Carriers are in an arms race to modernize, adapt, and meet today’s market needs. For some that means in-house efforts to upgrade systems, while others look to find an outside technology partner.
We’re obviously fond of the latter strategy, and to that end, we’re excited to announce that we’ve just partnered with another large carrier. However, we also think it’s important that carriers exercise appropriate skepticism when vetting tech partners.
That’s because, while there are plenty of software companies out there ready to pitch you their out-of-the-box solution, it’s fair to say that most of them don’t possess deep insurance industry knowledge.
This month’s newsletter is about the importance of finding a tech partner that truly understands the insurance space, and the questions you should be asking them before the ink is dry.
Why finding a tech partner with life insurance expertise matters
I’d like to share an anecdote I’ve heard repeated by multiple colleagues in the industry. A large carrier brings in a software company to help modernize their operation, but a few months later they come to a startling realization: “Our new partner knows a lot about software, but very little about life insurance.”
Here are just a few of the pain points I’ve heard:
Isolated solutions - Underwriting. New Business. Policy Administration. Data and analytics. It seems like most software companies have cherry-picked one or two solutions to provide — but insurance carriers don’t get to cherry-pick. Insurance carriers are responsible for the entire chain, and a SaaS partner with insurance know-how would appreciate that and the challenges that can arise when you try to patch together multiple systems.
Complicated New Business Process - Life insurance isn’t e-commerce. The new business process is complicated. Once you (or your distribution partners) do the work of getting customers in the door to apply, then there’s ensuring the application is in good order and that the applicant completes all of the underwriting requirements as well as a variety of different regulatory requirements. A tech partner with knowledge gaps in these areas will have trouble delivering software that truly tackles these needs.
Need for a true partnership - The life insurance business has a lot of variables. When it comes to software, it’s easy to find yourself in a situation where you’re working with a vendor and not a true partner. If a company lacks insurance expertise and has blind spots for some of the nuances involved, can they truly be a real partner? Will they be there with documentation and training materials that actually serve your team? Will this relationship really drive down costs or will it end up requiring more investment from your internal teams in the long run?
The point is, when it comes to vetting potential solutions, it’s important for carriers to ask the right questions. Sure, software company X has a slick pitch and a modern-looking platform, but do they really understand your specific business needs?
At Bestow, we leverage our extensive insurance expertise to help carriers like you integrate tech and meet the needs of the modern market. If you’d like to learn more about our carrier solutions, reach out to our team to set up a demo today.
Q & A with Paul Rasmussen, Head of Partner Success
Q: What does “modern buying experience” really mean?
A: Traditional insurance customer intake models include warming up leads, appointments and paperwork, information gathering and underwriting, and manual policy administration — but today’s customers are increasingly online, and expect speed, ease, and transparency. When Bestow says “modern buying experience,” we’re talking about carriers meeting those new customer expectations. Here’s some of what that might include:
- Instant quote and completely digital application that’s easy and intuitive.
- Instant decision (or clear, friendly communication on when applicants will hear from an underwriter, if a carrier prefers)
- Seamless policy issue and e-delivery just like other digital products consumers already use
- Customer self-service portal that’s easy to navigate, and knowledgeable customer support standing by if needed.