Clearly the insurance industry is ripe for some major changes. If you look back over the last five to seven years, there has been an InsurTech and Fintech explosion. The InsurTech Connect convention is in its fourth year and has grown from 1,000 attendees up to 8,000 in three years.
Brokers International is helping agents embrace change through using the electronic application. It’s a tool that not only is helping insurance companies reduce their costs, it’s also facilitating agents’ getting paid faster, and is helping them with suitability and compliance. The electronic application requires them to fill out an application correctly, and ultimately it gets processed and paid much faster. Eventually the technology will allow a consumer to receive a policy electronically. I think it will be easier for consumers to make changes, file claims, and have their claims paid faster.
Agents today have to prospect using digital communications and social media platforms. A large cohort of our agent base is older and not as adept as using these platforms. At Brokers, we are running seminars on how to leverage social media marketing that are specifically targeted to this older demographic. How-to topics include, promoting yourself and prospecting on LinkedIn, using automated email marketing, SEO basics, and mobile optimization for websites.
A Few Time-Tested Words on Life Insurance and Annuities
One of the things I love about what we do at Brokers International is that the basic premise for the products that we offer is evergreen. We support families to secure their financial future, through our agents. The two products that we focus on the most are life insurance and annuities.
The truth is, most people are not saving enough for retirement. Life insurance provides a death benefit. It’s a product more than 100 years old, and when someone passes on, it provides for a family with funds that could not have otherwise been accumulated in their lifetime. Life insurance still provides a pool of capital via a death benefit, for a relatively low cost.
One of the reasons why I love the annuity product is if you take away all the bells and whistles, it’s the only financial product that you can buy that will guarantee you an income stream for life. Once you turn on that income, it isn’t challenged by Interest rates, it’s not challenged by fluctuations in the marketplace. It’s a paycheck that you will receive every single month until the day you die and you can extend that out to your lifetime and possibly the life of your significant other. There are also ways to stretch that payment out over the next generation. This is the only product that can be designed that way.
Annuities are in demand today because we aren’t saving as much as we should for retirement and our medical costs are increasing. Interest rates right now are low and the stock market is fluctuating, so this is a product that provides a safety net. Annuities are going to continue to be a solution for a majority of people, and I look forward to the day when it will be provided, for example, within a 401k that is sold individually.