others to help supplement the data captured in iGO, and allow carriers to jump-start the underwriting process.

iGO can be seamlessly integrated with iPipeline’s Resonant® new business and underwriting platform for unlocking point-of-sale decisioning and workbench capabilities that can significantly streamline the new business process. iGO can also be integrated with numerous other new business underwriting systems, as well as reinsurance engines from MunichRe, SwissRe, RGA, and more, for point-of-sale decisioning and automated underwriting. iGO data can also seamlessly flow through to carriers’ policy administration systems such as LifePro, ALIP, Faustin, DXC, or CyberLife—through direct integrations, or through Resonant. iGO’s integrations with these policy administration systems can also provide in-force policy data for supplementing the eApp process. For agencies using iPipeline’s Agency Integrator solutions, iGO cases can be integrated into Agency Integrator to allow for out-of-the-box case approval.

iPipeline’s iGO e-App provides a market-leading, comprehensive solution for digitizing, and simplifying, the life insurance application and underwriting process—and optimizing business operations. To learn more, please visit https://www.ipipeline.com/products/igo/.

Straight Through Processing Through Low Code
Equisoft/apply is an end-to-digital point of sale solution for all buying channels—carriers, BGAs, advisors, D2C—even paper if you want. It’s an easy-to-use eApplication for any device that asks questions defined by the carrier, quickly captures data, creates an instant application and submits for real-time decisions. Equisoft/apply has the latest, most responsive UI-UX and low code-no code applications. These features make it possible to easily configure a unique insurance buying journey. That makes these next-gen solutions ready to power your D2C initiatives and grow digital sales. This flexible eApplication solution means you don’t have to settle for old-fashioned question flows and clunky user interfaces, instead you can create superior sales experiences for your advisors and clients.

There are three policy admin system (PAS) integrations: At the end of the app it submits the signed app which is taken into the carrier’s PAS for new business processing–through underwriting, suitability checks, etc. When completing the app it generates real time quotes by integrating with Oracle’s Insurance Policy Administration system (OIPA) to send data like age, state, and gender so premium can be calculated and the quote returned to /apply.

Equisoft/apply has instant decision integrations. Between Part 1 and Part 2 processing /apply can get an underwriting decision. It integrates with the PAS to get an instant decision and send it in real time to the advisor so that they can proceed with the application if the buyer likes the quote.

Low-Code Configuration of Your Insurance Buying Journey

  • Low-code supports greater control than no-code tools while keeping speed to market.
  • Quickly and easily design the digital application form to match your insurance products and facilitate straight-through-processing.

Optimize your buying journeys: Equisoft/apply gives you the flexibility to easily optimize your application processes across all channels. These eApps are low code optimized for insurance buying journeys, giving you ultimate control over building engaging sales flows. This means you can easily create apps that are unique to your company and products. This results in better customer experience, fewer dropouts and faster policy decisions.

There is customization to a carrier’s particular product and buying journey. The objective is to create one common experience for buying, replacements, upsell, and inforce policy changes. It makes instant decisions and issue in seconds on any device, which facilitates straight-through processing, in-good-order validation for instant issue, and eSignature reduces drop-offs. Straight through processing is the new standard for eApplications so that they should integrate seamlessly with your existing internal and external systems, enabling you to get the validations needed to reduce the number of not-in-good-order (NIGO) apps and make policy decisions in real time. Analytics track completion rates, and diagnose and address issues in the buying process. Progress tracking, clear UI for the user and analytics for the IT teams is made available.

Another feature is to support direct-to-consumer (D2C). Being able to easily and quickly create eApps tailored to your buying journeys means that you can create one common customer and advisor experience for buying, replacements, upsell, and policy changes. These eApps can become the front-end of your D2C offerings, providing modern UI/UX that is consistent across the board. And the built-in configuration tools are all you will need to maintain your applications without having to write any code.

APIs Are Fundamental to Creating Insurance Ecosystems
From a broker’s perspective, there are several things to know about application programming interfaces (APIs). First is that they are engineered to facilitate integrations between systems and data sources, and this includes everything from the big backend insurance core systems down to data from IoT devices, mobile, usage-based insurance apps, fitness trackers, and the like.

Even more important though is how brokers benefit from API-first enterprise insurance systems. Those systems are much more likely to offer pre-fill, accessing high-quality data to speed the completion of digitalized applications and decrease or eliminate errors and fraud. APIs also enable digital communications options that didn’t exist even a few years ago. As a result, API-first systems can be used to create dramatically better workflows, leading to faster underwriting cycles, shorter sales cycles, and much less paper.

This may be the most important bit: APIs can help dramatically reduce the administrative load for agents and brokers, giving them more time to do the important work of managing relationships with both insurers and the insureds. APIs are what enable agents and brokers to access and update customer and prospect information–ideally in real time–and offer similar self-service options to insureds.

At a higher level, APIs are foundational to creating insurance ecosystems. The most ready examples of ecosystems are Amazon and eBay. Shoppers go there for an opportunity to consider many products, review their attributes, as well as add-ons from partners and service providers. Ecosystems recognize customers, collect their histories and make informed suggestions appropriate to their interests, demographics, and more. Purchases are accelerated by virtue of being timely, personalized, and digital. Here is great three-minute video overview of insurance ecosystems.

“Ecosystems help brokers by offering a seamless customer experience and fostering relationships in a moment of need. Ecosystems also help brokers expand capacity for revenue-generating activities because they spend less time on administrative tasks,” says Karen Valdez, head of life and annuity product marketing at EIS. “Insureds benefit from better customer experiences and personalized offerings, which leads to increased customer retention, referrals, and satisfaction. APIs help ambitious insurers bring it all together and offer real customer centricity without complexity.”

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