The time is now for life insurance companies to begin re-imagining distribution. We have aging brokers (average age is approaching 60); lots of talk (year in and year out) about the underserved middle-market; and Gen X, Gen Y and tech savvy Boomers (include me in this group) that don’t want to buy life insurance the way it has been traditionally served up.
I am a distribution guy and have been involved in all types of channels…career, affinity, worksite, PPGA, MGA. So what will the distribution of life insurance look like in 5, 10, 15 years? No question in my mind that life insurance companies will be selling fully underwritten products directly to consumers – and at some point in time it will become a dominant channel. It is a difficult issue for many insurers as they don’t have a defined target market, and have outsourced the consumer relationship to independent distribution.
It is a complex subject with important strategic and operational discussions around social media, insourcing/outsourcing, technology, etc. Now is the time to start the re-imagination process.