The process of obtaining annuity quotes and purchasing annuities online is non-existent. It is easier for prospects to obtain life insurance quotes and acquire other investment products online. As a whole, the annuity industry lags far behind in this aspect due to product regulations. Annuity products are traditionally sold face-to-face or through phone consultations with financial advisors or, in the case of fixed index annuities, in larger in-person seminars. Abaris, a new financial technology start-up, is looking to change this with an innovative platform that allows prospects to obtain quotes from five annuity providers, four of which are covered in Corporate Insight’s Annuity Monitor subscription service.
Abaris stands out for its modern and innovative annuity quote tool. The tool is mobile- and tablet-optimized, with five clearly outlined steps that allow prospects to obtain quotes for deferred income annuities, longevity insurance or QLACS funded by their IRA, personal accounts, 401(k) plan or other tax deferred plans. Prospects are simply asked to input their date of birth, state, gender, age when payments begin, current savings, initial payout, health status and goal, including guaranteed lifetime income, maximizing investment return, tracking the stock market or leaving money for an estate. The tool has some limitations which prevent select users from generating a quote, such as that users must be older than 45 years old and be average or above average in health status. Additionally, some goal selections inform prospects that longevity annuities are not the right investment choice for their needs.
Abaris Quote Tool
Those users who meet all criteria must first input their emails before viewing the results (the emails suggest speaking with a financial advisor). While Abaris’ service is unable to cut out financial advisors completely, it is already a huge step in finding a convenient way of accessing some information before considering an annuity purchase. The quote results display product information for each firm, as well as options to download an illustrated quote PDF and compare products.
Overall, Abaris provides a well-organized, responsively designed site that features comprehensive educational information and an interactive quote tool. In regard to educational information, the firm focuses on QLACs, with both a downloadable whitepaper and a dedicated Qualified Longevity Annuity Contracts educational page, which includes an embedded deck. Illustrated educational information is also provided for Deferred Income Annuities, leaving prospects with a clear idea of these product types. Abaris provides general educational information on retirement as well as a blog with retirement news roundups.
Abaris Homepage (Truncated)
The firms covered by Abaris’ service currently include AIG, Guardian Life, Lincoln Financial Group, Pacific Life and The Principal. None of these firms provide online quotes on their own public sites; however, Guardian Life does offer a basic Annuity Payout Quote tool for clients on its private My Account Manager site.
Abaris is an exciting financial technology start-up in the annuity space. This could be a game changer in facilitating online annuity sales and may spur providers and financial advisory firms to more closely examine opportunities to sell QLACs and other annuity products online themselves. Annuity Monitor is looking forward to watching for further developments from Abaris, and will continue to look for innovation in this space.