Editor’s Note: This article originally published in September 2015. Dates and other data points have remained unchanged from the original piece.
Cameron Jacox is what you might call a dream recruit for the insurance industry: young, smart and able to see the enormous opportunity that lies ahead. While still in college, Jacox founded Inforce Pro, a technology company designed to solve the problem of monitoring and growing in-force business. The company has been enormously well-received, and has changed the sales landscape for a number of agencies. And they’re just getting started.
We sat down with Jacox to find out where he got his inspiration, what challenges he sees ahead and why the insurance industry is a prime opportunity for millennials looking for abundant opportunity.
Why did you choose a career in insurance or financial services?
When the idea for InforcePro was hatched, I was still in college. We went into the industry to solve the particular problem that we discovered. That problem has now been solved with our software, but now we realize that there is an array of different and complementary problems that we can solve using software.
Describe what you do.
I’m co-founder at InforcePro, which is the only software company to have built an in-force, or “post-issue” solution for policy monitoring and policyholder engagement. Technology in our industry has been laser-focused on pre-issue — getting a policy into force faster and better — for over 20 years. The dropoff of technology vendors’ focus after a policy was issued mirrored the drop off in attention by the agent in that regard, but that begged the “chicken or egg” question: Did the agent fail to engage with in-force policies because he did not have adequate technology, or did adequate technology not exist because the agent wouldn’t use it? At InforcePro, we’ve discovered that the answer is the former. In short, InforcePro can download, update, alert on, market to, and report about in-force business.
Share an achievement you are especially proud of.
I think it’s extremely exciting that InforcePro has, in just 12 months, developed partnerships with eight of the top ten national marketing organizations, earned over 110 BGAs as clients, and come to monitor over two million in-force policies. Our growth is probably the thing that I’m most proud of. It illustrates the really fundamental need for post-issue solutions and the pent-up demand for in-force monitoring capabilities.
What is the biggest challenge that you see in the industry or what is the one thing you would change?
The single biggest challenge that we face today is the same as our single biggest historical mistake: Saying “gotcha” to policyholders or, more specifically, the fact that the exclusive way of communicating with policyholders was through the use of “terse” 30-day notices prior to major policy events. This way of doing business has corollary concepts in “buyer beware.” But the life insurance industry has hurt its reputation this way, so why has it continued?
What is the biggest opportunity that you see in the industry?
The biggest opportunity is to embrace post-issue technology solutions to follow the policyholder after they become one. The foundation for that is information about the inforce contract; what is it, what needs to be monitored, and how can technology enable it? That needs to be readily accessible to the carrier and agency. Next, comes the creative aspect: The ability to connect with policyholders’ social and banking profiles online, generate periodic reevaluations of coverage and even risk. InforcePro has focused, first, on the moving parts in policy contracts. Conversion options cannot be a gotcha provision provided 30 days prior to expiration – or not at all.
What do you think millennials are looking for in an insurance advisor? How can advisors best serve this market?
We’re looking for someone who is just as tech savvy as we are. We’re OK with an in-person meeting, but we don’t need a policy delivered and we sure don’t find it acceptable to have to call in to get a policy update, make a payment, or make a change – that needs to happen online. And once our policy is in-force, our needs and desires are fluid and mobile as are our lives; we need to be able to make changes, evaluate the in-force policy, and increase or decrease the coverage or structure more easily. Otherwise, it will seem too static and out of touch.
What is the No. 1 piece of advice you would give to a young person looking to enter this industry?
Enter with your head up and keep your head up. Realize that the industry is driven by sales and distribution, along with data and analytics, and success in those capabilities can drive your career forward unlike any others.
Editor’s Note: Cameron Jacox was featured on LifeHealthPro’s list, 30 under 30: Meet the millennials who are transforming the industry. View the full list here.