The life insurance sector is ripe for innovation, and insurtech company Breathe Life contributes to it by introducing new technology to boost insurance adoption so that everyone gets the protection they deserve. The company’s efforts towards this goal have led to recognition as one of Insurance Business magazine’s 5-Star Insurtech Providers in 2021.
Ian Jeffrey, Breathe Life’s co-founder and CEO, recently told IB’s Paul Lucas about the company’s work with brokers and advisors to change the life insurance landscape. Jeffrey, whose familiarity with the industry comes from his father, co-founded the insurtech firm based on the knowledge that life insurance has a strong impact on people’s lives. He believes that insurtechs are enablers in this complex market because they help industry participants reinvent themselves and offer better products and services. However, compared to the degree of innovation in the property and casualty insurance segments, life insurance has yet to see the adoption of modern technology – and this is an area where Jeffrey sees huge opportunities.
Breathe Life’s platform, he says, guides advisors through the purchasing process and offers a digital experience that is different from what has been historically available. For example, advisors can use the platform for upselling and cross-selling products, as well as managing all of their clients.
“This experience is similar to a direct-to-consumer flow, but the difference is that it’s entirely controlled by the advisor, which means that the advisor who’s running the process still gets their commission, still gets rewarded for the work they’ve done [without having to do] all of the heavy lifting that might be required to actually travel and go see the clients. […] Part of the big benefit here is that our clients and advisors are able to cost effectively target both the underinsured market through technology and the traditional market, therefore helping them to tackle the coverage gap,” Jeffrey says.
In a field that is traditionally slow to evolve, the COVID-19 pandemic has prompted carriers and distributors to implement new technologies.
“This pandemic was kind of an accelerant of the inevitable, which is technology needs to happen,” he said. “This industry needs to change. And the other point is that the advisor population is aging, and so the industry needs to find a new way for the next generation of advisors to come in and keep on doing the great work that they’ve been doing now. Part of the issue is that the industry just isn’t providing the tools that this younger generation expects [and] it’s time for the industry to provide new advisors with the modern tools that they should have to get their job done.”
Jeffrey says that to succeed in an industry with more sophisticated consumers, advisors have to understand its dynamics and use technology to build relationships and expand their business.