(Life.io supports but is not limited to wearable devices as an engagement focus. Source: Garmin.)
Last spring, John Hancock announced an exclusive partnership with Vitality to create what the Boston-based carrier called a whole new approach to life insurance that rewards customers for healthy living. In December another such relationship emerged between Philadelphia-based vendor Life.io and an as-yet unnamed top-tier U.S.-based life insurer—this time as part of a non-exclusive agreement. Already in production, the relationship signifies a second front upon which the life insurance customer experience is being transformed from a simple death-benefit proposition to a high-touch relationship about fostering a long and fulfilling life.
Life.io is designed to help insurers evolve to meet the needs of the next generation of consumers, according to Jon Cooper, founder and CEO, Life.io. “We engage with consumers through our web-based platform, supporting them to improve lifestyle choices and ultimately, enabling them to live their lives to the fullest,” he says. “Through this engagement, we gain insights that enable our clients to offer the right product to the right people at the right time.”
Cooper describes Life.io as a flexible and highly configurable SaaS platform that can be used as a data, analytics, and engagement engine for creating innovative insurance products and/or to engage with existing policyholders.
“Through policyholders’ engagement with our platform, we give carriers the ability to better understand, manage and improve population risk, and to drive behavior modification within populations,” Cooper elaborates. “Additionally, through the data collected in the platform, carriers have the ability to segment policyholders at a smarter and much more granular level, including psychographic and behavioral segmentation, and to create a highly personalized user journey for each policyholder.”
While Life.io supports wearable devices, such as Fitbit, Cooper stresses other features that differentiate the solution from traditional “wellness” solutions that simply offer health-related behavioral modification programs. Life.io offers what he characterizes as a flexible platform that gives the vendor’s carrier clients autonomy and range for deciding how to leverage capabilities to engage policyholders.
“These can run the full spectrum from product transformation to a value-added service to enhance traditional insurance products,” Cooper says. “We also offer our clients the flexibility to engage policyholders around health or other areas of interest, such as financial wellbeing and resilience.”
Better customer engagement on the part of life insurers is urgently needed, suggests Rob McIsaac, senior VP of Research and Consulting, Novarica (Boston). Individual life insurance is at its lowest levels since 1960, and the idea that what appealed to customers in previous decades will work now is fatally flawed, he believes, noting that the leading edge of the Millennial cohort is now 34 years old.
“Carriers need to experiment to engage a new generation of customer,” McIsaac comments. “Will Vitality work? Will Coffee shops? Will Life.io? I don’t know, but the lessons learned from these experiments will lead carriers to better answers and new questions that will move the life insurance customer experience forward.”