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. There are so many changes that have occurred over the past 20 years, why would the life insurance industry be considered anything but exciting as we decide daily how to change with the world around us?
2016 was a great year, as carriers focused on understanding analytics and applying them in ways they never dreamed of. They started using more technology than they ever have before, knuckling down on claims and underwriting. Carriers were driven to meet customers’ needs with new distribution channels and redesigned products. No one can argue that this isn’t exciting stuff.
But 2017 … this year is starting off with a huge bang. Carriers are really jumping out of their comfort zone to improve operations and meet the needs of the consumer. Some examples include:
- Northwestern Mutual’s US$50 million investment into insurtech: Not that other carriers haven’t made investments, but seeing such a conservative company doing it is a thrill. Congrats, Northwestern Mutual!
- New York Life Insurance using the Majesco Rating in the cloud for its Group Membership Association Division: Again, this is not new to some carriers, but it’s a big step for a company that is also conservative. Congrats to you too, New York Life Insurance!
- Ladder launches its first product available to the full state of California: The second truly digital insurer in the industry is making headway. Congrats to Ladder as well!
2016’s movement to customer-centricity has molded the life insurance industry’s 2017 strategies as carriers look to improve operational efficiencies, build loyalty and engagement programs, and use data and analytics to improve the customer experience. It is going to be an exciting year for the life insurance industry, and I am psyched to be side by side with the carriers as they reach past their comfort zone and take the risks they are known for not taking.
Good luck to everyone, and Happy New Year!