A couple of the online-only life insurance startups Insurance Forums featured back in November made news this week, with one company officially launching in California and another adding another five more states to its coverage roster.
You may recall these companies focus on providing simple online applications using big data and no medical exams to very quickly issue (primarily) term life policies – and bypass the independent agent entirely.
Below are details about Ladder’s launch in its home state of California, while the next page features information on MassMutual-backed Haven Life’s expansion to 48 states and Washington D.C.
Ladder's streamlined life insurance offering launches in California
Menlo Park, Calif.-based Ladder, billed as “the first-of-its-kind, digital life insurance product,” is now fully available in the state of California.
As of Jan. 10, consumers can go to www.ladderlife.com on their computer or mobile device to calculate their needs, get a quote, and apply for instant coverage — all online, in minutes. Ladder is “re-engineering life insurance from the ground up; in today's mobile first, convenience-oriented world, the process of buying life insurance has been, until now, woefully rooted in the past,” according to a release announcing the launch.
"Life insurance is a fundamentally important financial decision for people, yet the process has been unnecessarily complicated and burdensome," said Jamie Hale, CEO and co-founder, Ladder. "Ladder is changing this process by offering consumers an instant, smart, digital solution to buy the life insurance they want and need."
More from the release:
Ladder is focused on the consumer experience. With its fully digital product, the company is eliminating barriers associated with the traditional life insurance process, which typically involves in-person meetings with agents, physical paperwork, and an average six-week wait time to get coverage in place. This outdated system is expensive and slow and has created a major impediment to broader consumer adoption, resulting in a $16 trillion coverage gap in the United States (source: LIMRA). Ladder is aiming to close this gap, focusing specifically on those who aren't buying life insurance today because of the current system.
"Today's consumers manage their investments, file their taxes, and conduct many other major financial transactions online in a low cost, secure, and high quality way. Life insurance is too important to be left behind," Hale said.
"Insurance is the next important frontier in fintech, and Ladder is leading the way by dramatically simplifying the life insurance process," said Brendan Dickinson, partner, Canaan Partners. "This outstanding team has developed a solution that not only enables an instant decision consumers can trust, but also lays the groundwork for more innovation in the space."
Because Ladder underwrites each individual in real-time, the company says it is able to save consumers money and provide them with exactly the insurance they need without having to go through the traditional, lengthy process. Buyers can qualify within minutes for policies that go up to $8 million. Unlike most life insurance companies, Ladder charges no annual policy fees. Furthermore, all policies produced by Ladder are ultimately reinsured by Hannover Re US, a member of Hannover Re Group (HNR1), one of the largest reinsurance groups in the world.
"The next wave of fintech is focusing on insurance, and with life insurance, Ladder is addressing a segment that has yet to benefit from innovation," said Will Kohler, partner, Lightspeed Venture Partners. "They are applying technology to provide today's consumers the experience they have come to expect in next generation financial services offerings. We're thrilled to be part of the launch."
When insurance was first introduced, centuries ago, reality necessitated a face-to-face transaction, but this is no longer the case with today's technology, the company says. “While the fintech space overall has rapidly evolved in the recent years, insurance has remained a largely stagnant, underserved segment.” Ladder, which recently announced it closed a $14 million Series A led by Canaan Partners with participation from Lightspeed Venture Partners, NYCA, and 8VC, is pleased to introduce its innovation to life insurance.
For more information visit: www.ladderlife.com.
• Thoughts on these online-only, agent-bypassing platforms? Please visit this thread: New term products target millennials, miss agents
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