Almost since its inception, the life insurance industry has dealt with the fact that it is both costly and burdensome to distribute a full range of products to a wide variety of consumers.

There just simply isn’t the bandwidth within advisor networks to meet the needs of all customers individually, and have that process remain profitable. The sales cycle is typically a lengthy one, with little difference between selling complex higher-risk policies to wealthier brackets compared to first-time policies to lower risk, lower premium brackets. The underwriting process pulls data points from various sources that are collected and analyzed, often entirely by humans. These are subject to communication delays and lengthy reviews that do not lend themselves to the efficient conversion of new leads. Very high drop-off rates were seen and few tech-savvy consumers were willing to engage with a process that, in their view, was from the dark ages when compared to other innovating financial sectors like personal banking.

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One of our North American partners had been selling life insurance through captive advisors, though in recent years had branched out to call center sales and the web.

There just simply isn’t the bandwidth within advisor networks to meet the needs of all customers individually, and have that process remain profitable. The sales cycle is typically a lengthy one, with little difference between selling complex higher-risk policies to wealthier brackets compared to first-time policies to lower risk, lower premium brackets. The underwriting process pulls data points from various sources that are collected and analyzed, often entirely by humans. These are subject to communication delays and lengthy reviews that do not lend themselves to the efficient conversion of new leads. Very high drop-off rates were seen and few tech-savvy consumers were willing to engage with a process that, in their view, was from the dark ages when compared to other innovating financial sectors like personal banking.

One of our North American partners had been selling life insurance through captive advisors, though in recent years had branched out to call center sales and the web.

They knew it was important to look to the future and have processes that consumers can easily engage with. In the era of Amazon and Google, this carrier knew they needed to strengthen their digital offerings to distribute their life insurance products. They launched a strategic digital marketing campaign targeting tech-savvy, online consumers that prefer to engage from the comfort of their own home or on mobile.

The response was so overwhelming that their agents simply did not have the time to follow up with all of the new leads. Using their existing processes meant that by the time they got around to calling a potential consumer, the engagement had disappeared and many of the applicants were no longer interested or had found other options. The internet generation needs instant feedback and qualification, otherwise, they are very quick to move on to something else.

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A bigger change was needed. The carrier recognized that they needed to implement a digital transformation platform from start to finish.

They needed a tool that would specifically allow them to target the right demographic of potential consumers with an engaging online user experience and convert those to policies sold. Successfully implementing such a tool would allow them to reach more consumers faster and in the way they want to be reached. Such a tool would also drastically speed-up time from quote to in-force policy and ensure that the call center agents were able to do their jobs in more efficient ways. The big question was: how could they achieve it without committing massive resources to build such a solution internally?

The answer was to find an external solutions provider who could deliver quickly, iterate constantly, and require fewer resources than an internal build would. This is where the partnership with Breathe Life began. Breathe Life had developed a user-centric platform that would allow this carrier to achieve their life insurance distribution goals while also reducing operational and customer acquisition costs.

The Breathe Life platform meant first-time buyers could use an E-app to apply and get a decision upon completion, something that typically would have taken weeks in the past. This partnership created a win-win scenario for the carrier as it meant they had the best from both worlds, they could sell directly online with a consumer-centric interface but there was also the option to engage with advisors by phone for more complex products.

The results speak for themselves. In the first few months of using the platform, the carrier saw a 23% increase in sales with a 26% increase in premiums and a 33% decrease in customer acquisition cost.

On top of an increase in sales and premiums, and a decrease in customer acquisition cost, the carrier is seeing the sales life cycle reduced from weeks to minutes, with 44% of customers being instantly approved online. That is, from initial contact all the way through application completion, underwriting, first payment, and the issuing of the life insurance policy.

It has taken strategic foresight from this North American carrier to identify the need for a digital distribution platform. It also shows an understanding that the core deliverables of the project would be better implemented by an expert InsurTech solutions provider such as Breathe Life rather than in-house.