Life insurance just wasn't on my radar before I started working at Swiss Re. Fast-forward to 2016. As an anthropologist turned new Swiss Re employee, I had to learn fast about life insurance. I tried out several life insurance calculators, and one revealed that just the value of all the cooking, cleaning, and care giving I do at home adds up to $27,144 a year. This prompted me to think: "What would my husband do to cover all that plus everything else if something happened to me?"
Working in the life insurance industry provided the education I needed to see the value of life insurance, but I spent the next four months preoccupied. Buying more life insurance fell into the category of "important but not urgent." I needed a nudge. But where to begin? One aspect of my job includes assessing content on life insurance company websites. I went back to the websites that I knew were most engaging and checked their quote calculators. I quickly found what I was looking for and filled out an online application in 30 minutes. I was briefly disappointed to learn that I needed to take a medical exam, despite the promise of no medical testing "for qualified, healthy applicants." However, I was pleased when the exam was scheduled and completed within 24-hours. My policy was approved 8 days later: a quick and easy customer journey that illustrates how far the life insurance industry has come in the digital age.
By becoming a life insurance consumer myself, I learned four important things for us to keep in mind as we work to further improve the process of buying life insurance.
1. Educate. The first step is educating people like me on their need for life insurance. Another letter in the mail just isn't going to cut it. How can we get more life insurance stories and information out there into the public conversation so
people realize they have a protection gap?
2. Nudge. Once people are educated about life insurance, they will likely need a nudge to actually start the process. Experts in behavioral economics have demonstrated that it is possible to help people take action by shaping the context and choices offered to them. What nudges can we create to help people to act on their desire to purchase life insurance?
3. Create more engaging websites. A great deal of time and effort goes into pricing insurance products accurately and finding ways to speed up the underwriting process for companies that have really bad websites. What improvements can be made on those websites to provide more understandable, even entertaining content and tools?
4. Pay attention to emotions. When a person goes through the life insurance purchase process, how they think and feel about the experience is just as important as what they do. By mapping consumer journeys, we can start to see their pain points.
My colleague, Steve, started his life insurance process a month before I did, and I can tell you that his experience was not as good or as fast as mine. Stay tuned for his upcoming blog describing his journey and what it reveals about our industry.
Category: Funding longer lives
Location: United States