Tech-Tock

tech-tock-full

Republished from PaperClip Blog

Tech-Tock is a new column where we address the cyber world connection to Life Insurance and the channels. Several Thought Leaders will discuss the latest technology trends and why you should care about mobile/marketing, web/new business, document management/compliance, security/risk and more; basically, technology, its business effect, and its trends. At the end of the day, we want to intrigue you and give you a sense of urgency to integrate with change.

I think the way to start is to identify our players and their technology. Our players are the Millennium and Baby Boom Generations. The Boomers represent the institutions and the Millennials are the new middle management of these same institutions. As Millennials grew up in the digital explosion, the way they learned access to information behavior is so different that it affects the way they approach problem-solving. At age 30, Boomers would have to call a travel agent to book a flight, today Millennials can hold a portal in their hand and in less than 60 seconds do the same. At age 30, Boomers would have to drag their finger in circles listening to clicks to order a pizza, today Millennials holds up their portal and says, “order pizza”. Millennials have different experiences with transactions today and the process of selling and processing life insurance will evolve and integrate with their portal; point being it will be a marketplace app.

Technology thinking has already changed whereby Millennials are all about outsourcing. I’ve seen in my 40 years of technology a cycle of on-premise to outsourcing cycles changing every 10 years. The new generation has adopted outsourcing and it will never change again. The advent of Cloud computing and soon the new Quantum computing, third-party platforms will host all the applications, and internally all the institutions will host are their portal interfaces (mobile, tablet, desktop & IoT devices).

Recently attending the Nexus Insurance Show (Chicago, Nov 2018) the startup companies presenting powerful new applications understand the demand for hosted applications because the Millennials are the buyers. Artificial Intelligence leads the day with every one of the 40 exhibitors talking about their unique application and benefits of AI. One showed how eights pictures of a damaged car could produce a repair estimate in less than a minute. One showed smart home AI whereby water leaks could be detected and turned off saving millions in claims. One showed a Machine Learning process flow application which could display the real-time movement of the company’s workflow and measure their efficiencies. Many of the companies will be acquired and continue to expand the tool bag of larger established vendors which will be the winners. Winners because with so many startups building out a solution to solve a specific problem, integration has always been the challenge. In the past, the institutions supported standard organizations for supply chain integration but this remains labor intensive with ongoing expenses. As larger vendors acquire technology and accept the responsibility of tight integration, only then will they emerge. The last thing to do is ask a Millennial to key information in, over and over again.

Boomers, no matter the size or number of people in your institution, the message is keep your technology fresh, exciting and outsourced. It’s time to turn off that server in the closet and to start finding outsourced tools to help train, sell, process, deliver and store your business all from a portal. Millennials, you need to be patient. I have not seen much change in technology in the life insurance industry over the last 20 years, for example, independent life production comes in on paper 80% of the time even today. The good news is you’re now in charge and I see the change coming very fast. Congratulations! By, Mike Bridges – President of PaperClip Inc. 

There are great Insurtech articles from the TECH-TOK column you must read. Please visit Broker World Magazine.

Distribution Technology

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Distribution technology is a big part of InsurTech for Life Insurance, Annuities and Long Term Care Insurance. There are multiple distribution channels in the space (Independent, Financial Institutions, Direct Marketer, Direct to Consumer, and Captive/Career). The various channels sell similar products in their respective lines of business. The solutions that they use are similar and sometimes quite different. What sets them apart even further is the process from sales to new business and from policy delivery to commissions. For example: An independent agent will more likely fill out a paper annuity application on a fixed annuity and submit it to their Brokerage General Agency (BGA). A financial advisor on the other hand who works for a bank will submit the annuity application using the bank’s independent broker dealer’s clearing firm’s  annuity order entry platform (AOE) like Ebix’s AnnuityNet. The process on the back end is using DTCC for settling money for premium and netting commissions. Another example is when an independent agent writes a term life insurance application using a multi-carrier electronic application platform (eApp) like iPipeline’s iGO accessed on a BGAs website. Depending on the carrier and product selected the process may be very different such as a term ticket with tele-interview fulfillment; an eApp with accelerated underwriting; or a simplified issue with predictive underwriting and eSignature.

 

InsurTech Express is the place to get educated on distribution technology.  If you are looking to invest in distribution technology, you will find information on solutions and solution providers at InsurTech Express. There are key industry documents on the home page and resource links on the footer of the site. You will continue to see more information on distribution technology as InsurTech Express evolves. Many other resources of InsurTech for Life and Annuities is also available on InsurTech Express.

 

By Ken Leibow, ken@insurtechexpress.com