In 2015, the United States was still crawling its way back from the Great Recession. Economic turmoil forced people to cut back on their monthly spending, but it also highlighted the challenges involved in creating long-term financial stability for families in America.
One of the bright spots in that year, along with the continued recovery, was the founding of Ladder: a startup focused on bringing life insurance directly to consumers in a safe, transparent online marketplace.
It was a play that reminded me of the original premise behind ObamaCare, before the technical glitches created a massive stumbling block. When technology provides access to complicated exchanges, and creates a level playing field for both large and small insurers, consumers win.
Life insurance is a vital ingredient to happy, healthy families in america
One of the many challenges in providing appropriate insurance for families is affordability. There’s a perception that life insurance is expensive. Sure, in some cases, this is the case due to personal health issues or age. But, for young families, life insurance can be an affordable building block for long-term financial security.
There is no excuse for just 62% of consumers having life insurance; especially considering that more than 85% of consumers surveyed agree it’s something they should have in place.
Technology solves the challenge of bypassing the traditional broker system
Ladder was founded by some of the best and brightest in the tech space; talent borrowed from Google, Dropbox, Harvard, and Stanford. By leveraging their talent and venture capital partnerships, the expensive process of creating a platform to simplify life insurance comparison and enrolment has been successfully brought to market.
For consumers, this is a huge win. Life insurance is something that is no longer limited by the policies that your local hometown insurance broker carries. And, consumers can avoid the commissions they charge.
Providing clarity in a murky market
I attended a talk given by Ladder’s CEO, and his personal story of being a young beneficiary of his parent’s life insurance policy was both heart-wrenching and thought-provoking. He gained a clear understanding of what it means to have a financial cushion after the loss of a sole-financial provider and parent.
This drove him to make life insurance more accessible. To do this, his team launched an entirely new fintech platform. And it actually works. Families gain access to every policy on the market from the comfort of their living room sofa. Ladder’s website brags that it’s now possible for a family to go from zero to full coverage in 6 minutes or less.
It takes more than 6 minutes to drive to an insurance agent’s office or get through to their desk extension on the phone. That’s not even considering the industry average of 4-6 weeks to go from a completed application to coverage being in place.
This is a huge win for American families that need financial stability in uncertain times. By having an online platform available that allows for plans to be compared, side-by-side, along with rates and other key data points, families can find the best plan to meet their unique needs.
And it’s a fintech start-up win that should be studied by those looking to make a play in the highly competitive space. Their CEO will tell you, “It all comes down to your “why”. That powerful, driving force will help you surpass any hurdle thrown in your way.”
This post is part of our contributor series. It is written and published independently of TNW.
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