Ladder: Closing the Insurance Coverage Gap for a Better Life

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Jamie Hale, Co-Founder & CEO, LadderJamie Hale, Co-Founder & CEO
Millennials, who are often criticized for lacking financial stability, face some intimidating hurdles in today's financial environment. For instance, while the average wage of millennials has increased, that increase has not kept up with rising living costs. On the life insurance front, New York Life’s 2018 Life Insurance Gap Survey indicates that millennials are underinsured by approximately 78 percent—in other words, many can cover only a fifth of their self-reported financial needs with their earnings. This is one of the biggest coverage gaps to have ever hit the U.S. economy. As various financial institutions try to address this disparity, they have started to realize that the demographics of their target consumer base have changed significantly. Millennials are tech-savvy and prefer to manage their daily lives digitally. The same applies to their banking experience. When it comes to life insurance, they are looking for a dynamic and personalized approach to meet the varying financial needs of their different life stages. Identifying the changing needs of insurance buyers, Ladder is one among the new breed of startups that are making great strides to revolutionize the purchase, distribution, and management of life insurance products.

Ladder offers instant, fully underwritten term life insurance with dynamic coverage that can help close the insurance gap among millennials. “We are radically changing the process of buying life insurance with our platform. With our direct to consumer model, life insurance buyers can access our platform online and adjust insurance coverage according to their varying financial needs,” comments Jamie Hale, co-founder and CEO of Ladder. The company is constantly re-engineering the traditional life insurance purchasing processes with AI and ML algorithms, design thinking, and behavioral economics to determine an applicant’s coverage eligibility in real-time as opposed to waiting an average of six weeks.

With our direct to consumer model, life insurance buyers can access our platform online and adjust insurance coverage according to their varying financial needs

Through its proprietary technology, Ladder is able to provide customers with a more convenient and manageable experience, from considering the purchase of life insurance all the way through completing its online application and its digital policy management. Since the launch of this digital solution in January 2017, Ladder has expanded its footprint across the U.S. and is currently in the process of establishing its presence in the state of New York, which will result in Ladder being available in all 50 U.S. states.

Beyond streamlining the process for consumers, Ladder’s ‘full-stack’ architecture also allows its partners to integrate the instant and dynamic solution into their existing life insurance offerings through the Ladder API Platform. For instance, Ladder partners with Social Finance, Inc. (SoFi)—an online personal finance company—to bring term life insurance to SoFi’s consumer base and help them get covered without the burden of physical paperwork, in-person meetings, and other hassles. As both Ladder and SoFi share a consumer-first approach for designing smart financial services, this partnership demonstrates how companies built on modern technology platforms can collaborate to streamline solutions for today’s consumers.

This year, at the T3 Advisor Conference in Dallas—a leading practice management and technology conference for independent and hybrid financial advisors—the company unveiled ‘Ladder for Advisors.’ With this brand new solution, financial advisors can access a customized toolkit and a comprehensive dashboard to help their clients determine the right amount of coverage for their needs, at any given time. According to Hale, this is just the beginning of the long-awaited digitalization of the insurance space. “As the broader market continues to evolve and expand, Ladder is poised to spearhead the next revolution in the life insurance sector and offer everyone a bit of financial peace of mind,” concludes Hale.

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Top 10 Insurtech Startups - 2019


Palo Alto, CA

Jamie Hale, Co-Founder & CEO

An insurtech company from Palo Alto, CA, the company is among a new breed of startups that are revolutionizing the purchase, consumption, and distribution of life insurance products. Ladderoffers instant, underwritten life insurance with dynamic coverage to close the insurance gap of the millennials. The company has re-engineered traditional life insurance purchasing process with innovative technology, design thinking, and behavioral economics to decide on applicant’s coverage eligibility as opposed to waiting for the industry average of six weeks. To accomplish this and satisfy the regulatory requirements regarding the underwriting of life insurance, Ladder is leveraging AI algorithms and machine learning that deliver an initial insurance quotation matching a prospect's profile and needs within seconds