With over 30 years in the life insurance industry, Ray Caucci, chairman and CEO of Vantis Life Insurance Co., has witnessed the evolution of how consumers purchase life insurance policies and the role technology has played. Specifically, he has had a front-row seat to the integration of digital and how the process of obtaining life insurance is able to reach more customers than ever before.
ValuePenguin had a chance to speak with Caucci, where we discussed Vantis Life’s latest technological developments and its plan for continued development in the future.
How does Vantis Life’s philosophy differ from the other life insurance options consumers have to choose from?
Through our cutting-edge digital capabilities and relationship with Penn Mutual, we have the best of both worlds.
Unlike many direct-to-consumer carriers that only sell term life insurance, Vantis Life offers a variety of products including term, whole life, final expense and single premium life insurance. These additional options allow us to address life insurance needs across a wider demographic swath of the middle market.
Furthermore, Vantis Life gives consumers the ability to buy a life insurance policy through various avenues. If an applicant wants to complete the process independently online, we have an intuitive system that creates a 100% "DIY" experience. Conversely, if an applicant would prefer to receive assistance at any time during the process, whether that’s determining how much life insurance to buy or evaluating policy options, we have a robust team of resources ready and eager to help.
We understand Vantis is in the process of introducing a new interactive mobile app. What is the main reasoning behind this effort, and what are you hoping to see in terms of results?
Life insurance companies historically have not created strong relationships directly with their policyholders because agents and advisors have ably filled that role. Through our mobile app, Life Hero, we want to create an elegant, inviting buying experience and enhance engagement for our customer way beyond the point of purchase.
In the direct-to-consumer space where agents and advisors are not involved, we will be contacting our customers through this portal to schedule annual insurance checkups and to remind them to review their life insurance needs around major life events such as additions to the family, new jobs and changes of address.
The mobile app will also deliver content of interest to customers to enhance and encourage physical and financial wellness. Current and future Vantis Life policyholders can earn points by participating in surveys and quizzes through Life Hero, redeemable for gift cards at major retailers like Amazon and Starbucks. Users can also sync personal fitness tracker devices and apps directly to the portal to earn additional points.
Ultimately, we are hoping to forge a stronger relationship with our customers. By increasing communication and touch points, we can create meaningful engagements, reassuring our customers that they have chosen the right company to fulfill their life insurance needs. We are a trusted friend and coach to help them improve their financial and physical wellness beyond the initial purchase of the policy.
Are there any other measures you are taking to help reach a younger demographic? Why do you believe millennials are challenging traditional life insurance approaches?
As millennials are increasingly seeking access to products instantaneously online, our direct-to-consumer experience is uniquely targeted to reach this demographic. Through our digital marketing efforts, we get our services in front of millennials in a way they prefer to be engaged. From a consumer’s first visit to our digital platform, through the application and underwriting process, to the delivery of the policy and beyond, our approach is flexible, accessible and always customer-centric.
We are crafting our story in a straightforward, simple and friendly tone. We want millennials and all generations to know that we are genuine and authentic. We don’t hide behind confusing insurance jargon. Our products are easy to understand, affordable and can be purchased online, at their convenience, in less than 20 minutes.
Are there any other cutting-edge plans that Vantis Life is working toward that you can share? What are your priorities for the next year?
Our priority is always the customer. We have spent the past few years focusing on developing our technology and creating a customer-first approach to our business. Now that we have the infrastructure in place, we will continue to redefine the policyholder’s experience through ongoing education and engagement. We understand talking about life insurance isn’t the most pleasant thing to do, but it’s our job to be a trusted guide along the way to securing your family’s financial future.
We are creating products for the mass market that go beyond covering just an individual. We want to ensure that the entire family is protected at affordable prices by offering products that are customizable and flexible, through features such as:
- An optional return of premiums paid benefit on term insurance, if the insured survives until the end of the term period.
- Coverage on spouses and children without any medical exams for the same period of time as the policy owner, and convertible to permanent cash-value coverage before the term period ends.
What do you believe is the single most important life event where the consumer should purchase a policy? Why?
I don’t believe that the purchase of life insurance should be event-driven. It should be a decision that is made once an individual enters the workforce. Life insurance protects the most important asset that anyone owns — their earning power. Dependents such as a spouse, children or in many cases, parents, would suffer hardship upon the untimely death of a wage earner.
I am saddened when I read that someone has set up a GoFundMe account for the benefit of a deceased person’s family. The life insurance industry needs to continue to share stories with the public about the value of our products and how they have helped families keep people in their homes, maintain businesses, allow family members to attend college and pay final expenses without being forced to liquidate assets. We believe that purchasing life insurance allows the wage earner to become a "real-life hero" for their loved ones.
What about the life insurance industry still keeps you up at night?
The industry has a great opportunity to reach the sizable middle-market through a modern online buying experience that mirrors the process for other goods and services. However, the challenge we still face as an industry is convincing folks that the product we sell is crucial to their financial well-being.