Vantis Life, a subsidiary of Penn Mutual, plans to go direct to consumer in March.

The company, a seller of life and annuity coverages to banks, credit unions and middle income families with combined household incomes of $50,000 to $150,000, also plans to introduce accelerated underwriting to the masses—eliminating the need for medical tests on consumers considered to be generally healthy. The new platform, scheduled to debut Mar. 1, will leverage third party data to sell policies on the spot to customers via desktop and mobile.

“Life insurance was slower to respond to insurtech for a couple of reasons. The underwriting process is long, and some companies following old agency models don’t want to disrupt it for fear they will alienate existing agency distribution,” says Craig Simms, SVP and CMO for Vantis Life.

However, “We can access more data on people applying for life insurance in 2018 than ever before, thanks to providers like LexisNexis and public databases [pharmaceutical and motor vehicle]," Simms adds. “I can get a good snapshot of you with no blood or urine, and make an offer.”

Craig Simms, Vantis Life
Craig Simms, Vantis Life

Simplicity is the objective of Vantis Life’s new internally built product. The hope is that more digital options can help fill in the gaps in life insurance coverage many consumers face.

Life insurtechs such as Ladder, Haven Life and Fabric are proving that policies can be sold online using less industry jargon, Simms says. While much of the insurtech wave has focused on P&C and health, Vantis sees a great opportunity in its recent partnership with Fabric to help the sector catch up.

Vantis Life agreed to underwrite all policies sold by Fabric in March 2017. The insurtech, serving as a managing general agency for the carrier in 32 states, first approached Vantis Life a couple of years ago. Just a concept at the time, co-founders Adam Erlebacher and Steven Surgnier pitched selling accidental life coverage directly on a smartphone.

About 70% of Fabric’s customers today purchase life policies on the its website within 10 minutes of their first visit, Erlebacher said at Accenture’s Life Insurtech Summit last month. Fabric specifically tackles couples that just had their first child, ages 25 to 40, according to Simms.

“They told us they will take care of front end. ‘You guys just underwrite as the policies come in for Fabric Basic’ [the company’s accidental death coverage],” he concluded. “They figured the first policy people should buy is accidental death. They then try to upgrade you to an old-fashioned 20-year term life insurance policy right away.”

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