Becoming a father changed more than just the personal life of Adam Erlebacher, co-founder of Fabric. “You’re entrusted with this tiny human and nobody tells you how to protect your family’s financial future,” Erlebacher revealed of his own experience. With co-founder, and now CTO, Steven Surgnier, Fabric was conceptualized and created to allow technology to make buying life insurance quicker and more affordable, without complicated language or pushy agents.
ValuePenguin had the opportunity to speak with Erlebacher to learn more about Fabric and his plans to continue to push the bar with traditional life insurance.
What were some of the key pillars that you wanted to instill with Fabric’s philosophy? How does this differ from some others in the industry?
We have five core values at Fabric: simplicity, compassion, joy, velocity and exploration. We talk about these principles all the time and even named our conference rooms after them! Two of these principles in particular underpin our company culture — compassion and exploration. At Fabric, we have compassion for each other and for our customers. We meet people where they are, and that impacts everything from how we interact with our coworkers to how we design our products. Meanwhile, exploration serves as our motivating force. We believe breakthroughs happen when minds are open, and diversity and inclusion are fundamental to successful exploration. These aren’t aspirational concepts — we live them.
How is Fabric embracing technology and are there any major plans to expand your digital footprint and offerings?
Traditionally, getting life insurance meant paper applications, multiple meetings and phone calls, and it usually took weeks or even months. Then, after you receive a life insurance policy, you’d probably wind up putting those documents in file cabinets and manila envelopes.
Fabric takes a completely different, modern approach. Fabric lets you apply for term life insurance online, without needing to go anywhere in person or deal with agents trying to upsell you more expensive products than you need. It takes about ten minutes and you can get an immediate decision without a health exam (if one is needed, we’ll schedule one at no cost), and your policy is downloadable through your secure account.
We also empower our customers to grant their spouse beneficiaries access to their policy details online. That way, beneficiaries always have access to up-to-date coverage information and a direct way to access Fabric support.
What demographic do you believe are most in need of Fabric’s offerings and how are you working to speak to those individuals?
Fabric is a one-stop shop for new parents to organize their finances with a free legal will and affordable life insurance. We designed our experience to be easy to understand and efficient for time-strapped parents. We’re a digital offering, but as a compassionate company, we find all kinds of ways to connect with our customers, whether it’s inviting people to our office to try out new versions of our products or calling them to see how we’re doing and what we can do better.
Fabric is more than just life insurance. Can you speak to some of your other offerings and are there any future plans to add more aids to the portfolio?
As a one-stop shop for new parents, we’ve gone beyond life insurance to offer a free online will and a new product called Fabric Vault.
Having a will is critical for parents because without a will that expresses your wishes, a court can choose your child’s guardian. With Fabric Wills, you can create a free legal will in a few minutes. For me, creating a will seemed daunting and so it always fell to the bottom of my list. We created Fabric Wills to make the process easy and procrastination-free so parents could easily check it off their list.
Fabric Vault makes it easy for spouses and partners to create a shared map of their family’s financial accounts, so they both always know where to find up-to-date information. Unlike writing down a paper list of banks, investments, 401(k), life insurance and other accounts, setting up Fabric Vault is seamless and secure. It’s quick and easy to complete on your phone, and you have total control over what details you share.
This was also a product built out of a personal experience. My partner and I had been talking about how we needed to share a list of our financial accounts in case of an emergency. While we had the best of intentions, like a lot of people, we never got it done. Fabric Vault helps solve that problem for us.