Life Insurance Enters the Digital Age

Let’s face it, life insurance as a product is old—literally. In fact, many life insurance companies are well over 100 years old. Additionally, life insurance is in large part sold by older-age agents to older-age clients. Furthermore, they usually use old methods such as twenty-page paper applications signed at the kitchen (or office) table with a pen. The applicant then ends up having to wait through an outdated process which includes phone calls, waiting, medical records, waiting, the post office, waiting, and most of all lots of waiting.

Knowing this, it is no wonder that the number of individuals who own life insurance (to say nothing of a sufficient amount of life insurance), as well as the number of those who sell life insurance as agents, are at record lows. This probably has very little to do with the product itself (which is needed as much now as ever before), but is more likely related to how it is marketed, how it is sold, and how it is purchased. Unfortunately, these methods seem to be as old as the insurance companies themselves.

However, innovation finally seems to be invading the life insurance industry and is pushing it (despite some kicking and screaming) into the digital age. After nearly two decades of the internet changing the way we do business in general, the life insurance industry is finally more fully incorporating technology to make the process of getting life insurance quicker, easier, and more automated. Here are just a few of these innovations:

1. Online quote engines that allow you to comparison-shop numerous insurance companies’ products in one place.
2. Calculators to help you determine how much life insurance you really need.
3. Online health analyzers to determine what insurance rate you are likely to qualify for.
4. Online applications that allow you to skip twenty-page paper applications that you have to sign in ten different places and then snail-mail through the post office just to start the process.
5. Companies that allow you to get up to $1 million of life insurance without taking a medical exam (dependent on age and health history).
6. Policies that are delivered electronically.

All these innovations have made it possible for someone to apply for life insurance in their own home and then have a policy delivered to them as quickly as one week later—without ever having to make an appointment with an insurance agent, hand-sign an application, or give a blood sample.

Additionally, not only has the process become easier, but the products are becoming better as well. Some life insurance policies now have disability benefits, long term care benefits, and/or critical illness benefits all packaged into one policy – combining all these essential financial planning tools into one product.

Yes, it may have taken us awhile to figure out what the internet can do for our business, and we still aren’t on the level of Amazon and Google in terms of efficiency or being on the cutting-edge (let alone being “fun”), but the life insurance industry has finally entered the digital age. And, of course, when it comes to financial protection for you and your family, life insurance itself never gets old.

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