Traditional sales of life and pension products are under pressure. The modern generation expects to be sold to and serviced via a completely different paradigm, involving mobile devices, social networks and real-time technology. The old fashioned approach of getting people to turn up for appointments at your offices to go through a standard assessment process is not compelling to the younger generation and is completely at odds with their more mobile lifestyles.
The response of the life and pension providers to date hasn’t been too bad. The last decade has seen greater use of the Internet for direct sales of their commoditised products while the majority of providers also facilitate complex product sales through secure sites accessible by their distribution partners.
But change is increasing both in scale and pace. IFA and customer usage of newer platforms such as 3G phones and tablets is ubiquitous and providers need to provide IFAs with the required tools to enable these platforms to be part of their service.
This week’s announcement that Legal & General have produced a simple app, available from Apple, which allows agents to get protection quotes from Legal & General direct from their iPhone or iPad, allows them to steal a march on their competitors.
Legal & General’s focus is on protection products at this stage and their app will allow quotes for mortgage protection, level term and business protections, with income protection to follow. Critical Illness, as an optional rider, has also been covered.
It will be a mistake if other providers dismiss this move on the basis that it is restricted to simple protection products, relying on the sophistication of their own products to maintain business. While the services provided are relatively modest at this stage, it allows Legal & General to be first to the market with their offering and to get customer involvement which will enable them to produce more sophisticated apps in the future.
Legal & General have raised the bar for providers, who have no option other than to respond to this technological shift. Companies that have not considered what to do about this new way of delivering quotes and services need to start developing a strategy or working with their solution partners to develop one. Because those who fail the APPtitude test may never get to the interview stage to display the features of their products.
Read the Legal & General press release here: http://www.legalandgeneralgroup.com/media-centre/press-releases/2011/group-news-release-982.html