Mobile Technology for the Life Insurance Producer: Is It a Fad or the Future?

by Karen Monks, October 18, 2011
Industry Trends
North America

Abstract

Tablet PCs and smartphones could make today’s life insurance producer high tech in a high touch sales environment.

Only 12% of the top 100 life/health/annuity insurers in North America have introduced mobile technology to their producers. According to Celent discussions with life insurers, although mobile applications are not fully implemented in their businesses, nearly 50% of insurers are investigating their use.

A new report, Mobile Technology for the Life Insurance Producer, highlights the benefits and concerns that insurers may encounter as they plan their mobile strategy. It also includes several case studies, from both insurers and other industries.

Some life insurance companies have moved marketing materials to iPads, saving the producer from carrying heavy binders filled with dated materials. Others have gone further and offered access to customer account data, illustrations, and even eApplications. As mobile app development is pursued, an insurer must consider many factors; and, as the line between personal devices and business devices blurs, security and compliance rise to the top of the concern list.

“North American life companies are not at the forefront of offering mobile apps to their sales force, but it won’t be long before a mobile device is part of every life insurance agent’s cadre of sales tools,” says Karen Monks, analyst with Celent’s Insurance group and author of the report.

Celent is a research and advisory firm dedicated to helping financial institutions formulate comprehensive business and technology strategies. Celent publishes reports identifying trends and best practices in financial services technology and conducts consulting engagements for financial institutions looking to use technology to enhance existing business processes or launch new business strategies. With a team of internationally based analysts, Celent is uniquely positioned to offer strategic advice and market insights on a global basis. Celent is a member of the Oliver Wyman Group, which is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Marsh & McLennan Companies [NYSE: MMC].

Media Contacts

North America
Michele Pace
mpace@celent.com
Tel: +1 212 345 1366

Europe (London)
Chris Williams
cwilliams@celent.com
Tel: +44 (0)782 448 3336

Asia (Tokyo)
Yumi Nagaoka
ynagaoka@celent.com
Tel.: +81 3 3500 3023

Table of Contents

Executive Summary

3

Introduction

5

 

Methodology

5

Digital Technology and Life Insurance

7

 

Then: Personal Computers and the Internet

7

 

Now: Mobile Technology

8

Which Platform? Which Device?

10

 

Platforms

11

 

Devices

14

 

Other Considerations

16

 

Benefits of Producer-Focused Mobile Technology

18

Case Studies

20

 

Mobile Applications Implemented by Life/Annuity Insurers

21

 

Mobile Applications Outside of Insurance

25

Final Thoughts

31

Leveraging Celent’s Expertise

32

 

Support for Financial Institutions

32

 

Support for Vendors

32

Related Celent Research

33

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