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Life Health > Life Insurance

How Tech Is Breathing New Life Into Life Insurance

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What You Need to Know

  • Completing post-death processes can take a life insurance beneficiary an average of about 420 hours.
  • Families need logistical support.
  • They also need emotional support.

The life insurance industry offers more than just policies: Carriers also strive to provide their customers with comfort, stability, and peace of mind.

When someone buys life insurance, they do so trusting that the insurer will be present and involved in fulfilling the promise of the policy by distributing the money responsibly.

On top of this, in our digital age, consumers expect instant, seamless services that provide comprehensive support beyond the payout.

Fortunately, several technology companies have emerged to help insurance companies embrace — and even benefit from — the digital era.

That’s critical at a time when, along with trust and stability, customers are seeking an improved experience from every product or service they purchase.

To offer an elevated customer experience, insurance companies must be willing to embrace cutting-edge technologies that will allow them to adjust to changing consumer expectations.

Streamlining Complicated Processes

By embracing emerging innovations in areas of life insurance that can easily benefit from new technologies, such as onboarding and payouts, life insurance companies can increase customer satisfaction while also optimizing their own operations.

It’s a true win-win proposition that can streamline underwriting and claims services while fostering connectivity and bolstering the data-sharing needed to provide more tailored policies.

Digital-era models of life insurance are already being used to leverage automation for more convenient registration, enabling customers to complete complex processes without becoming overwhelmed by the bureaucratic labyrinth of it all.

Insurtech companies like Lemonade were, in fact, built around customers’ modern-day expectations of once-sluggish processes such as registration and onboarding. These tech-turned-insurance companies leverage technology to allow customers to apply, get approved, and begin onboarding for life insurance in just minutes.

The same improvements can be applied to the insurance claims process, which has long been characterized as stressful, costly, and time-consuming.

Life insurance claims are filed at what is often a challenging, painful time for claimants, who simply want to receive their payouts as quickly and effortlessly as possible.

Going digital can make a major difference here — insurtech companies like Benekiva and FINEOS, for instance, have platforms that allow insurers to fully digitize claims forms so they can efficiently fulfill benefits anywhere, anytime, from any device.

More generalized tech solutions for easing customers’ burdens such as automated insurance agents, or chatbots, are already proving beneficial to the insurers who embrace them.

The insurtech company Spixii hosts a conversational process automation, or CPA, platform to assist customers in buying policies, filing claims, receiving customer service, and more.

It’s worth noting that these digital solutions are not specific to the insurtech space.

Legacy insurance companies can adopt and integrate available technology to offer their customers similar resources without needing to develop their own tech solutions.

By adopting technology that can handle otherwise manual, repetitive, resource-intensive tasks, both legacy and new-age insurers can free up their staff to focus energy and value toward more complex claims and services.

In the long run, small changes such as reducing the number of customer service calls and integrating support services across platforms or alleviating the tedium of onboarding and automating registration forms, can yield critical operational expense savings.

Extending Support Beyond the Payout

Life insurers have made good on their promise to provide financial support to grieving families.

But while alleviating the financial burdens of loss is undoubtedly significant, families need more than monetary help.

This is where carriers have a unique opportunity to redefine how they support bereaved families in the 21st century.

It can take beneficiaries an average of 420 hours of work over 13 months to complete post-death processes for a loved one — i.e. funeral arrangements, estate administration, closing accounts, etc. — not to mention the incalculable emotional toll.

Fortunately, the modern age has given life insurance providers the unprecedented ability to extend the ways in which they support beneficiaries beyond financial security by leveraging technology to provide grieving families with additional layers of administrative and emotional help.

Leading life insurance companies like MetLife embrace technology to enhance their suite of additional concierge services — from grief counseling to funeral assistance — that help families get through extraordinarily difficult times.

New York Life similarly offers bereavement resources to support families through grief, and offers beneficiaries the services of our platform, Empathy, to provide logistical and emotional support.

This reimagination of what life insurance can provide goes beyond a mere altruistic service to consumers — it’s a true value-creates-value situation that can benefit insurers themselves, particularly when it comes to asset retention.

Consider that, industry-wide, less than 4% of beneficiary assets are retained by the insurance carrier.

When beneficiaries receive support that goes above and beyond their needs, experience superior customer service, and see first-hand the importance of life insurance, it cements a sense of trust in and loyalty to their provider — and these same beneficiary families will know exactly where to turn when it comes time to purchase their own policies or recommend life insurance services to friends and loved ones.

Balancing Tech and Human Support

Technology is the future for countless industries, and life insurance is no exception.

By leveraging technology, insurance companies can best deliver on their promise to help people in their times of greatest need.

But the value of human support should never be overlooked or underestimated.

All these digital processes still require a human touch, to maintain relationships and make policyholders and their families feel heard, seen, and supported.

Embracing the right technological solutions lets insurers strike this delicate balance between human caring and innovative streamlining.

This can shift the perception of life insurance from a purely financial industry to one that provides grieving families with the money they need as well as the compassion and support they deserve.

Ron GuraRon Gura is the CEO and co-founder of Empathy.




(Photo: New Africa/Shutterstock)


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