Long Term Care

Beyond The Finance Of Life Insurance

After the death benefit, beneficiaries need so much more

How one company is changing the dynamics of facing death, managing bereavement and effectively settling estates

by Ron Gura

Ron Gura is Co-Founder & CEO of Empathy, a platform that helps families navigate the emotional and logistical challenges of loss. Visit www.empathy.com.

When a loved one passes away, families have a rush of emotions and responsibilities thrust upon them. An emotionally tumultuous moment becomes even more overwhelming due to the number of tasks and decisions that follow. These responsibilities range from funeral arrangements to legal matters, financial considerations to wider estate management, alongside countless other small tasks that few of us even consider until we are forced to confront them ourselves.

Coping with grief while navigating the bureaucracies and logistics associated with loss can be a long and complicated journey. This can take families over 12 months, and cost them on average some $12,702, according to Empathy’s latest annual Cost of Dying Report – an in depth look at life-after-loss that sheds light on the often-incalculable toll this experience takes.

This emotional and logistical burden is a reality faced by countless families, which brings to bear the pressing need for compassionate support in the most trying times.

While life insurance has long been a lifeline of support and comfort for those grieving, people need more than just a financial payout. Beyond the financial lifeline provided by a life insurance policy, families deserve holistic support to help them navigate the labyrinth of paperwork, legalities, and the emotional upheaval that accompanies loss. No one person or family should ever have to grieve alone.

Additionally, by offering full-circle care to families when they need it most, life insurance carriers have the opportunity to build loyalty from one generation to the next.

Going Beyond The Payout

Life insurance serves as a critical safety net for policyholders and their beneficiaries, during life’s most challenging moments. As such, life insurance is a unique and sensitive industry, encompassing issues of mortality, financial security and family well-being.

Making a life insurance claim is not just a financial transaction; it’s a deeply emotional turning point. For many beneficiaries, the moment they must confront a life insurance payout also corresponds with the first time that their loss feels real. For all the good life insurance can do, it’s ultimately something no one really wants to need. But when someone does need it, it’s our responsibility as fellow human beings to look out for each other and get them the help they need as best as possible.

While the financial payout from a life insurance policy is so necessary for many, it is important to recognize that grieving families require assistance that addresses both their emotional and logistical struggles in the aftermath of a painful personal loss.

Life insurers have a unique opportunity to offer their policyholders something of greater value in the form of guidance and support to help them with these challenges.

Bereavement Support In Life Insurance

So, what can this new lease on life insurance look like today? I created a company to provide comprehensive support for families dealing with loss. We partner with life insurance carriers to ensure that millions of beneficiaries can access the holistic bereavement support that they would otherwise have lacked.

Our platform combines technology and human support to offer assistance through the practical and emotional journey that many grieving families face after losing a loved one. Thus, by embracing technology as a tenet for the future of life insurance, we can work together to enhance beneficiary support.

Our partnerships with life insurers enable carriers to bring additional support to beneficiaries that goes beyond the payout. Bereaved families spend an average of 420 hours tending to their loved one’s affairs in the weeks and months following a loss – our mission is to give life insurance carriers the tools they need to help alleviate the burdens facing their beneficiaries.

Making a life insurance claim is not just a financial transaction; it's a deeply emotional turning point. For many beneficiaries, the moment they must confront a life insurance payout also corresponds with the first time that their loss feels real...

We offers multiple layers of support for beneficiaries, such as funeral planning, probate management, account- and subscription-canceling services, and on demand Care Managers. These layers of support go a long way: saving an average of $3,007 and 189 hours per family.

In addition, 92% of our users report feeling better after using Empathy’s services, demonstrating how life insurers can make a genuine difference to policyholders’ well-being. By joining forces with Empathy, insurers can reaffirm their commitment to supporting policyholders and beneficiaries during one of life’s most challenging moments and ensure that grieving families receive the compassionate care they deserve.

Infusing Empathy Into The Life Insurance Industry

Numerous innovative players in the life insurance industry have partnered with us as a means of bolstering their beneficiary support.

Empathy has partnered with the largest companies in the US life insurance market, such as MetLife, Guardian Life, and New York Life. In total, Empathy’s beneficiary care now covers as many as one in eight life claimants in the US. This is a completely new offering in the market – as recently as two years ago, holistic bereavement support was not a service that US life insurance providers were able to offer to beneficiaries at all.

To give a recent example, in August this year Empathy teamed up with MetLife to add its platform to MetLife’s Beneficiary Claims Concierge Services, a suite of offerings designed to provide comfort, sympathy, and ongoing guidance to group life insurance beneficiaries during the time of loss. AT&T, the first MetLife customer to offer Empathy’s platform, recorded impressive levels of engagement as an early adopter of Empathy’s services. By offering Empathy’s platform to their employees, companies grant families the administrative and emotional support they need alongside their insurance payout.

Empathy also recently partnered with Amica Insurance, a leader in auto, home, and life insurance to offer life insurance beneficiaries complimentary access to Empathy’s platform. This partnership also combines Amica’s insurance services with Empathy’s technology-driven, human-centric approach, giving beneficiaries personalized, comprehensive, and on-demand support, to assist them in navigating the emotional and practical challenges that arise after losing a loved one.

Large and legacy insurance players are not the only ones who see the good in the work Empathy is doing – beyond partnerships with specific life insurance carriers, Empathy also collaborates with insurance technology companies (insurtechs) in order to optimize various parts of the onboarding and claims experience. One such example is Majesco, a global leader of cloud insurance software solutions for insurance business transformation. By leveraging both companies’ tech-based solutions, Empathy and Majesco combine to provide life insurers with digital-forward and automated services to aid them in delivering comprehensive bereavement support to beneficiaries. Demonstrating its burgeoning reputation as a key player in the insurtech space, Empathy was recently named a finalist in the InsurTech Innovation and Insurer Innovation Awards, in the Americas category.

Setting A New Standard Of Care

The world is evolving, not only to be more tech-centric and digitized, but to be more aware of self-care and wellness than ever before. At a time when policyholders increasingly seek more than just financial security, life insurance must evolve in the same direction. Beneficiaries of life insurance policies desire comprehensive support that acknowledges their emotional needs during difficult times.

Bereaved families rely more deeply on those they already trust. For life insurance carriers who hope to live up to their promise, there is now an opportunity to create generational loyalty and stay ahead in a competitive market. When life insurance goes the extra mile for people in their time of need, beneficiaries will never forget it—and this next-level support is a powerful way to unlock generational loyalty for the future. Insurers who adopt this holistic and empathetic mindset will remain competitive in an ever-changing industry and, most importantly, provide the compassionate support that grieving families truly deserve.

By combining the financial stability provided by life insurance with holistic emotional support, families can receive a comprehensive and compassionate solution during their most challenging times.

It’s the right thing to do — and it’s good business.