SIMSBURY, Conn.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--The Hartford will deliver permanent life insurance to consumers in just five days, slashing the industry average of 48 days, through its new Issue First® process. The patent-pending approach resolves a common consumer complaint that “it takes way too long to buy life insurance.”
“Today’s consumers are used to buying products online and receiving them at home within 48 hours,” said Brian Murphy, who heads The Hartford’s life insurance business. “We see no reason why they should have to wait more than a month to receive a new life insurance policy. By creating a new way of assessing a person’s risk factors and reordering the underwriting process, we can now provide consumers with life insurance coverage in a fraction of the time it used to take.”
Consumers are responding favorably to the faster service. In a pilot conducted earlier this year, over 90 percent of people who applied for a Hartford policy using Issue First bought the policy. That compares with just 68 percent of consumers who purchased a policy using the traditional selling approach.
Through Issue First, the company issues the policy to consumers before it completes the normal underwriting process. Issue First reverses the order of the process by asking the consumer eight critical questions up front. If they can honestly affirm all eight questions, they receive coverage on the spot that cannot be revoked because of an unforeseen medical condition. Only then does the full underwriting process begin.
Ivan Measroch, an independent advisor in Atlanta, Georgia, says Issue First is likely to appeal to advisors, too. “It will save time that was previously spent updating clients on the status of their application and will allow commissions to be paid up front as well,” he said.
Issue First is one of many life insurance innovations recently introduced by The Hartford. The company received a patent this year on the system that manages its LifeAccess Accelerated Benefit Rider®, which can be added for an additional cost to its policies to provide income to those who become chronically ill. The company also has patents pending on Issue First and a dozen other products, including its LongevityAccess Rider, which is the first rider to provide income to policyholders who live to the age of ninety and meet the terms of the riders. Both riders can be applied for using the new process.
“The delay people encounter when they attempt to purchase life insurance discourages them from sticking with the process,” Murphy said. “The result is that many people give up and simply don’t get the coverage they need. Issue First solves this problem by taking the hassle out of the purchasing process.”
Applicants are given a premium estimate at the first meeting with their advisor and receive the final premium quote after underwriting is completed. In more than 95 percent of the policies completed during the pilot, the final premium was the same or less than the estimate.
The company has also introduced an electronic, paperless application capability that includes the option of using electronic signatures.
About The Hartford
The Hartford Financial Services Group Inc. (NYSE: HIG) is a leading provider of insurance and wealth management services for millions of consumers and businesses worldwide. The Hartford is consistently recognized for its superior service and as one of the world's most ethical companies. More information on the company and its financial performance is available at www.thehartford.com. Join us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/TheHartford. Follow us on Twitter at www.twitter.com/TheHartford.
Some of the statements in this release may be considered forward-looking statements as defined in the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. We caution investors that these forward-looking statements are not guarantees of future performance, and actual results may differ materially. Investors should consider the important risks and uncertainties that may cause actual results to differ. These important risks and uncertainties include those discussed in our Quarterly Reports on Form 10-Q, our 2010 Annual Report on Form 10-K and the other filings we make with the Securities and Exchange Commission. We assume no obligation to update this release, which speaks as of the date issued.