Life and annuity technology solutions are growing in both innovation and in the number of platforms that are available in the marketplace. Today I want to give you a taste of the latest stats on eApp and eDelivery for BGAs; a new simple method of presenting complex illustrations; a mobile modular option for carriers for eApp and illustrations; and self-service tools for policyholders.
The Latest Stats and Trends on eApp and eDelivery for BGAs
It was a no brainer to reach out to iPipeline whose eApp platform (iGO) has the biggest footprint in the BGA space. They provided the latest stats and trends in eApp and eDelivery: “Why does going digital today really matter? Over the past year, we’ve seen our world turned upside down in every way. In a business where relationships rule and in person meetings have been the key to selling more, the insurance industry was quickly turned on its head. Many carriers were left struggling with how to get paper polices out the door, agents were scrambling to figure out how to work better with consumers, and consumers were afraid to meet with anyone at the kitchen table anymore.
The good news is that the industry, although mildly prepared, is pulling through. During these times, we’ve seen a huge surge in adoption by brokerage agencies to push digital processes even further. In 2020, dozens of insurance carriers started a process to bring live more eApps and more ePolicy deliveries. Here are some benefits for you to think about, as a brokerage agency, on why having a digital strategy is essential.”
- Shortens the application cycle time by 50 percent.
- Average cost reduction over paper 37 percent.
- Offers client collaboration where the agent and consumer can both work on the same digital app together—keeping the relationship, and the app, alive.
- On Behalf Of—allows case managers to take over the eApp process for their agent to provide more value in the process.
- Shortens the cycle time by 23 days on average.
- Increases placement ratios by 11 percent on average.
- Has an over 90 percent consumer adoption rate.
“2020 was a wakeup call for everyone in our industry, especially brokerage agencies whose agents were traditionally paper-based. iPipeline, one of the biggest players digitizing these processes, saw a huge growth in some areas, in both eApp and eDelivery by you and your peers last year—more than 70 percent growth in eApps, and nearly 300 percent growth in ePolicy delivery.”
“Sales-Stories” Simplifying Life and Annuity Illustrations for Agents and Consumers
Today there are three exciting sales model transformation dynamics taking place in the InsurTech life and annuity space. First, the consumer experience of financial products is being driven towards simplicity, transparency and an easy-to-understand digital experience. Second, the traditional wholesaling and agent model is on the cusp of radical transformation, shifting towards a hybrid (cyborg) agent/wholesaler who is digitally enabled with interactive educational sales tools. Third, the “pre-sale to application experience” is rapidly driving towards a “single experience” digital workflow, from quote to pre-sale proposal to eApp submission. A seamless experience completed in minutes, “live” and during the engagement with the prospective client. These three strategic shifts are core drivers to meeting the new FinTech “experience threshold.” and will be critical to sustainable growth for the life and annuity sector going forward.
I am very excited to say that Ensight’s new “Sales Story” platform module has made a significant leap forward in helping to drive these industry shifts. Working in partnership with leading life, LTCI and annuity insurance carriers and national distributors, Ensight™ has created a configurable sales experience engine, empowering the rapid creation of a broad range of different types of consumer-centric sales experiences—based on rich content and personalized client illustration data. For instance, a “Sales Story” may take the form of a new engaging product concept to support a critical market launch, encapsulating the product benefits and performance in an intuitive, personalized interactive microsite. Or a “story” may take the form of an online product training course. Or a step-by-step sales script to walk a client through a proposal at the point of sale. The Ensight “Sales Stories” engine is a highly configurable platform, enabling stories to be customized for each carrier’s or distributor’s sales model.
Ensight’s “Sales Stories” are also modernizing the traditional “sales concept” experience. The most successful financial professionals engage the client based on financial need and “story selling,” the art of “telling a story with the aim of engaging your client, so they remember, connect, and perceive the benefits of acquiring your product or service.” “Concept-selling” has been at the heart of life, LTCI and annuity sales for decades. Ensight has modernized the art of concept selling for the digital era. Think of an elegantly designed, interactive supplement retirement, Cost of Waiting, or “Life vs Another Asset” concept—that a client can digitally play with to drive understanding.
Finally, Ensight’s ”Sales Stories” also increase agent sales effectiveness (e.g. higher sales closing rates) for carriers and distributors with agent-based networks, providing the financial professional with a best practice, compliant and engaging (interactive) sales script to run a meaningful client conversation. Every captive agent network is seeking to make every agent, whether new to the business or not, a top selling agent in the field. Similarly, insurance carriers are seeking to digitally scale the expertise, education and pitch of the wholesaler. Ensight™ Sales Stories is the digital sales enablement platform to deliver on both.
Life and Annuity True Mobile Illustrations and eApp for Carriers
illustrate inc is proud to have recently launched OPUS Mobile, a downloadable app for individual life insurance carriers. OPUS Mobile is designed and customized to be carrier specific, with the core functionality centering on instant calculations and quotes for virtually any life or annuity product for on-screen visualization and report generation.
Lyndon Edwards, president of illustrate inc says, “Data shows that mobile users live in the app world and that downloaded apps capture much higher levels of user attention and usage than going through a mobile browser. Accessibility, design, user experience, and overall functionality are built specifically for the app, and users are very familiar and comfortable in that environment.”
While the entire OPUS line of web solutions—illustrations, eApps, and more—are responsive in design, meaning they will automatically adjust and reorientate to virtually any device and screen size, OPUS Mobile takes it to that next level.
“Our approach was to take OPUS Mobile beyond the core powerful quoting and reporting functionality through providing the opportunity to add high value features including quote compare, user preferences and tools, product and marketing information, needs analysis, push notifications, and more. Built using a single code base for both Apple and Android, OPUS Mobile is integration ready and highly secure.”
A major U.S. carrier has recently launched OPUS Mobile to their thousands of agents across the country. This custom branded carrier app is fully integrated with other company apps and systems, covers multi-channel requirements, and has a web service to allow approved users access on their desktop.
Carriers Deploying Self-Service Solutions for Life Insurance Policyholders
Sureify, an established insurtech provider, finds that roadblocks like legacy systems that don’t pair well with the new digital capabilities and a complex product line that isn’t typically intuitive are holding some insurers back from jumping into the digital waters where self-service is concerned. But perhaps the biggest hurdle remains confidence in the capability and security of self service.
“Life insurance agents have historically referred policyholders to call centers—the former pinnacle of self-service—because they had confidence in the ability of those call center employees to answer questions and solve problems,” explained Dustin Yoder, Sureify’s CEO and founder. “In 2021, we are helping insurers build the same kind of confidence into their web and mobile capabilities. Sureify’s goal is to help carriers’ reps and agents feel 100 percent comfortable referring their customers to these digital platforms, like LifetimeService, to find answers and solve problems. Once that confidence is achieved, those agents can focus their time and effort on building and growing business.”
- LifetimeAcquire: Powers omnichannel sales capabilities that drive increased placement rates via quoting, e-application, automated underwriting and e-delivery.
- LifetimeEngage: Uses multiple engagement methods and analytics to foster a lifelong digital relationship with policyholders, leading to a greater lifetime value for each policyholder.
- LifetimeService: Enables insurers to provide a comprehensive digital self-service suite for their policyholders.
Sureify is a SaaS platform for the life and annuity industry that provides the digital technology experience that today’s customers expect. Sureify’s platform, Lifetime, is a modular, highly configurable set of software solutions that sits on top of policy administration systems. Lifetime delivers a best-in-class experience that modernizes sales, policyholder servicing and innovative customer engagement.
The solution platform landscape for life and annuities is growing and the workflow models are multiplying. We are now seeing new innovative digital point of sales solutions that not only help close the sale but are designed for our new virtual world. Even if agents and consumers are not traveling, they still spend more time on their mobile devices than their laptops. As the Millennials are becoming the target consumer, self-service technology solutions are growing in popularity.