(Screenshot of Haven Life’s Facebook chat page.)
Haven Life, the New York-based MassMutual-backed startup that aims to provide an easy way to buy term life insurance online, has launched a Facebook Messenger-based chatbot. The company describes the new capability as an innovative, conversational resource designed to help educate Americans on what it really costs to financially protect the people in their lives who matter most. The bot interacts with customers using colloquial language intended to be engaging, and even humorous. It makes use of gif files and provides links to escalate customers to further resources in the event that it cannot provide an adequate answer to a question.
News of the chatbot closely follows the launch of Haven Life’s brand and experience redesign, and the company characterizes the debut as a further expression of its commitment to its mission to simplify life insurance. “Our team is constantly seeking new opportunities to use technology to make buying and understanding life insurance as easy as possible,” comments Matt Wolf, Product and Actuarial Lead, Haven Life.
Haven Life has considered the use of chatbots in various points of engagement in the customer experience, for example, in the application process, according to Wolf. “But, the ability for chatbots to understand natural language is still very limited, and one of the areas we shine is with the real, human, friendly customer support we offer,” he says. “At this point, a bot can’t adequately replace the level of service our customer support team is able to provide in the purchasing process.”
Opportunity to Provide Transparency in Pricing
That said, it’s well known that many Americans drastically overestimate the cost of term life insurance coverage, which is a misconception that can prevent people from securing necessary coverage, Wolf notes. “Therefore, we saw an opportunity, both through our emphasis on real rates and the launch of this chatbot, to provide more transparency into pricing than ever before,” Wolf elaborates. “Facebook seemed like a natural place to enable this information to be within easy reach for a large portion of the population.”