Life insurance is dull. There, we said it.
But the old ways of selling life cover with a monthly premium, a standard 15K-100K payout and a small cash sum on maturity are coming to an end. Companies like Yulife are involving consumers in their own diet, fitness and wellbeing. Dead Happy are encouraging a younger generation to consider the legacy they leave behind in terms of charity, friendship – who you were and what made you tick, not just a lump sum.
So it was intersting to chat for 20 mins to James Buckley-Thorp, one of the founders of Get Bequest, which started as an idea when James lost his good friend Arran, in a road accident. The months that followed saw Arran’s family struggle to get access to his online channels, causing extra upset. There was no money for a send-off so that was down to crowdfunding instead. Not good.
James decided things could be done a great deal better.
IE; Your website mentions digital assets, and that is something the Life sector hasn’t really picked up on during the last ten years or so has it?
JBT; No definitely not. When I lost my friend it was incredibly difficult for his family to get access to his social media channels, emails, photo galleries and so on. People now have quite a large digital estate, sometimes scattered all over the net and it can be upsetting for friends to see someone online – forever really – who has passed away. Sometimes the reverse is true, you want to see that person, and maybe comment online, but who gets to manage that digital estate?
So Get Bequest deals with that issue and lets people take control, really gather up everything that’s important in their life into one place, a kind of super-app if you like. It’s much more than your social media footprint though, it’s a kind of flexible end-of-life planning app.
IE; So consumers can customise this product as they go through life, without having to tick data protection boxes, go through compliance ID checks all over again and answer a 32 page questionnaire?
JBT; Exactly! If you have children then you can change everything as your life adapts. Increase the death benefit, make a living Will, set up a fund for a send-off so your friends can do something special, charitable bequests. No admin charges, no long phone calls, just easier all round.
IE; As the Coronavirus has demonstrated, none of us know what’s coming next, life can throw unexpected events straight at us.
JBT; It can and I think in future, when the worst of the virus has passed, people will be more willing to accept they need to think about all of this and do something. In many ways, that will be a positive thing because we can all make provision for others, set up bequests for good causes, family, friends etc.
The thing that we are doing is offering complete control over the process; you can pause, stop or re-start payments if you hit hard times, add on, upgrade if you buy property, or change your Living Will – it’s your wishes that count, you own the policy and you nominate a Custodian, who gets control over the process if anything happens to you.
IE; Do you think our ever-increasing data footprint is changing the Life sector for the better?
JBT; It is yes, because all that data can be traded for a better deal, if people want that to happen and trust their insurer. What we are doing is trying to leverage data into one super-app, so that all your estate planing comes together at one touch point. Instead of having to do a Will at one site, or through a Solicitor, plus a buy Life cover elsewhere, decide who inherits online blogs, photos and social media, and much more, you can wrap everything up in one place.
It makes an awkward conversation easier, it lets people feel they are in charge of what happens if they pass away, not someone else. That’s important.
IE; James, it’s a refreshing take on Life insurance, thank you.