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11:30 AM
Brad Cummins
Brad Cummins

The Need for an Intelligent Quote Engine in Life Insurance

An innovative and effective quote engine, backed by the insight of distinguished experts, may enable more people to buy life insurance.

The insurance industry has a technology problem: It is time-consuming and confusing to search and sort through life insurance rate classes.

People try to compare quotes in the same way they would use Priceline (or its travel search engine Kayak) to find the cheapest airfare from New York to Miami, or San Francisco to Dallas. This process is not the same, however, because is a tool that gathers all the available rates for a specific flight, to depart on a specific date. Users can then easily see, and purchase, the most affordable ticket instantly.

Life insurance companies are organizations that offer multiple rate classes, which may seem like two different prices for the same product. A potential client then thinks one insurer is less expensive or better than another, based on the rate posted on a particular website. 

In reality, these mistaken assumptions may lead people to later believe an insurer uses bait-and-switch tactics to generate business. For example: An individual wants to buy a policy with a large death benefit and a small monthly premium, only to discover there are underwriting guidelines that can immediately disqualify that person from getting that coverage.

These problems may explain why nearly 40 percent of Americans do not have life insurance. The experience of trying to purchase a policy can be so overwhelming that most people say, "Forget it."

As insurance professionals, we need to help potential clients through every step of this operation. We should be guides who make this exercise simple and transparent.

I honor that commitment in my own way as founder of Local Life Agents, an independent life insurance agency that offers life insurance products in all 50 states. Full disclosure: I am a strong believer in the importance of having life insurance, because it saved my family. My father passed away when I was 14, and his life insurance policy enabled my mother to keep our home and survive.

[Tech's Role in Insurance ORSA Compliance

I also know there is a technological solution that shows an individual all the available rate classes, highlighting that an applicant must qualify to buy a particular policy. This technology is the result of extensive research and development, and thorough testing, to end the confusion surrounding the purchase of life insurance.

At this point, an agent can be a huge asset. The agent can explain to a client that to qualify for a certain policy an insurer may review everything from that person's height and weight to his or her medical history, use of prescription drugs, and even that individual's driving record.

In the course of generating more than 10,000 life insurance quotes in the last year alone, I know the public needs a technological solution to this issue. We need a quote engine that is comprehensive, which provides easy-to-understand results.

We must empower people to find the right price for every rate class, increasing their awareness about how underwriting guidelines influence which person is eligible to buy which policy. Technology can streamline this effort, arranging rate classes and costs in an orderly way.

With an agent's assistance, clients can better appreciate the context that governs these costs. That clarity is exactly what we need and want. It demystifies how this entire system works. This straightforward brand of search would, for instance, reveal the differences between a no-exam life insurance option and one that requires an exam commensurate with that person's age and the death benefit that the individual wants to buy.

Intelligent technology answers a question every current and potential client should ask: "How may I easily and quickly find the right life insurance policy -- for the right rate class -- that accurately reflects my financial needs and goals?" 

With a quote engine that is innovative and effective, backed by the insight of distinguished experts, more people may soon have a chance to buy life insurance.

As the founder of Local Life Agents, which he launched nationwide, Brad offers customized solutions and personalized service to his clients. Brad started his own agency from scratch for Farmers Insurance Group in 2005, which he later sold in 2014. He graduated from Ohio State ... View Full Bio

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