What You Need to Know
- Boston Mutual sells life insurance and related products to working families.
- Joshua Police says the company looked hard at potential buyers and found stress.
- To protect workers better, he says, companies need to address that stress better.
Police is the executive vice president of distribution and business development at Boston Mutual Life Insurance Company, a Canton, Massachusetts-based life insurer that’s been around since 1891 and has $1.6 billion in assets.
He oversees the company’s individual life insurance business as well as its efforts to reach the employer group and voluntary benefits markets. Some of the individual life policies are the kinds of cash-value products that consumers can use in retirement income planning as well as for protecting loved ones against the unexpected loss of a parent.
Police, who has a bachelor’s degree in history from Bowdoin College, originally planned to become a teacher. He got involved with insurance after meeting his wife, who came from a family of people who worked in insurance.
He began selling and wholesaling annuities and related products at Sun Life Financial in 2005. He moved over to Boston Mutual as a group territory manager in 2008 and took over as head of distribution in June.
Police provided insights via email about what he sees middle-market consumers doing and thinking.
The interview has been condensed and edited.
THINKADVISOR: What took up most of your time and energy last year, and what did you learn from that?
JOSHUA POLICE: Last year I was in a different role than my current position; I was focused on business development, but also led our small sales team in the New England region in a new area called One Company Solutions.
As part of my previous role, in 2021 I worked on two key projects. The first was consumer research. Our goal was to better understand who was purchasing our whole life insurance policies.
We started by gathering quantitative data by hosting internal focus groups, and six months later came up with a more defined consumer profile.
We then partnered with LIMRA to host external focus groups based on that profile and really dug into the qualitative data around buying patterns, wants and needs, trust levels, coverage needs, and so on.
Overall, we discovered consumers have a significant amount of anxiety and stress when it comes to buying insurance — specifically life insurance — and need more education on the products and processes.
Easing that anxiety, we found, requires real people and live discussions — not just technology.
During this time, we were also building out our Small Business Solutions offering locally here in New England through select producer partners.
This project was originally set up as a pilot program in Massachusetts and Rhode Island and was extended to Maine and Connecticut following initial success.
We knew there was a real need for a targeted solution within the space, and our suite of products and services really aligned well, allowing us to offer administration, technology and enrollment all within an all-inclusive package for small businesses.