Life Insurance | An Industry Controlled by Boomers

In this article, we’re going to get a little “political” and discuss the current state of life insurance and why it needs a 21st-century marketing refresh. Want to join in on the discussion? Head on over to our Facebook page and let us know what you think. 

Most Baby Boomer executives don’t understand 2017 consumers or even 2017 marketing.

There, I said it.

I don’t care if you are a boomer IMO/FMO/BGA owner, or a boomer insurance carrier President – chances are, you just don’t see where consumers are headed.  You will constantly chase them. Whereas new, more nimble companies are popping up daily that cater to these markets. Despite what many think, it’s not just Millennials that need technology and automation, Gen X’ers and Boomers do as well–they just need it in a format that’s easy to use.

Selling insurance in today’s day and age is tough.  Consumers lose interest really, and I mean REALLY, quickly.  When you subject a consumer to a long fully underwritten process with no e-signature or no voice signature, you are doing each party a disservice. Everyone during the process gets frustrated, including carriers.

So, let’s change how you approach marketing.

A few glaring areas that need to be addressed:

Compliance is a Killer

As a producer, carriers want us to get every piece of content approved.  Really?  You take 2-3 months to approve an application, do you think getting a piece of content approved will be that fast?

Getting insurance rates from carriers for NinjaQuoter took over 2 years.  You mean to tell me that your rates are so secret that you don’t want consumers to see them?  Really?  Telling insurance companies that hundreds of thousands of consumers are engaging with your quoters a month, and them saying they need to think about….smh.  Get out of your own way!

Boomer lawyers…

Product Design

Everyone is selling insurance on price or process.  We are not doing anyone any favors with this, including ourselves.  In the middle market, consumers are looking out for what is in it for them.  Telling a consumer that carrier A has a good price and allows e-signature…come on, that is telling, not selling.

We need something of value such as critical illness built in, accidental death, some feature that is part of base pricing and doesn’t require an agent to download your 1996 illustration software.  Start building products that have special features, like discount programs, memberships, reduced first-month pricing etc.  We are marketers, help us market.  Hint: “Wear this FitBit and get reductions on your life insurance premium for being active” is very marketable.

Boomer actuaries always saying no…

Business Processing – BGAs

I can get past the un-marketability of life insurance, I can get a consumer to apply but now I have to deal with gray-haired BGAs.  Yay.  Not.

It is no secret that BGAs want big business with juicy margins.  They want your advanced planning cases, your IULs and your large term sales.  They don’t want to process your middle market term clients where they may make $100 a case in profit.  Problem is, they don’t see the forest for the trees.  BGAs are stuck in their perpetual motion of doing what has always been done.  Sure, they may have added e-signature, may have even taken advantage of an e-delivery platform…but so has every other BGA.  A BGA with connectivity will win this game.  A fully connected business from commissions, to processing to selling is crucial….and NO, I do not mean a BGA owned CRM.

Never buy a BGA owned CRM.

Boomer BGAs…

Department of Insurance

In your quest for consumer protectionism and insurance company oversight, you have forgotten that life insurance is an absolute necessity in American lives.  Too much consumer protection, dozens of disclosures and lengthy illustrations has a huge negative effect….consumers stop buying life insurance.  There are a ton of great ideas in product design, but they get stuck at the DOI for approval.

Rebating laws are outdated.  Anything these days is considered rebating.  Taking a client out to a baseball game?  Rebating.  Listen–we know what rebating laws were designed for, but please re-write them so we can market insurance effectively.  Giving someone an iPad for purchasing a life insurance policy should not be considered rebating, it should be considered a marketing cost and something that separates one agent over another.  And, the plus side–it will get more people to buy life insurance because there is something in it for them.

Boomer Insurance Commissioners…

Congress

Quit pushing commission disclosures.  You think we are all rich on commissions, but what you don’t realize are the costs associated with just acquiring a client.  Make it easier for us to provide our public service.  If even fewer people purchase life insurance than are buying now, what do you think will happen?  I can tell you.  Additional strain on welfare programs.  What do you think?  If a spouse or income earner dies without life insurance, chances are that surviving spouse and kids will need financial support from their families or the Federal Government.

Boomer Congressmen and Congresswomen…

In closing

I am not pointing fingers.  I am however asking that we band together and solve a much bigger issue than play the blame game.  Insurance ownership is at an all-time low, with access to information being at an all time high.  It is a complete oxymoron.  Carriers need to adopt new technology MUCH quicker.  Regulators need to be much quicker in approving innovation.

Together, we can solve this middle market conundrum.