Life. It’s changing.

Jamie Hale
Apr 20, 2017 · 4 min read

Building something people want.

One hundred days into the launch of Ladder, one thing is clear: offering people instant, fully underwritten life insurance online is filling a real need in the market. We are thrilled to announce that we have issued well over $100M of coverage in our first 100 days. This is a big milestone for our team because we believe so deeply in the importance of life insurance, and it is an indicator of what’s to come as this industry evolves.

But offering instant coverage is just the beginning. We are relentlessly focused on our end user — on building life insurance in a way that makes sense for them. Today, we are excited to share our next innovation: making life insurance dynamic. Giving users more control, along with the ease that is built into our process, introduces a sea change in the industry.

Your life insurance needs are dynamic. Your life insurance should be dynamic, too.

Technology changes everything.

Technology makes the theoretical possible. With Ladder, people can now easily action what financial theorists tout as the best way to fundamentally think about life insurance.

With traditional life insurance, people are often sold a big block of coverage that soon becomes out of date. As life unfolds, some events drive an increase in the amount of coverage needed. And then, the financial reality is that the coverage required for needs tends to go down over time. Because Ladder is digital, we make it easy to apply for more coverage and give you the ability to control if and when you decrease your coverage.

Let’s look at how people’s needs for life insurance changes over time, using a concrete scenario to illustrate the point.

  • You get coverage today to provide for your child in the event something happens to you. But, as they grow up and approach graduation, you won’t need as much coverage as you did when they were an infant.
  • You buy a home a few years later, and your needs have changed again. You get more coverage, so your family could pay off the mortgage and stay in their home. As time goes by, though, you pay down that mortgage, and your needs decrease.
  • In addition to children growing up and mortgages getting paid down, you earn money over the years and hopefully save. Savings is a perfect substitute for life insurance. With more money in the bank, you need less coverage.

Your needs change over time. Your needs are dynamic.

We want people to get the coverage they need today, then have peace of mind knowing they’re covered and knowing they are not locked into anything over time. They can decrease at their choice, with no fees or hassle. The result? Financial zen.

If you want to geek out on some financial theory, check out the articles in the footnotes¹ ².

Why this innovation matters?

We are passionate about giving users as much control as possible because the stakes are high. There is a $16 trillion dollar coverage gap in the United States³. This means people are at risk of not being able to afford to stay in their home, in their community, surrounded by friends and family, when they need it the most. We believe people want and deserve better, so we at Ladder are innovating on both the process of buying life insurance and the ability for people to match their coverage to their needs. People can come to Ladder and easily apply for more instant coverage when they need it. They can also decrease whenever they choose.

Life insurance is all about trust, and user-centric innovation is what people can expect from Ladder. We are just getting started on our journey to make life better. Stay tuned by subscribing here on Medium, and connecting with us on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.


1 Human Capital, Asset Allocation, and Life Insurance (by Peng Chen, CFA, Roger G. Ibbotson, Moshe A. Milevsky, and Kevin X. Zhu, 2006) which explains how life insurance is a financial hedge again your future income for your family and how your future potential income changes over time.

2 The “Life Cycle” Hypothesis of Saving: Aggregate Implications and Tests (by Albert Ando and Franco Modigliani, 1963) explains families building up and running down their financial assets and tailoring their spending independently of their incomes at each age.

3 Life Insurance Coverage Gap Substantial and Growing (LIMRA, September 2015)


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