Today’s online applications take 10 minutes.
A seismic shift has occurred since life insurance became viable over two centuries ago. Not so much in its core purpose, protecting an individual’s assets and loved ones, but in an individual’s expectations of application and delivery. Similar to financial services, the insurance industry is working to up its game to match the demand for digital.
“Just like Amazon, today’s consumer expects digital ease and convenience when buying life insurance,” explains Tom Kazar, group vice president/sales and business development for CUES Supplier member Franklin Madison, Franklin, Tennessee. “And the industry has spent a lot of energy improving the customer experience, most notably, digitizing the process, the approval and the delivery.”
While some things haven’t changed, such as the desire for a fully underwritten policy and the choice of coverage amount and lengths, Kazar notes that evolving consumer expectations and the promise of online enrollment are disrupting the industry.
“With the evolution of digital, gone are the days of static applications,” he says. “Consumers no longer must deal with weeks of paperwork, blood tests and medical exams as well as lengthy wait times.
“It used to take about 40 days to obtain a traditional, fully underwritten life insurance plan, which required an extensive paper application and often a full physical,” continues Kazar. “Today, digitally, it takes about 10 minutes, with the enrollment and delivery fulfilled directly from the customer’s preferred device. This is the niche Franklin-Madison is offering credit unions and their members—an instant decision on coverage up to $1 million.
“Even if you take a traditional (static) application and put it online as a ‘fillable’ document, you’re still not providing the full digital experience,” Kazar emphasizes. “The Franklin-Madison digital insurance solution, which uses DocuSign technology and credit card capture, offers this automation and fulfills the consumer’s desire for the ‘buy here, buy now’ experience.”
As the member completes his or her application, only relevant or applicable questions appear, making the process fast and easy. For example, if the applicant selects “non-smoker,” the program will remove questions corresponding to “smoker” having been selected.
“Still, security is the top priority,” stresses Kazar. “Members sign our privacy pledge and, in turn, we provide the strongest encryption measures available to ensure their data stays private.”
Remember, today’s consumer doesn’t want to be sold. “Like the Amazon shopper, your member wants to drive the buying experience,” Kazar concludes. “This requires a shift in our approach to selling life insurance as well as life insurance buying models. We must fulfill the demand for digital and meet members where they shop—online.” cues icon
Stephanie Schwenn Sebring established and managed the marketing departments for three CUs and served in mentorship roles before launching her business. As owner of Fab Prose & Professional Writing, she assists CUs, industry suppliers, and any company wanting great content and a clear brand voice. Follow her on Twitter @fabprose.