Here’s What Instant Life Insurance Really Looks Like

Jamie Hale
Sep 10, 2018 · 5 min read
Image for post
Image for post

At Ladder, being a leader in changing life insurance means constantly innovating for our customers. But even though we’ve achieved many firsts in the industry, we are also just getting started. We’re excited to announce our next big innovation at the InsureTech Connect conference in October.

As we look forward to the next big thing, it’s also fun for us to look back and celebrate how far we’ve come in such a short time, all for our customers.

Instant, Digital, Fully-Underwritten Life Insurance

Image for post
Image for post

Ladder was the first company to move beyond both manual and accelerated underwriting, to offer the first ever truly instant, fully-underwritten life insurance policy.

How fast is instant? We delivered an instant, fully-underwritten decision in 429 milliseconds. And on average, we deliver decisions in less than 15 seconds after a customer submits an application. We do this by utilizing algorithmic underwriting that incorporates hundreds of data points to fully assess the risk — without any human intervention or delay.

Ladder has streamlined the entire life insurance buying process from application, to underwriting, to policy issuance and delivery. Our fastest customer has moved through all the steps from application to a fully underwritten life insurance policy, accepted and delivered, in just 4 minutes. And the majority of our customers take less than 15 minutes to move through all the steps from application to a policy being offered. This stands in sharp contrast to others in the industry who say you can ‘apply’ or ‘sign-up’ in as little as 10 minutes. The reality is that for their customers, usually that’s just the start. They’ll often want to get you on the phone for a 45-minute telephone underwriting interview, and then take days or weeks to give you a final decision. But with Ladder you could be all done and go live your marvelous life knowing your people are taken care of.

Ladder was the first to be able to integrate across all its front and back-end platforms to not only better understand the customer need, but to build functionality for customers to instantly and simply make changes to their policy online, in real-time. You can update your beneficiary, change your payment method, or even change your policy instantly. No faxes or phone calls needed.

Image for post
Image for post

We created our proprietary policy management system on our admin platform to enable customers to “ladder” their policies (apply to increase or instantly decrease their coverage) at the touch of a button, all online, 24–7. Another first in the industry.

But we’re also focused on evolving the industry overall, which is why we built Ladder into the first, all-digital, “full-stack” life insurance platform. We integrated all parts of the life insurance value chain — creating a digital distribution engine, as well as product design, partnership, underwriting and administration platforms, all built in the cloud using the latest technology. The end-to-end integration of each of these platforms has enabled us to continually deliver innovations not seen before in the industry.

Ladder APIs

Ladder was also first in the life insurance space to offer an API, and continually enhances what is now a suite of API’s. This enables partners to integrate in real-time with our proprietary needs assessment tools, quotes, application engine, and policy management platforms, all to deliver customers a seamless and beautiful experience, however they choose to get their LadderLife coverage. That has enabled us to uniquely partner with other leaders in their markets — we recently announced a new partnership with SoFi as another example.

So, unlike many of our digital competitors who rely on off-the-shelf products from existing incumbent life insurance companies, we teamed up with our insurance partners to create and design a unique LadderLifeTM product specifically for our customers (it’s currently available in 49 states and D.C.). Creating this simpler, more straightforward product, which also has great pricing, has enabled us to lead the way on customer experience.

Moving at the speed of software … not insurance

We deploy code on average 13 times per day, with more than 10,000 enhancements to the codebase already in production. We use our technology to continuously improve both the offering to customers, as well as gather unprecedented amounts of data not seen before in the space, all to get the feedback we need to improve what we do.

Although our data advantage is already massive, we are accelerating. We want to leverage our lead to learn and innovate ever faster, all for the benefit of the customer.

Image for post
Image for post

We were recently named one of Fast Company’s top ten most innovative companies in Finance and recognized by the FinTech Breakthrough Awards as the Best Insurtech Company for 2018. We also won Celent’s annual Model Insurer Awards in the Innovation and Emerging Technologies category in April, and we were also recently mentioned — along with other esteemed insurance companies — in the Forrester Life Insurance Wave: Q2 2018 report.

We are very grateful for the accolades, but at the end of the day, it’s all about the customers and the families they protect. At Ladder, we know how much life insurance can change a life — because it changed mine. That’s why we are so passionate about what we do. That’s also why we’re so excited about our announcement at Insurtech Connect in October. See you there!


Read the latest thoughts and ideas on smart life insurance.

Medium is an open platform where 170 million readers come to find insightful and dynamic thinking. Here, expert and undiscovered voices alike dive into the heart of any topic and bring new ideas to the surface. Learn more

Follow the writers, publications, and topics that matter to you, and you’ll see them on your homepage and in your inbox. Explore

If you have a story to tell, knowledge to share, or a perspective to offer — welcome home. It’s easy and free to post your thinking on any topic. Write on Medium

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store