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Social hackathon at the LIMRA Social Conference

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San Francisco – The LIMRA Social Media Conference started out with a bang: a pre-conference hackathon to hash out new ideas on how to resolve some of the industry’s main problems.

Moderated by speaker and venture capitalist Gregory Bailey, the two-hour brainstorming session brought to the table some interesting ideas on how to solve pressing issues in the insurance and financial industries. Participants discussed how to recruit the right people to target the right prospects; how to encourage advisors to adopt new technology; how to help both experienced advisors and the general public overcome preconceived notions of who millennials are; how to eradicate consumer confusion and distrust about the industry; and how to retain more agents, among other issues.

“It’s here and it’s happening,” said Bailey about how the future is our reality right now. “There are creative people around the globe working on this (technology).” Bailey gave a few examples of what some companies are doing with wearable technology to minimize and predict risk.

One such example is a company that is testing a wristband and a device that goes into a back brace that will be available for workers who lift very heavy objects as part of their jobs. The device will gather data and feed it back to managers, who will in turn analyze the data and give workers feedback about preventive care. The device also alerts workers to adjust their postures. In a field test, the device proved to help one worker adjust his posture and avoid workplace-related injuries in just an hour.

Bailey then asked attendees of the session to think about the problems that the industry has right now and how they could solve them. He urged the audience to use the Stanford Business School process for solving complex programs, which follows these steps:

  • Empathize
  • Define
  • Ideate
  • Prototype
  • Test

The attendees, who were divided into teams, provided some thoughtful conclusions:

  • Be open-minded. Realize that technology is going to change everything, including our culture.

  • Technology can enable and empower life insurance distribution.

  • Advisors should focus on building relationships and provide localized marketing strategies.

  • In order to have more engaged customers, life insurance should be transparent and easy for people to understand.

  • Bring financial education to the younger generation through gamification, or by creating opportunities for students to shadow financial experts in their day-to-day roles.

  • Provide value-added mentorship programs for agents who have been in the industry for less than 2 years, to foster agent retention

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