2019 was an incredible year of transformation for the life insurance industry, and we want to keep that momentum going. We’ve curated 20 quotes from 2019 capturing key takeaways, tips, and advice by some of RGAX’s thought leaders. Plus, we’re sharing the articles, interviews, and videos they were spotlighted in so that you can take a deeper dive. This collection is a reminder of what keeps us moving towards our vision of helping people live longer, healthier, and more financially secure lives.
On inspiring creative thinking
“It will take a group effort to try to change consumers’ perception of insurance and this change starts with remembering who you are.” — Stephen Goldstein
Stephen takes an emotional approach to discussing the image of insurance and the humans in it. In his candid interview with Coverager, Stephen uncovers how insurtechs impact (or detract from) the emotional aspect of the life insurance business.
“Company culture can help foster insurtech adoption, and in turn, insurtech can be used to create a more positive workplace culture.” — Jeff Verrill
While the insurance industry is rich in tradition and long-established processes, it’s also undergoing rapid change. Adapting to these changes will require traditional carriers to be more innovative than ever. Culture can have a significant impact on a carrier’s ability to attract and retain the right full-time talent. Jeff shares how a strong workplace culture can support innovation in the claims space.
“One of the toughest and most rewarding parts of being a leader is working with people.” — Ray DiDonna
Running a business is never straightforward — but it doesn’t need to be overly complicated either. Whether you’re an industry professional, an aspiring entrepreneur, or a business leader, Ray provides a step-by-step guide for running, improving, and growing a successful insurance business.
“Approaching life from a ‘glass is half-full’ perspective, I naturally focus more on the positives than the negatives in life.” — Carmela Tedesco
Carmela is the optimistic type who always asks how to look at the situation as glass half full instead of half empty. In our eXpert Spotlight, she shares six timeless truths that have helped shape her successful insurtech career. This is one article you’ll want to read as you continue to take 2020 head on. It helps put priorities into perspective and drive focus on the positive versus the negative.
“In the long run, being able to tie yourself back to a meaningful mission or purpose is so much more fulfilling than whatever job title you have on LinkedIn.” — Kelle Bub
In another top eXpert Spotlight from 2019, Kelle talks about finding your passion, making lateral moves to broaden your experience, and the importance of personal relationships at work. She offers valuable insights for other professionals looking to find fulfillment in the work they do. Inspiring you to ask questions like “When is it better to self-reflect? and “Are you maximizing your potential?”
On the industry’s evolution of change
“As an industry, we’re all faced with challenges: speed, budget, and bandwidth to name a few. Keeping our eyes and our focus on the future will ensure that the road, or Jetson-style skyway, rises to meet the changing needs of the consumer.” — Scott Grandmont
Distribution models have changed, customer experiences have evolved, and processes have been streamlined to propel the insurance industry into the future. But are consumers still left trying to connect the dots? Scott looks at bringing insurance from the stone age to the space age, emphasizing the importance of getting consumers to see the immediacy of the value of life insurance.
“Data and analytics present a significant opportunity for the life insurance industry to reimagine the profession’s future and redefine the experience provided to consumers and advisors.” — Noah Krusell
We’ve seen a long arc of evolution in underwriting over the past few hundred years, but because of new data, technologies, and methods, we’ve now entered a period of rapid disruption and revolution. As a result, the industry is experiencing a paradigm shift in which data and analytics will be a central pillar. Noah explores life insurance underwriting in the next five years and what the “new normal” could look like.
“To nurture exceptional visions and transformative powers for our next generation leaders, we need to start early, meaning now” — Candy Cheung
In 2019, our team in the Asia Pacific region teamed up with the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology (HKUST) to develop an internship program for the future of the insurance industry. Candy interviews two graduates from the program to share insights from their first experiences in insurance.
On how to approach digital engagement
“You have to have a door for every customer.” — Dennis Barnes
Dennis Barnes, our CEO, doesn’t believe in generalization. With a mission to help people live longer, healthier, and more financially secure lives, RGAX works with clients and often their consultants to incubate and accelerate new products and services that advance and expand the life insurance ecosystem. To accomplish this, Dennis highlights the importance of offering products tailored to fit modern consumers’ needs.
“Without a commonly accepted, secure medium of exchange, how can people and organizations exchange data apples for data oranges in a practical and secure way?” — Eric Kitowski
Today, data is abundant, but access and the ability to transmit it securely is more often challenging than not. Well-established, reputable firms have garnered consumer trust over time by safeguarding personal assets using centralized databases and systems. However, databases are missing a common language or channel to communicate with one another. Eric discusses the evolution of distributed ledgers and current use cases in the life insurance industry.
“Online markets continue to grow, creating many opportunities for insurance companies of all sizes to take advantage of better targeting, better data, and more digital distribution touchpoints for their clients and customers.” — Leland Chen
To offer more flexible options for clients, Sagicor Life Insurance Company and RGAX teamed up to create one of the first end-to-end digital options for clients to access and purchase end-of-life insurance entirely online. Leland shares how this partnership helped Sagicor respond to a major shift in consumer behavior for the Baby Boomer generation.
“At one time, an estimated 70% of Americans had life insurance. Now, almost half don’t own any, and those who do don’t have enough protection.” — Julianne Callaway
Our research shows barriers to buying life insurance fall into four main categories. And although these barriers have been around a while, they’re getting worse. However, insurtech solutions are helping carriers overcome these barriers to reach consumers effectively. Julianne Callaway provides examples of companies and solutions that show thinking outside the box when it comes to the engagement of consumers and the policies they offer.
On enhancing processes in the insurance industry
“It can take a carrier, on average, 10 months and $2 million to bring a new product to market. But it doesn’t have to.”
Day-to-day operations, multiple strategic initiatives, and limited resource availability can all work against moving quickly on innovative ideas. This video shows how Greenhouse Insurance helps life insurance carriers validate and bring new concepts to life that might otherwise never leave the drawing board.
“The result of an open innovation project has potential to transform an entire industry and create a better future for consumers.” – Tonya Blackmore
Tonya shares eight key lessons learned from APEXA’s open innovation project, the result of bringing together nine leading companies in the Canadian life insurance industry to create a platform to standardize and simplify life insurance advisor compliance across the country. Check out this infographic for inspiration on how your organization can benefit from open innovation.
“As carriers search for applications that enable them to reduce risks, save time, and accelerate their ability to improve the customer experience, it’s highly likely that more and more of these applications will be delivered in a SaaS model.” — Bruce Bosco
85% of insurance carriers believe retaining a competitive edge will require them to innovate their business processes at an increasingly rapid pace. Bruce Bosco explores how the Software as a Service (SaaS) model is more often accepted by carriers as a method of delivery for applications to ensure business processes and technology keep up with the pace of innovation.
On driving transformational change in insurance
“Focusing on Critical and Tame problems are where most insurance executives spend their time, but Wicked problems present a tremendous business opportunity. Consider spending more of your time on them.” — Richard Verdin
To unlock a Wicked problem, you’ll need to be creative. But it’s important not to fall into tried, tested, and failed processes such as brainstorming. Richard explains how RGAX has helped companies throughout the world tackle their Wicked problems through Life Design Sprints. It starts with understanding how to diagnose a problem correctly and then take action to create a solution with maximum impact.
“To get people to buy Brussels sprouts (and life insurance), you’ll need to do more than make the journey easy — you’ll need to add persuasion.” — Jonathan Hughes
Like life insurance, sprouts are good for you, but they’re also deeply unexciting: few shoppers will pick up sprouts on impulse. To sell such types of goods, you’ll need to persuade, motivate, and provide an impetus to buy. Jonathan shares examples of digital insurance companies applying “sprout strategies” to reduce sales friction and promote life insurance sales.
“The change in your level activity - if sustained - would equate to an additional 30 healthy days of life.” — Andy Reynolds
We’re a big fan of how Quealth is changing the game in insurance with their groundbreaking approach to preventing non-communicable diseases (NCDs). And because of this innovation, Andy Reynolds (CEO of roadtohealth, the company behind Quealth, is making a guest appearance on our list. In an interview with Coverager, Andy explains how Quealth helps individuals accurately assess their health, and he coaches them as they improve by emphasizing life to reinforce positive lifestyle habits. For instance, instead of saying, “Good work. You’ve done a bit more activity, and you scored 100 points,” Quealth quantifies the number of healthy days they’ve added to your life.
“When asked why they don’t buy life insurance, many people will cite the expense. However, most pay more annually for their smartphone than they would if they bought a life insurance policy while they were relatively young and healthy.” — Dori Degenhardt
The real problem may have less to do with cost and more to do with the fact that life insurance isn’t an easy purchase to make. Insurtechs are helping the industry overcome many of these hurdles by making the process of buying life insurance easier. Dori identifies six ways insurtechs (and the carriers) are modernizing many of the processes that life insurance carriers have used over the years, giving people the tools they need, ultimately helping to close the insurance industry coverage gap.
“Partnerships are really becoming the norm.” — Dennis Barnes
It’s no secret that disruption— from technology, changing social norms, and competition from emerging and longstanding companies — has arrived in the insurance industry. The forces leading to change don’t have to be frightening though. Dennis explains that they also create interesting, exciting opportunities for insurance providers to evolve. Check out why Dennis believes partnerships and the power of collaboration are at the core of the insurance industry’s next phase of innovation.
And for good measure, here’s a bonus.
“Let’s change the industry by helping people live longer, healthier, more financially secure lives.”
Join RGAX’s community of forward-thinking professionals eager to transform the life insurance industry. Together we can shape and improve consumer experiences to promote increased adoption of health and wellness options. Watch to learn more.