How National Western Life is helping lead the industry’s post-pandemic revolution
For almost two years, this pandemic has tested the resiliency of nearly every human being on Earth. And while its devastating mark will never be forgotten, this tragedy is proving to be the wakeup call many industries needed to adopt 21st-century processes and technologies.
Thanks to bold decisions by brave leaders, like those at National Western Life (NWL®), few industries have advanced further than the insurance and financial space.
Today, we sit down with NWL’s James J. Ryan, Head of National Sales, and Chad Tope, Chief Marketing Officer, to look at how the IMO’s adjustment to the pandemic has helped its agents thrive in these times.
INN: First, how has the pandemic impacted client attitudes?
Ryan: There’s definitely been a disruption to the traditional American dream, and that’s bringing the need for protection front and center. Clients are starting to ask, “How can I position my family to pay for education and living expenses if I’m no longer in the picture?” It’s given people the opportunity to slow down and assess their priorities better. In that respect, it’s making the job of an agent who is adapted to this new landscape easier.
INN: How has the pandemic impacted the industry as a whole?
Tope: When something like this happens, there really is no choice but to adapt. The pandemic — as terrible as it is — has forced this industry to look forward rather than stay comfortable in the present. Millions are now working from home, they’re becoming comfortable with virtual meetings, and online shopping. Luckily, the structure of our company has allowed us to adapt and readily bring about the technology and support our producers need when they need it.
Ryan: The industry in general is racing towards a fully electronic environment for writing business. So one of the areas we’ve prioritized is giving our producers access to many products that accept electronic documents and signatures. More than that, however, we’re also spearheading technology that makes these new online tools easy for everyone to use. And what they’re finding is that our platform is actually saving them time and frustration.
INN: How has NWL® been able to shift to this online landscape so quickly?
Tope: That comes down to three points. First, we knew that to build the firm of the future, we had to embrace technology, data gathering, and data analytics from day one.
Second, we want to make sure we’re top of mind with independent agents. That means we can’t just have the tech, it has to work and be user friendly. So we make sure the platform agents use is always up-to-date, state-of-the-art, and easy to use.
Third, to help distinguish ourselves when it comes to various types of coverage, rather than try to satisfy every insurable opportunity, NWL® focuses on providing solutions that meet a client’s specific needs.
INN: What is NWL® ChoiceOptimizer?
Ryan: The NWL® ChoiceOptimizer is a new, fixed indexed annuity we introduced to the independent brokerage market this past March. It is our first 100% electronic product, from illustrations and product overviews to applications and policy issues. And there are plans to launch two more products this year, both 100% electronic. Advancing in this direction helps us stay current, top of mind with agents, and provides us the capability to quickly respond to the ever-changing environment.
For an even greater look at how NWL® is supporting their clients as well as details of their groundbreaking new products, visit AdvanceWithNWL.com.
For Agent Use Only — This document has not been approved under the advertising laws of your state for dissemination to individual purchasers. The NWL® ChoiceOptimizer (form ICC20 01-1190-20 and state variations) is issued by National Western Life Insurance Company®, Austin, Texas. Subject to certain conditions. Products and product features not approved in all states. Certain limitations and exclusions may apply. See policy for complete details.