With over three decades in the life insurance industry, Scott has broad experience in underwriting, reinsurance, product development and adviser management and joined Integrity as a founding staff-member.
Industry veteran and Chief Underwriter at Integrity, Scott Hodgson, sat down with Integrity Life MD and CEO, Chris Powell, to ask the questions on every Adviser’s mind – impacts of the Royal Commission on the financial services business model plus they discuss how our industry can repair trust and what it means to 'co-create' a company.
Scott: Hi Chris – First, let’s address the Royal Commission. What do you think it means for our industry and how do we go about repairing the reputation of insurers?
Chris: I don’t think it’s an understatement to say that the Royal Commission has shaken our industry back to its foundations and created an unprecedented level of scepticism in Australia around life insurance. The real tragedy is – it’s not just the industry that’s been impacted, it’s people’s lives and livelihoods. We need to rebuild our industry by providing transparency, simplifying the experience and keeping customers at the heart of everything we do. I am a firm believer that values and culture play a key role here. A positive culture is born when those at the top lead by example – not just the management team but also the board.
Scott: It could be argued it’s a pretty inopportune time to be starting an insurance company in the current climate, so why now?
Chris: We are fortunate to have some of the industry’s best and brightest who believed, like me, that it was time for the industry to do better. Even before the Royal Commission commenced, we saw an opportunity to do things differently – to focus on customers, to treat people fairly and to build systems that enable simplicity and transparency. Certainly the Royal Commission has confirmed a lot of things we knew needed to change.
Scott: Why do you think Integrity should matter to advisers?
Chris: As you know, in building Integrity Life, we partnered with both advisers and advised customers from across the country and identified 16 major pain-points that prevented them from focusing on their core business, things that burdened them with paperwork and unnecessary process. Then we built our systems, processes and technology backbone in a way that solved these problems. Then we went back to our partners and asked them how we were doing, so we could continue to refine our offering. This process continues today, we call it ‘co-creation’.
Scott: Advisers will want to know how this ‘co-creation’ model is going to improve their business. What would you say to them?
Chris: No Adviser I know went into the business because they loved paperwork. We are partnering with Advisers who believe (as we do) that by understanding customers; their needs, their challenges, and the life they want to live, you can provide them with support when they need it most. To that end, we have created flexible and customisable products that can be tailored to customers’ needs, plus we keep Advisers in the loop at every step, so they always have answers at hand, and we have built smarts into our systems so you only enter information in once – these are just a few examples.
Scott: Finally, what are you most looking forward to on the horizion?