Voluntary benefits sales can be a profitable source of revenue for life insurers; but to truly succeed, carriers must look beyond traditional products and business models to anticipate the real needs of new digital buyers.
Weak spots in current life insurer voluntary benefits strategies include:
- Enhanced use of digital. Today’s customers expect a digitally enabled shopping experience where they control the pace of decisions.
- Improved customer service. Employers cite poor customer service, especially in billing, as the major reason why they switch providers.
- Marketing and distribution optimization. Few carriers have honed their consumer marketing skills—a problem since employers often restrict availability of products and ongoing access to their employees.
- Product innovation. Limited “moments of truth” (annual enrollment, payroll deductions, claims) with employees makes it hard for insurers to stay relevant and engaged.
- Platform modernization. Outdated carrier platforms can impede growth.
Along with introducing more innovative products, insurers must simplify the voluntary benefits process—making it easy and seamless for employers while streamlining and personalizing the experience for their employees.
Winning insurers will transform the user experience, but that’s only a start. They must also develop a clear and consistent segment, channel, and positioning strategy, along with offering a broad portfolio of benefit solutions purpose-built for this market that meets multiple employee needs.
For instance, supplemental medical and accident insurance can capitalize on widening healthcare gaps, while coverages like dental vision, and identity theft increase contact frequency and engagement. And long-term care, retirement and financial wellness products can enrich employee life-cycles and keep the insurer involved in their lives.