Sure, I’ve heard time and time again that the insurance industry is not the most innovative of industries around. I’ve heard it called “antiquated,” “outdated,” “rife with legacy systems,” and so on. Even insurance agents themselves are grappling with how to introduce new, more advanced systems into what some feel is a sometimes stodgy sector. I’ll admit I’ve felt this way too at times.

But I was moved to think differently just a few days ago. That’s when I was sifting through piles of product press release emails, gathering information for a feature on the most innovative industry products within the life insurance, health insurance and retirement planning industry. Page after page, I came across products that the industry has never before seen, many from well-known companies and some from smaller players (whom I cannot yet mention here – you’ll have to wait for the June issue).

Reading between the marketing lingo, I could see there was a great deal of innovation in each product I was reading about, including those that didn’t make it into the feature itself. Runners up included Guardian’s mobile disability insurance quote tool, an industry first; Healthspek’s Insurance Finder, a service to aid in connecting consumers with recommended health and life insurance agents by zip code; Kivvik Wealth, a platform for financial advisors (and those that sell life insurance) to send their clients surveys that provide real-time updates on financial life events; and Socialware’s Social Brand Protection product, which spans all industries but is innovative in that it provides social media monitoring tools to ensure a company’s brand is not being misrepresented on social media.

And this is just a sampling of the innovation currently taking place within our industry. But there is more, much more. To see the products National Underwriter Life & Health chose as most innovative, check out the June issue, which also happens to list the annual “NU Top 100” companies in the industry. I guess it could also be called the “insurance industry pride issue.”

Happy reading, innovative ones.