Insurtech has been a popular buzzword for the last several years, but life insurance has been left out of the tech party.
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iLife is looking to change that as it hopes to digitize the life insurance industry after raising a $4 million seed.
The company’s platform is a little different than those seen in the home and car insurance industry, as it is designed to be used by agents and brokers to set up their own branded, digital insurance agency in minutes.
“We are unique in the sense we are not going direct-to-consumer, but rather to the broker and agent,” said founder and CEO Nelson Lee.
Big industry, slow change
Although more than $600 billion is paid annually in life insurance premiums, Lee said the life insurance model is broken, with a lack of digital platforms and communication tools available for brokers. While companies like Lemonade and Cover have improved the B2C market for many types of policies, life insurance agents have had limited ways to interact with customers and give quotes.
“Everyone is clearly aware of the experience and that it needs to be improved,” Lee said.
iLife’s platform gives brokers a digital storefront and allows access to more than 500,000 term and permanent life insurance policies. The access to the policies and data means agents should be able to give quotes in seconds instead of weeks when the site goes live next month, Lee adds.
The company — which has no physical headquarters — plans to use the new money to add to its 14-person team which mainly resides in California, Lee said.
While iLife does not discuss how many agents will be on the platform, Lee said four large carriers have agreed to have policies listed for agents to access.
The company was founded in mid-2019, and while the effects of the pandemic on the business are hard to judge, Lee said he does believe it brought about a feeling among carriers that the industry must become digitized.
Rodolfo Gonzalez, a partner at Foundation Capital, said he sees life insurance as a space whose time has come for some sort of disruption — especially as it is more complicated and nuanced than many other insurance needs.
“Insurance agents in this industry are not going anywhere,” he said. “In life insurance, there is more consulting that needs to happen, that needs to take place between the consumer and broker.
“This is a big sector, and consumers and agents themselves are looking for new opportunities to connect.”
Illustration: Li-Anne Dias.
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