Life insurance is big business. Over $635 billion was paid premiums in the US in 2015, and around 57% of all people in the US have coverage. But the current way of doing business only focuses on the financial outcome should an insurance event occur. How could the industry think even bigger?
While life insurance is a fundamental component of a sound financial plan, most of us would consider shopping for it as a have-to-do vs. a want-to-do activity. Life insurance is largely seen as a commodity and not something that provides sentimental added value or engagement. However, advances in technology in the digital age provide an opportunity for life insurance companies to adapt and build relationships with current and prospective clients in a different way.
With so much of our lives now being lived online, effective management of the growing volume of digital assets such as email, photos and social-media postings – which we are all generating --is becoming more and more important. This management includes what to do with these assets after the account holder dies; something that is complicated by terms of service agreements and privacy policies which govern access to social media and email accounts. Indicative of just how big of an issue this is, Facebook has recently introduced a new feature, making it possible to add a "Legacy Contact," or someone who can gain control of an account and memorialize or delete it in the event the account holder passes away. Additionally several states have enacted Fiduciary Access to Digital Assets Acts, which address access to email, social media accounts, microblogging or other website accounts, or certain electronically stored information, upon a person’s incapacity or death. .
Besides digital data, there is also the question of people wanting to control how they are remembered in the future. With SafeBeyond’s technology platform, consumers of all ages can secure their online legacy for generations to come. Over 25,000 people have already created personalized future messages for loved ones, organized their digital assets, and recorded a timeless legacy. As the life insurance industry is well aware, life continues after a person passes away. By tapping into this new service, life insurance companies can add value to their services and establish an emotional connection with their clients and their families.
Here are three main reasons why life insurance companies should step into the digital age and pay attention to digital legacy and asset management:
1.People want more than just financial insurance
We’ve learned from our users that people want more than just solutions for their financial needs. They seek engagement with their service providers and value the relationships they have with them. In addition to leaving behind money, people want to leave a digital legacy for their loved ones as well. This could mean leaving letters, videos, pictures, instructions etc. all on a secure digital platform. Most people get life insurance when they have children, buy a house, lose a parent, or face a different life-changing moment. SafeBeyond offers a holistic add-on to life insurance, providing a service that caters to emotional needs. We have spoken with hundreds of people, most of whom say that their most important “asset” is their ability to leave behind special messages for their loved ones and to be remembered by more than just money. When people are motivated to purchase a life insurance policy, they are thinking about their future. This is the perfect time to add value to an established service. Why not appeal to both their pragmatic and emotional sides by offering emotional life insurance service as well?
2.The discussion about death and dying is changing
By utilizing technology, people can now have a more positive experience in making end-of-life decisions. The approach to death and dying is changing. By allowing users to record memories, save special messages, and to send warm wishes on specific dates after their passing, SafeBeyond has instigated a communication revolution. Final spoken words no longer have to be one’s last. People who use SafeBeyond in addition to having a life insurance policy, report feeling more secure about their end-of-life planning and their eventual death.
3.Be Innovative - Stay Ahead of the Curve
Millennials overestimate the cost of life insurance by more than 200% and GenXers by about 120%. 54% of Americans aren’t looking to buy a life insurance policy in the next year, and 65% have not purchased more life insurance because of perceived costs, which are almost always more than the actual prices. Young people under the age of 25 are most concerned with paying bills, while on the whole, consumers over the age of 25 worry about being able to retire comfortably. The digital legacy management industry, which is gaining traction across generations, provides an opportunity for life insurance companies to approach customers from a different angle. By appealing to the emotional and engaging side of life insurance first, they can encourage pragmatism later, improve the aforementioned statistics among millennials, as well as take better care of their current clients, including the client experience and the connection to their clients’ families.