By Randy E. Hoffman 05/29/2016
Well here it is, Memorial weekend and I’m in the mood to write on that subject I hold oh so dear, LIFE INSURANCE. Since I know you’re on the edge of your seat, let’s continue. One thing I must admit, our industry has been far behind others in general as far as adapting to the quick unrelenting pace of high-tech changes.
I even had a retired geek friend warn me of the day that robots will simply replace us agents as the gateway to getting a new policy. Perish the thought. Some things ALWAYS will require human interaction, Life insurance is one of them. Although 80% of life insurance buyers begin their search online, only 15% actually complete an application there. WHY? When discussing a subject so personal and confidential, people still need people. I’m not saying that robots won’t be available someday to purchase a life policy, I’m saying I believe that it will be a small segment of the industry. Why would people buy from a robot or online without an agent anyway? The rates aren’t any different and who do your beneficiaries call when the worst happens?
Having said that, the industry is neanderthal in using technology to not only making things easier for the client, but also the agent. Do people really want a mobile app to apply for life insurance? Maybe so…. but with a twist. The twist is after being coached by a good agent on options available the applicant could apply on their mobile device should they so choose.
Another thing about shopping online without an agent is that quotes are just quotes, the robot or website cannot do a good job of assessing the possible risk category that the potential client may fall into as they go through the underwriting process. With a good agent you will get a far more realistic price structure based on age and your current health status than a robot or website just throwing out numbers.
The industry must do a better job of speeding up the underwriting process and assisting the agent at explaining the options available to the client and that is why they need to create online and mobile systems for the agent NOW !!! I wonder what they will call the Robot that ultimately replaces me.