Digitization is seen as industry saviour

A roundtable of experts point to technological innovation as a major disruptor in 2016 – but they say it’s a good thing

LOMA’s 2016 Life Insurance Forecast is out and a big topic for discussion amongst the 14 executives surveyed is technology and the innovative ways life insurers can use it to improve the customer experience thereby keeping the industry growing.
“Those technologies that enable us to improve the customer experience in the new business/underwriting area will be most impactful,” said Michael Fanning, Executive Vice President, U.S. Insurance Group, Mass Mutual. “As we know, the millennial generation will expect our industry to be much easier to do business with.”
Millennials are especially difficult to corral; technology could be the difference between success and failure in winning over this key demographic. That’s true of both customers and new advisors.
“As we know, the millennial generation will expect our industry to be much easier to do business with,” commented Foresters CEO Anthony Garcia. “I also believe that that the next generation of advisor/agent will expect the same.”
The industry’s certainly got its work cut out for it. In December LHP discussed the issue of technology with Swiss Re’s Senior Economist Milka Kirova who was cautiously optimistic about the transformation happening in the life insurance industry.
“The life insurance sector is set for fundamental transformation, brought about by technological advancements and new digital data analytic techniques,” stated Swiss Re’s research report which was produced by Kirova and her team. “The impact will span the entire insurance value chain from product development and underwriting through to distribution, services and claims. To date, the sector has been slow to adopt new technologies, but this is changing.”
For the senior executives surveyed by LOMA it’s clear that technological innovation is absolutely essential for industry success and while big data is important from an underwriting perspective, it’s equally important to develop systems and processes that make things easier for both customers and advisors.
“Technology that supports making the life insurance process simpler for customers and agents will have the greatest potential of helping our industry,” said Joseph Monk, State Farm Life’s Senior Vice President & Chief Administrative Officer. “As technology continues to improve, functionality like electronic signature, mobile accessibility, and instant answer or simplified issue products will be used more widely. Customers will benefit from the ease of use, and agents will see the improvement in issue time and completed applications.”