ITC DIA Europe

Ladder: Instant, simple and smart life insurance

Written by Roger Peverelli and Reggy de Feniks - Founders The DIA Community on Oct 15, 2017

DIAmond Award 2017 winner Californian-based Ladder is life insurance built to be instant, simple and smart. They offer direct-to-consumer, term life insurance online. They do not charge fees, and do not employ commissioned sales agents. They allow users to get a quote and apply for instant life coverage online or via mobile in a matter of minutes, with policies that range from $100,000 to $8 million, and from 10 to 30 years. Ladder is for people who value a streamlined process. Applicants must be between the ages of 20 and 60.

At Ladder they fundamentally believe life insurance is good for people and communities, but at some point, it became dominated by high pressure sales tactics, expensive products and slow processes. It’s time for better life insurance. Ladder gives a smart, secure, straightforward way to take care of people, while saving time, money, and (lots of) hassle. Their support people are salaried employees, not commissioned sales agents, so you can trust they have your best interests at heart.

Type of life insurance
Ladder provides the most simple, straightforward, and affordable type of life insurance: term life insurance. The “term” is the length of coverage from 10, 15, 20, 25, or 30 year term. If something happens within the term, the beneficiaries will receive the payout benefit. There are no fees, and it is possible to cancel at any time. Ladder does not offer whole life insurance. Because they believe it is better for a consumer to buy the more affordable term insurance and then invest the rest himself.

No lab appointment needed
At Ladder, every customer is underwritten individually. That means that it is impossible to predict whether a customer will be asked to complete a lab appointment or not. Any required lab appointments are free. A traveling technician will come to a home or office—wherever it’s convenient. During the appointment, the technician will ask a few questions, measure height and weight, take blood pressure and pulse, and collect a urine and blood sample.

The difference
Ladder targets young consumers who need life insurance but find the current system too expensive and time-consuming. Historically, buying life insurance required multiple in-person meetings with brokers, manual paperwork, and waiting times of circa six weeks for coverage to take effect, with most incumbents encumbered by inefficient legacy systems. This has particularly deterred younger, working consumers who are starting families — people likely with a need and desire for life insurance, but even less time than most for the lengthy process. This is the group Ladder targets. a LIMRA (a global FSI association) study found that there are 19 million “stuck shoppers” in the US who cannot buy policies despite needing them.

Ladder aims to solve this problem in several ways:

  • Streamlining the application process. Applicants fill out a short questionnaire with details such as gender, age, whether they smoke, and a rating of their overall health. Live personnel can also be contacted to answer questions. This speeds up documentation and approval times. If a medical examination is required, Ladder dispatches a medical professional to a place and at a time chosen by the applicant. 
  • Lowering costs. Ladder does not charge annual policy fees, unlike most incumbents. It also offers term rather than whole policies — the latter are much more expensive as they also act as an investment vehicle. Rather than overpaying upfront if they overestimate their needs, users are allowed to layer on additional policies, and extend the term of their policy later on — for example, if they have more children. 

Why we selected Ladder Life for DIA Munich
Ladder makes is easy for anyone to access life insurance while increasing efficiency. They make life-insurance dynamic. Life insurance is all about trust, and user-centric innovation is a well needed innovation for this industry.

Who are Ladder?
Ladder is founded by Jamie Hale, Laura Hale, Jeff Merkel and Jack Dubie. The Ladder team started with folks from Dropbox, Google, Harvard, and Stanford. The startup has the backing of some outstanding investors: Canaan Partners (Embroker, Instacart), Lightspeed (Snapchat), NYCA (digit), and 8 Partners (Oscar) and impressive names such as Hannover Re, and Fidelity Security Life Insurance.

Jamie Hale, CEO & co-founder Ladder Life


Presenter 1: Jamie Hale
Presenter 2: Jeff Merkel

Contact Info: Jeff Merkel
Email: [email protected]
Telephone: +1 650 714 9735

Amsterdam 12-13 June


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