Looking ahead to 2016, we can see that it's going to be a year of tremendous technology advancements.
There are several articles that point out the specific technologies to watch for in 2016, but I thought I would narrow it down to the 3 that are here and possibly already affecting your life & health insurance agency:
- Wearable technology
- Health apps
- Big data-driven insurance applications
Many of us have jumped on the Fitbit bandwagon for personal reasons (wanting to challenge ourselves, wanting to monitor our activity, wanting to compare our calories out vs. calories in, etc.), but 2016 will be the year when more health and life insurance agencies begin to link wearable tech to their policies. For example, some health insurers give discounts if the policyholder agrees to wear the Fitbit or other tracking device and relay that information back.
Fitbit chargeHR Heart Rate & Activity Wristband
Mark Breading, partner at Strategy Meets Action, explains:
"Next year, I expect to see many life-health insurers either giving discounts or giving away different kinds of health monitoring devices. It's an information exchange thing because the policy holder is saying, 'I agree to give you information about my body and health on a real-time basis in exchange for a premium reduction, or maybe advice on healthy living and helping me to stick to my treatment plans.'"
Though this may not be something the majority of policyholders have access to now, don't doubt that it will become an expectation. Today, consumers take advantage of ways to get discounts for "good behavior". Think Progressive's Snapshot® or Allstate's Safe Driving Bonus Check from the P&C world. These ideas are making their way to the life and health world, so be prepared with what you'll offer clients and prospects.
Probably everyone you know has or did have a health app on their phone at some point. Health apps are applications on your mobile device that give you quick, convenient access to information about your health. Examples include: Teladoc, glucose monitors, connected pacemakers, etc.
OneTouch® Verio®Sync with OneTouch® Reveal® mobile app
Laura Lorenzetti explains in her article, "Here's How Your Health Care Is Going to Change in 2016," that people are using these apps to monitor their health and receive care when and where it's convenient for them.
"About 32% of consumers had at least one health app on their phones in 2015, up from only 16% in 2013, according to the PwC report."
How does this affect health and/or life insurance agents? Your prospects and clients are much more educated with these apps. You're going to have to sell them policies that match their needs exactly, and you're going to need to be educated on these apps yourself. These prospects and clients are hands-on and highly educated about the state of their health, so you need to be ready to show them policies that fit their current situation and be ready to discuss the information they find on those apps at length.
Big Data-Driven Insurance Applications
Haven Life is an example of an agency that uses a quick, convenient application process on their website. This isn't a new idea by any means, but what will change as we continue on into 2016 is the amount of data they'll have about you to form your proposed application.
Haven Life Life Insurance Application
Even credit scoring companies are sometimes using big data to raise/lower credit scores, and credit card companies are acting accordingly.
Think of the technology we've talked about thus far. With wearable tech providing an abundance of data, the industry will move towards more individualized policies as that data becomes more readily available. These applications are just the beginning.
Hopefully your takeaway from this blog is this: technology won't wait for you. With the abundance of data that can be gathered or tracked on people, the insurance industry will continue to take advantage of it. As an agent or agency owner, now is the time to take a look at how you're preparing for this.
Part of that includes taking a look at how you maintain your book-of-business. Having an organized and easily-accessed book-of-business is the foundation of preparing for serving prospects and clients in a more personalized way.
Worried about how your book-of-business is currently maintained? Give us a call; we'd love to chat with you about it.