LegacyShield https://www.legacyshield.com Our Family Protecting Yours Wed, 30 Dec 2020 15:33:47 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=5.6 https://secureservercdn.net/50.62.198.97/q3m.f54.myftpupload.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/12/emblem@2x-100x100.png LegacyShield https://www.legacyshield.com 32 32 Our 2020 Year in Review for the Insurance Industry https://www.legacyshield.com/industry-news/our-2020-year-in-review-for-the-insurance-industry/ Wed, 30 Dec 2020 00:30:00 +0000 https://www.legacyshield.com/?p=7313 Goodbye 2020

It’s been a long year. Even remembering where we were last December seems difficult after...

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Goodbye 2020

It’s been a long year.

Even remembering where we were last December seems difficult after we’ve experienced days that felt like weeks and weeks that felt like months.

We started 2020 with the stock market rising, the economy strong and a positive outlook on a new decade. When the COVID-19 virus began spreading around the world, all of our lives changed. What followed was a challenging year filled with uncertainty, fear and sickness. It’s been a year where many businesses, including insurance practices, were forced to close their doors.

Yet, necessity has again become the mother of invention. As shelter-at-home and then social distancing guidelines came into place, our society soon realized there was a “tech solve” for everything from family gatherings and concerts to business meetings and even insurance sales.

How the Insurance Industry Changed in 2020

From my perspective, the insurance industry as a whole made a massive pivot toward digital transformation this year. Even life insurance, once considered a field that couldn’t adapt to the digital age or would do so at a slow pace, underwent rapid – and necessary – shifts.

For the insurance industry, 2020 was the year when:

  • A digital transformation took over. Insurance agents adopted various tools, including video conferencing, e-applications, e-signatures and e-delivery, to continue providing service to their clients. Underwriting changed regarding how carriers secure records and how people receive coverage. Many practices that pivoted toward the digital arena saw great success as interest in life insurance and financial investments surged.
  • More consumers became open to digital solutions. People of all ages turned to the internet for their business, entertainment and financial needs. A month into the outbreak, 87% of U.S. adults said the internet was important for them with 53% deeming it essential. Those numbers include 80% of people 65 and older. The myth that the insurance industry can’t move forward digitally because older clients won’t accept change is busted. People are more comfortable with digital services than ever with Zoom alone seeing a 2,900% increase in participants this year. 
  • The balance of power shifted toward consumers. Consumers firmly took the driver’s seat this year. Insurance sales are happening more and more on their time, and in the era of one-click shopping, their expectations continue to rise. They increasingly expect frictionless sales, flexible solutions, consistent communication and personalized recommendations from their insurance providers.

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While the balance may be more in favor of insurance consumers right now, their desire to connect and communicate with advisors online also represents a significant opportunity – one that LegacyShield has been helping insurance agents achieve throughout 2020.

How LegacyShield Unlocked New Client Collaboration for Advisors

As a life insurance technology leader, our team at LegacyShield was already on the trajectory toward advanced client collaboration before the pandemic hit. We were proud to help many advisors adjust their practices to meet the marketplace’s needs during this challenging time.

Driven to provide best-in-class solutions for advisors, we launched our advisor-rich platform, Link, this summer. Link has been a lifeline for advisors in 2020, allowing them to:

  • Securely share files, insurance policies, and information digitally—a crucial need in the age of social distancing;
  • Fluidly have conversations and collaborate with clients within the platform;
  • Gain next-level insights into their clients’ behavior and insurance needs so that they can contact clients at the right time; and
  • Build a multi-generation book of business by allowing clients to link their family and friends to their accounts, generating a new source of referrals.

As we look forward to 2021 and an eventual end to the pandemic, we are excited for a return to normal. But we know the old “normal” isn’t coming back entirely for the insurance industry. Digital technology will be an integral part of doing business from now on with experts predicting a shift to a hybrid model where client-advisor communication happens via online channels and in-person interactions.

The need for seamless online communication will only grow as younger, tech-savvy generations become the main insurance buyers. At LegacyShield, our goal is to continue building a platform that will simplify workflows and enhance business for advisors, both now and in the future. 

To learn more about where the insurance industry is heading next, read our blog, “Insurance Agents Should Pay Attention to These Industry Trends.”

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The Advantages of Having Client Insights for Insurance Agents https://www.legacyshield.com/industry-news/the-advantages-of-having-client-insights-for-insurance-agents/ Wed, 23 Dec 2020 00:30:00 +0000 https://www.legacyshield.com/?p=7304 client data

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client data

Data is the key to survival in the insurance industry today. Customers expect their advisor to have the intelligence to deliver personalized insights via online channels, but utilizing client insights is also essential to keep up with the competition.

Data-driven organizations are 23 times more likely to acquire customers than their peers. Major insurers are already making significant investments in big data with 86% of insurance companies working on insurance data analytics to optimize predictions.

But “big data” is not only intended for big companies. Insurance agents and advisors can also collect and convert data into useful insights that drive their business. With an advisor-rich insurtech platform that provides next-level insights, agents can drive sales, build stronger client relationships, and increase referrals.

Here’s why an omniscient overview of clients and their financial well-being will be the key to future business.

Higher Visibility Increases Client Sales

The vast majority of digital tools that agents use today – from CRMs to quoting software – are focused on customer acquisition. Many agents lack a technology solution that helps maintain the client-advisor relationship after the initial sale.

This represents a major gap in business for agents. Why? Because current customers are often prime prospects for future sales.

With an advisor-centric platform like Link by LegacyShield, advisors and clients can collaborate within the platform, securely share policies, message each other, and store files. Advisors receive notifications when clients make changes within the platform and receive comprehensive activity alerts for each client. 

Insights can include when and how clients view information, what they’re saving and what they’re not, and what items they look at after the sale is complete.

These next-level insights allow insurance agents and financial advisors to identify gaps in coverage, know when to reach out to clients, and alert them to sales opportunities. For example, if a client logs a major life event – like buying a house or having a baby – the advisor can proactively reach out to the client to discuss increasing their coverage or to recommend solutions.

By using software to achieve higher visibility into their clients’ activities, advisors can provide their clients with just-in-time service and personalized solutions to solve their client’s needs and maximize sales – all without a lot of leg work.

Client Insights Lead to Stronger Relationships  

Being able to predict and provide the right solutions at the right time has long-term benefits beyond immediate sales. It also builds a stronger client-advisor relationship.

The majority of today’s customers want to connect, share, and conduct business online, according to a CNBC study. When advisors connect with their clients online and use data to make personalized recommendations, clients begin to see them as trusted advisors rather than just intermediaries. Brand loyalty and trust increase as a result. With that foundation of trust, clients are willing to share even more important information and life details that matter most. That can include opening up their network of family, friends, and contacts to their advisor.

In the end, the advisor is creating a positive feedback loop where the client and advisor both benefit from increased communication and advanced insights. This relationship-focused business model reduces churn and increases customer retention, which is key to running a business in a cost-efficient way. [Read more from our blog, “Insurance ROI: Are You Doing the Right Math?”]

Deeper Connections Uncover New Leads

Client insights powered by insurtech can do more than increase sales among current clients. Insurtech tools are also a powerful way to increase referrals – the most powerful source of new leads.

For example, a platform like Link allows clients to connect their family members and friends to their account to be certain that their financial information and other assets get to the right people at the right time. When clients connect with these individuals, they become new referral sources for the advisor. Since the advisor already knows about the clients’ families, they can naturally reach out and connect across multiple generations.

Retaining a clients’ family members can build generational loyalty and a strong book of business. Customer retention does not relate to just one client; instead, advisors can retain entire families as clients.

Client insights attract a multitude of opportunities and advantages that become more critical each year. With new insurtech options available, advisors can now use data-backed insights to provide the next level of customer-centricity and efficiently manage their businesses.

To learn how consistent communication works in tandem with client insights to boost your business, check out our blog, “Unlocking Success for Insurance Agents.”

 

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Insurance Agents Should Pay Attention To These Industry Trends https://www.legacyshield.com/industry-news/insurance-agents-should-pay-attention-to-these-industry-trends/ Wed, 16 Dec 2020 00:30:00 +0000 https://www.legacyshield.com/?p=7187

The sentiment is certainly true of the insurance industry. The slow progression toward digital transformation...

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The sentiment is certainly true of the insurance industry. The slow progression toward digital transformation became critical overnight with the COVID pandemic. Everyone in our industry has had to shift how they work or interact with customers in some way.

This year has been all about response and survival, but it’s time to look forward. Digital transformation is no longer a trend – it is the trend. This push toward digitization is leading to several emerging developments as a result.

Here are the top trends that insurance agents should pay attention to so that you can continue gearing your practice for success in a rapidly changing industry.

Insurers are mandating digitization

For major insurers, providing digital pathways for insurance has quickly shifted from a want to a need. Paper applications, long the industry standard, will no longer be accepted by many carriers. Instead, they’re putting major investments into new pathways for efficiently transferring data as well as technology like human API to obtain client information and health records.

It’s critical that agents adjust their practices to meet the new speed of business set by the insurers. You must be able to execute business faster and speed up processes. That will almost certainly involve adopting new technologies and workflows. According to Marc Schwartz, Principal at Windsor Insurance, this may also mean only focusing on a few carriers and learning their platforms really well. (Read more from our Q&A with Schwartz on insurance technology here.)  

Whatever the case, digital pathways for insurance are no longer an option or a perk to offer clients. The digital space is becoming the new hub of insurance business – where client communication, information sharing, and policy delivery will all take place.

Customer personalization growing in popularity

Digital leaders in other industries have raised the expectations of insurance customers, who now expect a personalized and flexible customer journey. Omnichannel interactions will be the norm moving forward with consumers using a variety of online and offline channels before buying an insurance policy.

The good news is that personalization provides many opportunities to increase sales and improve brand loyalty. In fact, a McKinsey study found engaging with potential life insurance customers through multichannel, personalized customer interactions has the ability to reduce customer acquisition costs by up to 50% and reduce customer churn by up to 30%.

There are several reasons why. One, omnichannel interactions provide more opportunities for agents to proactively reach out to potential clients likely to lapse. Fewer customers get lost in the sales cycle with multi-channel outreach.

Another major reason is that the life insurance sales cycle is being redesigned. Instead of a one-time purchase that is very occasionally reviewed or renewed, life insurance underwriting is being considered more a continuous process.

Using data-driven digital tools, agents can be more connected with their clients and continue adjusting policies over time to meet clients’ changing needs. For example, with an advisor-rich insurtech platform like Link by LegacyShield, advisors and clients can continuously communicate. As they collaborate in the platform, advisors gain advanced insights into clients’ important life details. They also receive notifications when clients view a file or make changes so that they can reach out to clients at the right time. The result is more sales for the advisor and better, more personalized coverage for clients.

Regulatory challenges require flexible solutions

While digitization provides a number of benefits, like automating manual, repetitive activities and providing a superior customer experience, it does pose new challenges. Most notably, data privacy and regulatory compliance are major concerns for the industry.

Insurers have already been the targets of some of the biggest data breaches, and 52% of insurers expect to boost spending on data privacy in 2021. State and national legislators are introducing and passing new insurance data security laws designed to better protect clients’ information.

Keeping up with all the changing regulations is a job in itself – and not one that insurance agents can afford to do. Again, this is where the value of an advisor-centric platform comes into play. When you use an insurtech platform designed to protect data security and meet all insurance regulations, you can spend less time making sure you’re following regulatory compliance, and more time communicating with clients and digitally sharing the information and policies they need.

Change may be happening quickly right now in the insurance industry, but that also makes it an exciting time. Agents who remain flexible and open to new opportunities will be at the helm of positive change for their clients and their business.

For more information on how to successfully navigate the new insurance landscape, check out our blog, “Insurance Agents: Move Into Change or Be Left Behind.”

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3 CHALLENGES INSURANCE BROKERS FACE IN 2021 https://www.legacyshield.com/industry-news/3-challenges-insurance-brokers-face-in-2021/ Sun, 13 Dec 2020 00:06:14 +0000 https://www.legacyshield.com/?p=6941

This year is certainly one for the history books – and that includes the insurance...

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This year is certainly one for the history books – and that includes the insurance industry. While industry analysts will likely spend years reviewing 2020 and how it transformed the insurance business, it’s time for insurance brokers, advisors and professionals to look forward and start planning for 2021.

We’ve made a lot of progress this year, especially in the life insurance field. Seemingly overnight, the industry went virtual and began implementing digital tools like video conferencing, e-signatures, and accelerated underwriting. As a result, nearly half of life insurance companies reported growth in policy sales, and, according to LIMRA, total policy count was up 1% year-to-date in the second quarter.

While it sounds like good news for our industry, there’s a catch – and it’s a major one if you are an insurance broker or independent advisor.

This growth has been overwhelmingly propelled by direct-to-consumer sales from major carriers and insurtech companies. However, while these channels are growing, LIMRA reports other distribution channels are experiencing declines.

As major carriers look to further refine their direct-to-consumer sales processes in 2021, insurance brokers face new challenges that threaten their survival. But with the right solutions, it’s possible to overcome these challenges and build a successful, sustainable business for years to come.

#1: Shifting Business Models

Change in the insurance industry may have been sparked by the pandemic, but don’t expect it to flicker out. In many ways, the pandemic sped up a digital transformation that was already underway. The days of advisors only meeting with clients in person, working through mountains of paperwork, and maneuvering through manual processes are over.

Digital technology will be a mainstay in the insurance industry from now on. That’s not to say everything will be virtual. Post-pandemic, experts predict a shift to a hybrid model in which the sales process and client-advisor communication happens fluidly via both online channels and in-person interactions. The extent that communication happens, either online or offline, will depend on what the client wants.

The major insurance carriers are already drastically altering their business models and taking more of the market share as a consequence. It’s important for advisors to modify their business model to succeed in this new era of digital transformation.

#2: Meeting Clients’ Changing Demands

45% of insurance professionals believe living up to evolving client needs and expectations will be a major challenge over the next few years, and with good reason. Consumer demands are now higher than ever. Amazon and other tech leaders have set high consumer expectations when it comes to ease of use, accessibility, and speed that extend not only to other retailers but also to nearly all industries.

Insurance customers today are looking for the best of both worlds: more convenient, streamlined processes and a greater relationship with their advisor. Some of the defining features of today’s insurance customers are:

  • They rate quality and ease of use as the most important factors.
  • They report higher satisfaction and brand loyalty when they have increased connectivity with their provider.
  • They value a strong relationship with their advisor and more consistent communication.

While it may seem impossible to meet all these needs, insurance brokers and advisors have a leg up on the major carriers when it comes to building relationships. The challenge will be trying to match the “Amazon-like” experience that carriers are developing.  

#3: Navigating Increased Insurance Regulations

Moving to a more digital model is vital for insurance practices, but it also comes with new privacy regulations and data security laws.

Regulations like the NAIC’s Insurance Data Security Model Law are being widely implemented, and we will likely continue seeing similar regulations passed in the next decade. These laws are important in protecting clients’ privacy online, but they present roadblocks in the customer journey. You’ve probably seen this play out with encrypted emails, which often confuse or frustrate clients.

In 2021, the ultimate challenge for insurance professionals will be to provide a high-quality digital experience that allows for open communication while staying compliant with regulations.  

Overcoming Challenges with Insurtech Technology

It should come as no surprise that the answer to these challenges involves technology. If 2020 was the year when insurance professionals scrambled to go virtual, then 2021 is the time to take a high-level, strategic approach to your digital strategy.

The piecemeal approach many advisors used in 2020, adopting disparate tools as they needed them, won’t stand up to the major carriers’ advanced platforms in the long term. Advisors will need to adopt more comprehensive and sophisticated insurtech solutions to compete.

The good news is that advisor-centric insurtech platforms are already available. With a platform like Link by LegacyShield, for example, insurance advisors can communicate with their clients, digitally share policy documents, and build their book of business – all within a secure digital workspace designed to meet insurance regulations. Advisors using Link receive analytics on client activity that can help them better understand their clients’ needs, plus clients can connect their loved ones and secondary professionals to their account, creating a new source of organic leads.

With each new challenge, there is opportunity. Adopting an advanced insurtech platform can unlock new opportunities to increase customer retention and build your multigenerational book of business. The future for advisors is not working in spite of technology but using technology that enables you to do your best work. 

To learn more about how insurance technology can create a new path to success for advisors, read our blog, “Closing the Last Mile for Life Insurance Advisors.”

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Solving The Last Mile for Life Insurance Advisors https://www.legacyshield.com/industry-news/closing-the-last-mile-for-life-insurance-advisors/ https://www.legacyshield.com/industry-news/closing-the-last-mile-for-life-insurance-advisors/#respond Wed, 02 Dec 2020 05:30:00 +0000 https://www.legacyshield.com/2020/12/solving-the-last-mile-for-life-insurance-advisors/

“The last mile is the hardest one” is a well-known concept in the logistics industry....

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The Last Mile“The last mile is the hardest one” is a well-known concept in the logistics industry. Flying a package across the country and loading it onto a truck to travel hundreds of miles is relatively easy compared to the “last mile” of the journey that is, delivering the package to the right apartment in a certain building on a particular street.

The same could be said of the life insurance industry.

There is an array of digital tools available to advisors today, from CRMs to quoting software, that assists in managing prospects and devising policies. But when it comes to the last mile – actually communicating with a client, handing off the policy, and incorporating a feedback loop between all parties – we’ve seen little innovation.

What the insurance industry has been lacking is a technology that truly connects advisors with their clients – the ultimate end-consumer of products and solutions purchased.

At LegacyShield, our singular focus is to enable advisors to succeed and grow through client connectivity, collaboration, and a consistent and dynamic feedback loop. Our recently launched, advisor-rich software, Link, is designed to close the last mile of the advisor-client relationship, empowering advisors to provide the next level of customer-centricity and efficiently manage their businesses.

Here’s why we think the “last mile” is a critical frontier for life insurance advisors.

The Last Mile Challenges for Advisors

For decades, life insurance advisors have built successful businesses by taking people out to lunch and bringing paper illustrations, applications, and collateral. Even now, it’s common for advisors to ask clients to meet in person so that they can deliver or discuss policies. Despite this, agents that have embraced technology through e-applications or e-delivery still cannot close that last mile since the agent has no further connection to that client and that policy after “delivering” the product.

This traditional way of doing business simply won’t cut it in today’s tech-driven world. Especially now, meeting in person is not the desired option. This is especially true for millennials, the largest generation of life insurance prospects. While the new consumers of life insurance still want to be connected to their advisor and have a personalized experience, convenience is also incredibly important. In fact, the idea of long in-person meetings and mountains of paperwork can be a major deterrent to seeking life insurance at all.

If you ask to meet with a client to give them a policy, that client is probably thinking, “Couldn’t this just be an email?” Yet even email and e-delivery of policies present challenges. Emails have to be encrypted, which can be frustrating and challenging for customers. When they do get the policy in their inbox, do they know what to do with it? Will they remember that it’s there? Can they be certain that it’s secure? Most importantly, how will others know about it?

A more comprehensive solution, one that goes beyond in-person meetings or emails, is needed to solve the last mile problem. And while it may seem counterintuitive, the right technology will actually generate more communication and more sales than ever before.

Solving for the Last Mile with Link

Research increasingly shows that insurance customers are not happy with minimal to no communication. A recent Nationwide survey found that, while 94% of advisors think they regularly check in with customers to ensure they’re meeting clients’ needs, only a portion of customers reported sufficient communication. This perception gap is explored in our recent blog post, Insurance Agents: Your Clients Don’t See You as You Do. Conversely, clients who regularly communicate with their insurance advisors are 74% more likely to recommend their advisor to others.

That’s why our team at LegacyShield has developed Link, a digital platform that provides robust communication and connectivity between advisors and clients at all stages of the customer journey.

Link acts as a secure virtual workspace where:

  • advisors can easily and securely receive and deliver client information (such as life insurance policies) and share any other information with their clients;
  • clients can work within the platform, inputting important information and directly messaging their advisor; and
  • advisors get alerts and advanced insights when their clients work within their account, making it easier to identify gaps in coverage and proactively recommend increased insurance coverage or financial solutions.

A New Path to Success for Life Insurance Advisors

Link closes the last mile by providing an easy-to-use and secure platform where advisors and clients can connect and share information.

But the benefits of a collaborative platform extend beyond that. Insurance advisors who collaborate with clients are more likely to retain clients, increase sales among current clients, and get more recommendations.

In an era when insurance competition is increasing and direct-to-consumer insurtech companies are selling insurance without advisors in the mix, it’s critical to meet and go beyond the evolving needs of life insurance customers.

By offering convenience, collaboration, and a relationship-oriented approach to life insurance, you will not only build trust among your current clients but also build a multigenerational book of business for years to come.

To learn more about Link by LegacyShield and how it works, check out our post: Let’s Link – Collaborate with Clients in a Secure Virtual Workspace.

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What We’re Thankful For in 2020: Linking with the Insurance Industry https://www.legacyshield.com/industry-news/what-were-thankful-for-in-2020-linking-with-the-insurance-industry/ https://www.legacyshield.com/industry-news/what-were-thankful-for-in-2020-linking-with-the-insurance-industry/#respond Wed, 25 Nov 2020 05:30:00 +0000 https://www.legacyshield.com/2020/11/what-were-thankful-for-in-2020-linking-with-the-insurance-industry/

When reflecting on this year, we’re reminded of a quote from Theodore Roosevelt: “Do what...

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When reflecting on this year, we’re reminded of a quote from Theodore Roosevelt: “Do what you can with what you have where you are.”

2020 has been all about doing whatever it takes to make things work, no matter what challenges we face. At LegacyShield, we are extraordinarily proud of how the insurance industry – and our own clients, employees, and partners – has stepped up to the plate this year.

In the spirit of Thanksgiving, we would like to share a few things we are grateful for in both our industry and our company.

Thank You, Insurance Industry

  • Insurance agents have adapted to change while facing an influx of customers and concerns. They’ve embraced a new digital transformation, setting up Zoom meetings, using e-delivery of policies and e-signatures, or adopting a more comprehensive insurtech platform. Many firms have seen double-digit increases in the number of life insurance policies sold, especially among younger adults. Still, insurance agents have risen to the occasion with creativity, agility, and hard work.
  • Insurance carriers have also been a significant contributor to success this year in the insurance industry. Their commitment to continuing business and finding new ways to offer coverage has provided millions of people with the critical financial protections they need for themselves and their families.
  • Insurance technology has empowered insurance agents, advisors, and carriers to safely deliver services to customers during the pandemic. In many cases, it has improved the efficiency of underwriting, policy delivery, and client-advisor communication.

Thank You, LegacyShield Team & Clients

  • Our clients are what motivate us to do our best work every day. As an insurtech company focused on advisors, their continued collaboration and feedback are invaluable. They have been critical partners in helping us create software solutions designed to truly meet the advisor’s needs.
  • Our team is our greatest asset at LegacyShield. We are thankful for their dedication to putting out the best solutions possible for advisors to better engage and communicate with clients, resulting in improved workflows, greater insights, and new growth.
  • Our culture allows people to grow professionally and personally, even as we’ve adjusted to how and where we work. Being further apart has only brought us closer. We’ve continued to grow our team with new members who provide the right combination of talent and character.

What We’re Most Thankful For: Linking More Advisors                  

Our team is most grateful this year for the power of human connection. Despite the many barriers, we’ve made more connections with insurance agents, advisors, and professionals than ever. That has been made possible with our team’s most significant achievement of the year: launching our new advisor-rich platform, Link by LegacyShield.

We’re proud of Link because it carries that same sense of connection we’ve fostered with advisors to the relationships between advisors and their own clients. Both parties can collaborate in a secure communication platform to exchange files, messages, and reminders. The platform also provides data-driven insights for advisors to best determine when and how to service clients.

What’s clear from 2020 is that human connection is vital for a happy life – and that technology will continue to become an increasingly important way we make and maintain those connections.

We couldn’t be more thrilled to be at the forefront of fostering communication, connection, and collaboration in the insurance industry. We look forward to continuing to link with more people in the insurance industry next year.

We wish you all a safe and happy holiday season.

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Why Data Security Is Vital: A Word from Our Chief Technology Officer https://www.legacyshield.com/industry-news/why-data-security-is-vital-a-word-from-our-chief-technology-officer/ https://www.legacyshield.com/industry-news/why-data-security-is-vital-a-word-from-our-chief-technology-officer/#respond Wed, 18 Nov 2020 05:30:00 +0000 https://www.legacyshield.com/2020/11/why-data-security-is-vital-a-word-from-our-chief-technology-officer/

If you’re reading this from a connected device, you could be vulnerable. In today’s digital...

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Data securityIf you’re reading this from a connected device, you could be vulnerable. In today’s digital age, people use their phones, computers, and even their watches to access information and store data. Just as quickly as you can go to your favorite website, data can be taken from you without you even noticing. According to the Varonis 2019 Data Risk Report, 53% of companies studied had over 1,000 sensitive files open to every employee. LegacyShield refuses to fall into this category. As a technology company, there is nothing more important than protecting the privacy of our users. 

Kevin Higginbotham, LegacyShield’s Chief Technology Officer, has been working in technology for over 20 years, beginning in system administration before moving into engineering and architecture roles. His work gave him insight into the evolving world of security, and he has since applied that knowledge to the software as a service market. Kevin provided us with some insight to help users understand the importance of data security when investing in software.

Q: What is the goal of information security within an organization?

A: The role of information security within an organization is simple. Information security exists to maintain the confidentiality and integrity of protected data. An important piece of that is restricting access to information, resources, or other assets to those who require it for their business or job function.

Q: What should people look for in evaluating a company in relation to security?

A: A starting point that every person should be aware of when trusting a platform with important data is the privacy policy. This policy explains what data the company is collecting and what they plan to do with that data. Individuals should also focus on how a company stores your data and how they plan to keep it secure. The next step would be to evaluate their track record and check to see if the organization has any history of security missteps or other red flags. Each company has varying levels of transparency, so, ultimately, it comes down to the level of trust a person has with that provider.

Q: How do you work with engineers who are not versed in security, and how do you measure how well your team is doing?

A: In any modern application, security can’t be implemented as an afterthought. Due to current events in relation to cybersecurity, everyone on the team is more cognizant of the risks to users and their data. It’s important to emphasize security procedures as a crucial factor within the organization; we have procedural controls in place where any odd changes or activity would be scrutinized carefully. We, fortunately, do not have this issue at LegacyShield as our engineers have experience with regard to security. One thing we do that I would suggest to other companies who may have less experienced teams is to have a system of checks and balances so that nothing is introduced into the production environment without a security review. LegacyShield also reviews security as a whole during our regular meetings.

Q: What is your philosophy on security, and how do you make sure that LegacyShield data is secure?

A: Security is a paramount concern, especially when our system takes in the type of data that our users entrust us with. We as a team have a responsibility to take it seriously. To ensure that the data is secure, LegacyShield leverages an in-depth defense strategy with multiple layers of protection in place. All data exchanged with our platform is encrypted in transit and encrypted at rest. This is a must-have for secure communications, and we build upon that foundation to provide the best possible protection for exchanging information between two parties.

Q: Is it possible to prevent an intruder? If not, what do you have in place at LegacyShield to slow down any malicious attempt and then resolve it?

A: Many intrusion attempts can be prevented with the appropriate security configurations and procedural controls, but it would be foolish to think we are ever immune to attacks. For example, if you have a weak password, you’ve invited that level of concern upon yourself. However, we have not had a security issue at LegacyShield to date. We look for behaviors and activities that seem out of place or anything that is unexpected or anomalous. Our security system notifies us of those behaviors so that we may respond accordingly. We also offer multi-factor authentication in Link and encourage our users to require more than a strong password to access their account details. We recognize the unique risks internal and corporate systems may pose and routinely work with our team, partners, and vendors to ensure that we’re protecting all vectors of attack, not just those that are client-facing.

 Q: Why do you think many companies haven’t fixed their vulnerabilities?

A: Frankly, because it’s difficult and time-consuming. Staying on top of vulnerabilities requires a lot of attention and effort that may not offer a client-facing benefit. Additionally, many organizations may not realize the risks they could be exposed to if the client data were compromised.

LegacyShield is proud to have a team that cares about the wellbeing of users (advisors and their clients) and looks to make collaborating easy. We recognize security is a fundamental part of what we do and make sure to keep up with the evolving security landscape in order to best serve our users. Unfortunately, many companies do not always realize the risks they are exposing themselves to, not to mention their customers and end-users, by not prioritizing security. Technology is an integral part in the everyday life of a consumer, which means advisors need to prioritize secure insurtech or risk losing clients.

As technology becomes more prominent in the insurance industry, it is crucial that advisors utilize platforms and software that provide exceptional security to their clients and other end-users. Our newest platform, Link, serves as the ultimate connector between advisors and their clients by allowing advisors to collaborate and do business securely in one place. Our internal security replaces encrypted messages and document downloads with secure, platform-level access to files, policies, communication, and transactions. Link gives advisors advanced insights into the needs of their clients and creates a trusting relationship that can be maintained for generations. To learn more about why data security is relevant to insurance advisors, check out our blog, “What Insurance Agents and Advisors Need to Know About Privacy.”

If you’re looking to take the next step with your practice and stop worrying about the security of your clients, connect with us to schedule a demo.

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Where the Life Insurance Industry Is Falling Short (And How To Fix It) https://www.legacyshield.com/industry-news/where-the-life-insurance-industry-is-falling-short-and-how-to-fix-it/ https://www.legacyshield.com/industry-news/where-the-life-insurance-industry-is-falling-short-and-how-to-fix-it/#respond Wed, 11 Nov 2020 05:30:00 +0000 https://www.legacyshield.com/2020/11/where-the-life-insurance-industry-is-falling-short-and-how-to-fix-it/

There has been a lot of progress in the life insurance industry. Over the last...

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There has been a lot of progress in the life insurance industry.

Over the last several years, the industry has expanded the array of products offered to meet different clients’ needs. Life insurance is now easily accessible, and more people are educated about the need for life insurance coverage and how to obtain it.

Business woman falling into trapAdvisors should be proud of the headway made so far – but there is more to be done. The life insurance industry is still falling short in two important areas. If the industry doesn’t address these shortcomings, consumers will continue to remain exposed and advisors risk being displaced by technology.

The silver lining is that advisors have the tools to overcome these issues. But they first need to recognize what those issues are.

Issue #1: Lack of Continuing Service for Clients

The life insurance industry has long focused on acquiring clients and providing solutions through different products. As a result, life insurance practices have put most of their technology investments into tools that streamline the sales process, including CRMs and quoting software.

Getting the right policy is the first step, but what happens next? Usually, the advisor hands off the policy and that’s it. There is little to no engagement with the client afterward. Many insurance providers do annual reviews, but is that really enough?

Consumers don’t seem to think so.

There is a growing perception gap between the service that advisors think they’re providing and what consumers feel they’re receiving. According to a study from Engagement Labs, insurance comes in below average in reference to client sentiment, below banking and credit card companies. In addition, our recent blog, “Insurance Agents: Your Clients Don’t See You as You Do,” mentions that 94% of advisors believe they regularly check in with consumers to ensure they’re meeting their clients’ needs, but only 69% of customers reported sufficient communication.

The industry is falling short on communicating, engaging, and nurturing clients who already have a policy. This lack of communication not only hurts advisors, but also their clients and their beneficiaries:

  • Advisors who don’t regularly communicate have less client loyalty, fewer recommendations, and fewer additional sales from their clients.
  • Clients may become underinsured as they don’t think to update their policies despite significant life changes, and without ongoing communication, the advisors don’t know about the changes requiring additional or modified coverage.
  • When beneficiaries are not in the loop, it can lead to confusion, family conflict, or even lost assets when it’s time to file a claim.

Gaining new leads is critical for business, but the value of customer retention – which is more cost-effective than acquisition – cannot be understated.

Issue #2: Innovation at the Expense of Advisors

one click purchaseThe trend in insurance technology is becoming clear: the vast majority of investment is going into direct-to-consumer insurtechs. These tools aim to acquire customers directly, underwrite personalized policies, and deliver them digitally, all without the need for an advisor.

While speed and convenience powered by technology are great for consumers, the potential displacement of life insurance advisors is all too real and highly concerning – and not just for the advisors.

We believe innovation at the expense of advisors is ultimately innovation at the expense of clients.

Why? Technology cannot replace the personal relationship, experience, and expertise provided by a life insurance advisor. For instance, consumers will almost always gravitate toward the lowest-priced policy. Focusing on price points in the short term can cause people to buy a policy that isn’t worth it in the long term.

Consumers aren’t experts in life insurance, and they don’t need to be. But they do need an advisor’s guidance to find the right policy for them.

Insurtech without advisors involved is not the best alternative.

How to Succeed as We Move Forward

The good news is that the industry can solve both of these issues simultaneously and take advisors’ businesses to the next level. The solution for life insurance advisors is adopting a relationship-focused business model powered by insurance technology.

Continued collaboration and communication between clients and advisors will be critical to success for both parties. When there is more collaboration, clients typically receive better advice and solutions and insurance advisors improve customer retention and referral rates.

Advisors must turn to insurtech to foster more communication, maintain relationships, and better understand when and how to meet their clients’ changing needs. New advisor-rich platforms are coming to the market to help advisors overcome these challenges. Platforms like Link by LegacyShield encourage client-advisor communication in a secure virtual workspace. The platform also allows clients to add their beneficiaries to their accounts, fully closing the life insurance loop.

The time to move away from a transactional approach is now. Relationship-building and transparent, consistent communication will be the path to success for advisors.

To read more about successfully meeting the marketplace, check out our blog, “Insurance Agents: Move Into Change or Be Left Behind.”

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Insurance Agents: Move Into Change or Be Left Behind https://www.legacyshield.com/industry-news/insurance-agents-move-into-change-or-be-left-behind/ https://www.legacyshield.com/industry-news/insurance-agents-move-into-change-or-be-left-behind/#respond Wed, 04 Nov 2020 05:30:00 +0000 https://www.legacyshield.com/2020/11/insurance-agents-move-into-change-or-be-left-behind/

We are undoubtedly living in historic times. From the pandemic to the presidential election, it...

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We are undoubtedly living in historic times. From the pandemic to the presidential election, it seems like there’s hardly a day when we don’t wake up to another major news story.

2020 has changed how we live and work, and the insurance industry has been no exception. A digital transformation, which has long been on the horizon for the industry, is now critical for success as more consumers demand seamless online service from their advisors.

Even so, the foundations of the insurance industry have not changed and will not change. Agents still have a business to run, and consumers still need insurance coverage. But as we move into a new year, agents must continue adjusting their practices to meet the new marketplace.

Here’s what insurance agents can do to make sure they aren’t left behind in 2020 (which surely no one wants.)

Understand what insurance customers want

If you’ve been in the insurance business for a while, it’s easy to think you know what clients want: a personalized policy at a reasonable rate, an expert advisor who can provide insights and answer any questions, and excellent customer service. These are all still important factors that consumers care about, but there are new priorities and ideas of what constitutes good service.

Here are some illuminating findings on today’s consumers:

The pandemic has sped up the already growing demand for digital service across all sectors of the market. Today, insurance customers are looking for more convenient service, more digital connectivity, and a stronger relationship with their agent.

Take the time to research consumer trends to gain a better understanding of the prospective market, or check out our blogs for more information:

Identify gaps in your service, and make a digital plan

Once you have a solid understanding of the consumer market, review your business practices, and analyze your current strengths and weaknesses. Are you good at establishing relationships but lacking in digital service? Are you using digital tools, like e-delivery or e-signatures, but they’re causing you more headaches than they are helping?

With how quickly everything moves these days, it’s easy to get in the habit of just pushing forward and adapting as you go. You may end up adopting one tool, like e-delivery, because a client requested it, but you’re missing other important functionalities that make the process more seamless. Unfortunately, the piecemeal approach to digital adoption can lead to more confusion when technology should make it easier for both you and your clients.

We know digital technology will be a mainstay in the insurance industry from now on, so move your thinking on digital practices from piecemeal to strategic. Figure out exactly how and what digital tools you will use for sales, marketing, management, and communication.

Find the right digital platform for your practice

As you start planning ahead, don’t be surprised when you realize a more comprehensive insurtech platform is needed to manage your business. The good news is that new digital platforms are available that provide not only expanded capabilities but also advanced insights that power your referral generation and lead to increased sales.

An advisor-centric platform like Link by LegacyShield empowers insurance agents through turnkey tools, insights, and solutions. The platform functions as a digital workspace where agents can directly connect and collaborate with clients as well as securely store insurance policies and share them with clients and key stakeholders.

Agents using Link get analytics on client activity that can help them better understand their clients’ needs. Plus, advisors receive organic leads by collaborating with their clients’ loved ones on policies and plans within the app.

In our world and in our industry, change is inevitable and coming faster than ever. But if insurance agents are able to move with the change, they will unlock new generations of insurance clients that will fuel their growth for the next decade.

To learn more about best practices moving forward, read our blog, “Staying Ahead of the Curve for Insurance Agents.”

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The Best Way for Advisors to Connect: Introducing Link Product Updates https://www.legacyshield.com/industry-news/link-product-updates/ https://www.legacyshield.com/industry-news/link-product-updates/#respond Wed, 28 Oct 2020 04:30:00 +0000 https://www.legacyshield.com/2020/10/the-best-way-for-advisors-to-connect-introducing-link-product-updates/

Investing in your business is the best way to increase the chances of success. All...

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Investing in your business is the best way to increase the chances of success. All companies, agencies, and advisors must do it, and we are no different. That’s why LegacyShield continues to evolve.

We recently launched an entirely new, advisor-rich software called Link to help agents connect with their clients, reduce transactional friction, and increase agent profitability. Link by LegacyShield provides advisors with turnkey tools, insights, and solutions to improve their practice and better assist their clients.

Heather, our VP of Product, took some time to update us on the additional features she and her team have been working on. Before working at LegacyShield, Heather worked in the legal and insurance fields. Since joining LegacyShield, she has been an integral part of creating the product by managing what goes onto the site.

Q: What product updates are you most excited about?

A: There are a lot of great things the team is working on, but I am most excited to talk about our prospecting and direct messaging features. I think both of these will have a considerable impact on the way advisors run their practice and how clients interact with their advisors.

Q: Can you explain how prospecting works on Link?

A: The way prospecting works in Link is that any time a client adds another person to their account to share documents or other information, they have to join Link and create an account. Once they register, they become a prospect for the advisor. Before Link, the advisor could only see that their client shared the document or information with a specific person. Now, with Link, advisors can communicate with prospects through the system, send documents to prospects, and convert prospects to clients. Additionally, advisors can gain unprecedented insights into the prospects before the initial outreach.

Q: So, does anyone who views assets on Link automatically become a prospect? What if they’re not interested?

A: No. LegacyShield is committed to developing products that are secure and mindful of everyone involved. A key determinant is that the new person has to register and agree to LegacyShield’s privacy policy and terms of use. Additionally, the advisor has limited functionality to reach out to those prospects. For example, they can send them documents to view. If a consumer wants to collaborate more with the advisor, the advisor can convert them to a client and give them full functionality.

Q: What other ways does Link help with prospecting?

A: Prospects are introduced to the advisor virtually. They can see the advisors’ profile, contact information, and bio, making it like a billboard or banner ad [in the app] for the advisor before talking to the client. We see it as a great way to introduce yourself to prospects and see if they’re a good fit for business without being too assertive.

Q: Does prospecting benefit the client also?

A: Absolutely. Just as advisors are looking for new clients, clients need to make sure their advisor is right for them. People don’t always know the benefits of using an advisor, let alone where to find one. Seeing trusted friends and family utilizing a particular advisor is going to open the door and give prospects direction if they’re looking for a similar resource. Especially for younger generations, like Millennials, this will be a huge help. Our recent blog post, “Insurance ROI: Are You Doing the Right Math?” mentions that referral prospecting yields a closing ratio of 40% compared to cold-call prospects at 11%. Link has already generated over 45,000 referrals before our product updates, and we believe referrals will spike with this updated feature. Using Link to find quality referrals and increase customer retention allows for a better experience for clients and better returns for the advisor.

Q: What about compliance oversight?

A: Link integrated with Outstand for email marketing and marketing automation. One of the most significant challenges independent agents face is access to easy-to-use marketing tools and the professional content they need to grow their referrals and sales. Outstand overcomes this by giving agents a web-based system to provide a full scope of intuitive marketing tools and pre-approved assets that enable them to connect with their teams, clients, and followers.

Q: What kinds of tools come with this integration?

A: The marketing tools include contact and list management, email marketing, automated campaigns, asset aggregation, social media posting, content scheduling, website and landing page hosting, response tracking, and performance analytics. All of these things make it easy to market and connect with any client or prospect and at the same price point as MailChimp or Constant Contact.

Q: Tell me about the direct messaging feature on Link.

A: This feature can help with prospecting but also enhances communication with current clients. Similar to other social platforms, you can message your client or advisor and receive an instant response. We have also included a group chat feature and have compliance oversight built in for enterprises. We think this is an essential feature on the platform because right now, it’s via text, phone, and email, which makes it hard to keep track of everything. This feature allows you to securely talk to a client or advisor without worrying about managing everything.

Q: Texting and email are like a lifeline in this day and age. Why wouldn’t you just use that?

A: Texting is still useful at times, but it isn’t easy to file and attach the information from a text message to a client record. Also, larger organizations have to be mindful of compliance oversight, which makes texting less doable. Link combines the best of both worlds by allowing advisors to keep track of all of the information and stay within compliance oversight regulations while using a secure platform.

Q: How do you think the direct messaging tool can best be utilized?

A: The direct messaging feature allows advisors and clients alike to organize all of their conversations and documents. When you send an attachment, you can follow up directly on that attachment, making collaboration that much easier. Direct messaging will make it much easier to receive quick answers on underwriting questions, file updates, or appointments. You can arrange your messages by policy, a new app, or an existing product. Direct messaging is just another way to keep all of your priorities in one place and makes it easy to follow.

As we continue to invest in our business, we look forward to learning and adapting to fit the ever-changing needs of advisors and the insurance industry. Our prospecting and direct messaging features are just the beginning. Link by LegacyShield is committed to developing a platform that revolutionizes the way advisors interact with their clients by providing a secure space and including tools that provide advanced insights to its users.

To learn more about Link or to schedule a demo, contact our sales agents here. If you’re looking for more information about how Link can benefit you, check out our blog, “Let’s Link – Collaborate With Clients in a Secure Virtual Workspace.

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