Thinking About Tomorrow
As technology transforms the insurance industry, it’s also opening up new avenues for agents and brokers to enhance their client relationships.
Brokerage NFP saw an opportunity to address the dire lack of estate planning among Americans with an app developed by Tomorrow Ideas that enables individuals to create a living will on their mobile devices in minutes. NFP’s venture arm invested $1 million in Seattle-based Tomorrow in a deal that expands access to the subscription version of the app, Tomorrow Plus, to more than eight million people served by NFP’s financial services.
The Tomorrow app lets individuals create a will for free, offers a trust as an upgrade, and recommends an appropriate amount of term life insurance.
“It’s a social and visual way to create a will completely for free on your phone, and a percentage of people buy life insurance through the app,” says Tomorrow founder and CEO Dave Hanley. “It turns out that creating a will and filling out a life insurance application have a lot of overlap.”
NFP marks the first distribution partner for Tomorrow’s brokerage and carrier program, under which it will provide the premium version of Tomorrow to customers and offer that partner’s products inside of the app.
Tomorrow is also looking toward voluntary benefits, such as disability insurance, long-term care and group life insurance. The most recent version of its premium app, announced in November, includes free access for spouses and the ability to sync a family’s accounts. The app also allows families to create video “memories” to share with other family members.
A number of insurtechs have set out to make buying life insurance easier online, including Bestow, Ethos, Ladder and Policy Genius. Carriers also have their own efforts, including MassMutual’s Haven Life.
Tomorrow, which already has 10 life insurance carriers on its platform, also counts Aflac and Allianz among its investors.
The Tomorrow app began as an effort to tackle what Hanley calls a huge social problem—the lack of a financial backstop for families to protect themselves. It is particularly an issue among younger families.
It is also an easy-to-use service that can help brokers better engage with their customers.
“It’s a way to enhance your relationship with a customer who might not pick up a phone and is doing this after putting the kids to bed at night,” Hanley says.
Tomorrow’s technology can also allow carriers to add new products more quickly.
“These carriers have lots of customers, but they don’t have much a of customer engagement strategy, especially on the life side,” says Hanley. “While the industry wants to test and wants to get involved in doing something a little outside the box, it’s hard to get all the approvals in place to do something that is completely blue sky.”
So by enabling brokers and carriers to better serve their clients, Tomorrow can simultaneously accomplish its mission of encouraging millions of Americans to finally put together estate and financial plans.