Legal & General America (LGA) is proud to work with partners that share our mission of innovating to make life better for agents and customers, and ensuring as many families and businesses can access critical protection via life insurance. In celebration of iLife Technologies’ integration into LGA’s Horizon platform going live today, our Jennifer Stanard, Sales VP, Digital Distribution, sat down with iLife Technologies’ co-founder, Nelson Lee to talk innovation and the impact it’s having on the life insurance industry.
Jenn Stanard: Nelson, thank you so much for sitting down with me today! Tell me what drew iLife to a partnership with LGA?
Nelson Lee: Thanks Jenn! We were drawn to LGA’s open-mindedness from the very first conversation, in terms of wanting to innovate via a partnership with a young and high-growth tech startup like ourselves, really stood out from what is otherwise a very old industry. This reaffirms our belief that true change and impact of the life insurance industry comes from incumbents and new innovators working together, and not competing against each other. Also, LGA is well known in the industry for being very competitive in terms of pricing and application convenience, which matches really well with our thesis of doing whatever it takes to make the lives of insurance agents and their customers easier, without sacrificing price and product quality.
JS: Typically, the insurance industry isn’t known for being tech savvy. Tell us how technology has paved the way for growth and transformation in the life insurance space?
NL: I think it really begins with what we intend for any technology to achieve from a human perspective, in that technology isn't always necessarily or inherently good or bad, and it all comes down to intent and execution. Although a lot of resources and efforts have gone into innovating the life insurance industry over the past 10 years, only a very small percentage has been focused on helping to improve the existing stakeholders' infrastructures, instead of replacing or competing with it. We at iLife always believed that our central mission and business model was to help other businesses and not replace them, and that belief in our minds has been instrumental in hyper-growth adoption that is ultimately required to achieve transformational impact.
JS: How does it feel to be launching the Horizon Experience and what does it mean for your customers?
NL: It's a real game changer, never before has it been possible for an agent to take the entire business online, self-service, within one minute, at minimum budget with no codes, and immediately start offering seamless online policy decisions to their customers. The biggest impact comes from the fact that great consumer experiences can now be had at insurance businesses of any size, any budget, with an extremely short time needed to realize value, all of which are radically different and opposite to the insurance industry's prior concepts of enterprise software.
With LGA’s platform now live for iLife, the traditional hurdles in digitizing an insurance business have all been eliminated: budget, IT know-how, and lead generation. Starting or growing an insurance business online will be 10 times easier than even one year ago.
JS: How do you see innovation impacting the industry in the next few years?
NL: We will surely continue to see the diverging groups of insurance stakeholders, where on one side players do all they can to innovate both consumer and agent experiences, and on the other side players insist on doing what they have always been doing for decades. This gap in approach, technology, and resulting experience, is about to get much larger over the next five years compared to what we've seen in the past 30 years.
JS: What makes the LGA and iLife partnership unique?
NL: The freedom of appointments is a big one for many agencies, in that agents do not need to change their existing LGA appointments if they already have one. This effectively means that instead of being a competitor to traditional BGA/GA/IMOs in the existing ecosystem, we are simply a new technology infrastructure that needs no additional onboarding or build out. For agents and agencies who wants to digitize their consumer experience and processes without losing the liberty of controlling their own appointment of choice, this is an ideal option.
JS: What does this mean for the quality of life of your primary users, the consumers and the agents?
NL: For the agent the change in quality of life is very dramatic. In the past agents had to spend painfully long hours doing cold outbound prospecting, then piece together 6-7 different pieces of software from various providers to complete the sales process, all just to have an unstable flow of income. Now they are able to get matched with customers on a consistent basis, with prospects browsing and apply for policy options even when agents are away, leading to a dramatically better return on their time. When agent income becomes more passive, inbound, predictable, and less dependent on hours spent actively prospecting, they are able to spend more time with family, and importantly focus more time on servicing customers that entrusted their expertise in the first place.