As 2017 comes to an end, we’re looking back at some of the year’s financial industry trends. This post is the first in a series examining notable patterns and highlights.
In 2017, we saw firms take a unique approach to client engagement through reward incentives. According to a 2014 study, almost a quarter of respondents (24%) cited that their life insurance policy lapsed due to reasons outside of a change in or concern about their financial standing, including forgetting about the policy and thinking the policy was already paid. This suggests firms can decrease lapsed policies by increasing client engagement and making life insurance a more prominent part of client’s financial lives. Here, we highlight three firms that led the industry over the past year with innovative incentives to increase engagement.
John Hancock continues to be a leader in life insurance rewards. The firm’s Vitality platform rewards clients with premium and retail discounts when they make healthy lifestyle choices, including exercising, buying healthy food and participating in health quizzes and activities. Conversely, premiums increase if clients do not meet their Vitality goals. All interaction is tracked on the Vitality platform, encouraging prospects to log on, track their progress and choose their rewards. This year, more clients can take advantage of Vitality benefits as the firm added the Protection VUL policy to the Vitality product line and expanded the Apple Watch discount offer to all clients. John Hancock reports results with more referrals and on average 22 more client interactions per month with the Vitality platform.
John Hancock Vitality Private Site Homepage
This year, Principal joined the wellness rewards trend with the My Principal Lifestyle pilot program. The pilot—which runs through the end of the year and is available with select policies in California, Colorado and Iowa—rewards clients with gift cards for common physical activities and completing functions on the My Principal Lifestyle app. While Principal doesn’t offer the same variety or magnitude of rewards as John Hancock, the initiative encourages engagement with the platform, creating a form of communication and connection with clients.
Screenshot of the My Principle Lifestyle App from Google Play Store
Nationwide showcases a way to motivate and reward clients outside of gamification and wellness incentives with their VUL rewards program, available with Nationwide Accumulator and Nationwide Protector products. With the program, clients must accumulate a given number of timely premium payments to qualify for a reward of an annual credit or premium reduction, depending on the product. These rewards begin in year 16 and 21 for the Accumulator and Protector products, respectively, encouraging clients to ensure their policy doesn’t lapse in order to receive benefits. While this method of rewards requires less engagement, it still provides clients an incentive to ensure their policy does not lapse.
Corporate Insight’s Life Insurance Monitor service tracks leading insurers and comments on industry trends. For more about innovative life insurance programs, check out previous blog posts about the Haven Life Facebook Messenger chatbot, Life Insurance Awareness Month and the Tomorrow App.