Futurists like to offer us glimpses of what is next in our lives. But at times, the future comes to us through unforeseen events and it’s no secret that Covid has changed many things we previously took for granted, particularly in the world of advice and underwriting.
Clients are increasingly experiencing the world as a digital journey and insurance is changing to meet these expectations. For life insurance-related solutions, this could mean more than just a monthly payment with a promise of assistance should the worst happen. Rather it becomes more like an everyday lifestyle solution that accompanies clients throughout their day. With things like meaningful advice around good health for example, the insurer is more in it with their client.
More data, more choices
People like choice because it offers us the ability to shape our own lives in the ways we see as best for ourselves. This is what digital client onboarding has come to embrace. As a client’s personal information is gathered, it is immediately taken up into the cloud and processed. By having all of this information immediately available in the cloud, advisers can more quickly share relevant insights with clients that address their individual requirements more specifically.
This further implies that advisers can offer more tailored options and respond more precisely to their client’s lifestyles. The advice experience becomes more personal by adding more choices which can then be conformed to what clients really want. Looked at from another perspective, the pandemic has sped up a process that was already evolving. Everything is now online, and advisers can quickly offer and match solutions to individual lives or aspirations.
Artificial intelligence (AI) has also added a new element to cloud-based underwriting data, with its ability to sift through a client’s information to pick out relevant points for cover to be offered in a more personal way.
This, along with the speed at which underwriting can now be performed, means that clients can be insured more quickly. For example, physical medical examinations that once took weeks to conclude, now can take place immediately with client data being matched with pre-existing medical data to offer a risk assessment.
From a personal perspective, online business relationships have become more of the norm through tech enablers such as Teams, Zoom and even WhatsApp. Face-to-face meetings were considered customary before the pandemic because they were best able to make a good first impression or show consideration and care for clients.
Fast forward to 2022 and more and more advisers have adopted a hybrid model to connect with clients, especially for purposes of ongoing reviews and growing their businesses beyond what a face-to-face approach would allow. This approach is fully supported by Liberty, where we recognise, enable and support this new world. We are clear about the fact that technology is an enabler, while human connectivity remains key for closer interpersonal relationships.
Adapting to change
With all of these changes around how financial advice can be shared and received, the increased speed of the underwriting process is indicative of how things have moved on and intermediaries have adapted accordingly. This benefits the client because accuracy and agility have become that much better. Disruption or change to this way of doing things is here to stay, and we know that technology will never stay static – it will evolve, while the value and nature of advice will continue to adapt alongside it.
From one perspective, it’s fair to say that in many ways, an insurer is now able to act faster when a client experiences a life-changing event and a claim has to be paid, fulfilling the very promise that we are in this business for.