When people ask me what I do, the response I typically get is, “Wow, but life insurance is a pretty boring industry!” While it has always excited me, my friends just don’t get it. So why is this industry so darn exciting to me? This is an industry full of change—especially over the 20 years I have been involved in it. Consumers have changed, getting both older and younger at the same time. The economy has changed, going up and down, and having more impact on some than on others. Needs have changed as we have moved into a more digital and customer-centric era.
Life insurance is a must-have if you have a family or financial commitments. Like many, I bought my policy many years ago and never really thought about it again. Granted, I live in the world of life insurance, so I know it is there and active, but it wasn’t until recently that a friend probed me to take a look and make sure I had the coverage I needed (he’s a new agent). I passed all my information over to this new agent and told him to do his thing and let me know where I stood.
Distribution is a question and concern on every life insurance and annuities company’s mind. What new channels should we experiment in? What should our distribution strategy look like? What types of consumers are most important to our strategy, and how do we reach them? What type of products are most important to our strategy, and what consumers are they fit for? All of these questions are being pondered today in an effort to define the distribution strategies of tomorrow.
Change is happening all around the life insurance industry, and unless carriers have the tools necessary to make changes or even keep up with the change, they will fall behind. Their legacy systems are preventing them from moving into the next generation of life insurance and stressing a market that is prime for innovation.
Samantha Chow is a senior analyst with Aite Group, specializing in the life and annuities industry. She brings over 15 years of experience in primary and secondary market research, product development, pricing strategies, competitive intelligence, project management, process improvement, and change management in the financial services industry.