SelectQuote In The News

April 12, 2010

Nothing IsCertain Except Death and Taxes.

Financial Experts Encourage Consumers, As They File Their Tax Returns, To Ensure Their Personal Financial Affairs are in Order including a Will and Life Insurance

San Francisco, CA — (April 12, 2010) — This time of year, as consumers rush to file their taxes by the April 15th deadline, that old Benjamin Franklin saying seems to come to mind, "in this world nothing can be said to be certain, except death and taxes." Personal finance experts say this is a perfect time of year to consider these certainties, and ensure that one's personal finances are in order, including a will and life insurance.

"Consumers are very focused this time of year on getting their taxes prepared and filed. It's an opportune time to make sure all your financial affairs are in order. As Benjamin Franklin said, the only things certain in life are death and taxes, and we should be prepared financially with a will and proper life insurance coverage for our families," said Charan Singh, a financial expert and Chief Executive Officer of SelectQuote.

Suze Orman, the well-known financial expert, echoes these comments in her article "Nine Small Financial Steps That Will Pay Off Big in the Future," with a call to create the "most loving documents in existence" — a living trust, a durable power of attorney and a will. She further recommends "guaranteeing peace of mind" by purchasing a life insurance policy.

Charan Singh adds, "Life insurance is the foundation of a smart financial plan, particularly when there are family and loved ones who depend on a person's financial support. All other financial planning can be for naught without the foundation of life insurance in place."

Financial experts also note that the benefits from life insurance policies are typically not subject to federal taxes when paid directly to a beneficiary or when an estate is less than $ 3.5 million (Note that caps vary by year). While an estate might not be subject to federal estate taxes, it may be liable for state estate taxes. Consulting legal and tax professionals may help to minimize estate tax liability through a properly structured will and trust.

On her website, Orman discusses the importance of, and provides some detail on, wills and trusts: "Everyone has a will whether they know it or not. The state has already designated where your assets are going if you do not decide for yourself. Everyone needs a will if they have any assets whatsoever. Wills and trusts help us to protect ourselves. These documents indicate who will make important decisions for us in the future. "

If a person passes away without a will then the estate must go through the process of probate, the legal process of settlement of the estate within the courts. This process can be lengthy and costly, and could result in individuals who were not intended receiving all or a portion of the estate. Furthermore, estates which do not have a will are likely to see the state take a larger portion in taxes.

"The lesson here is to prepare for life's certainties and uncertainties, and to protect one's family," said Charan Singh of SelectQuote.com.

There are a number online sources that a consumer can consult when considering life insurance and estate planning: CNNMoney has an "Estate Planning 101" section (www.money.cnn.com), Suze Orman's website has information and resources on life insurance and wills and trusts (www.suzeorman.com); and SelectQuote can provide comparative life insurance quotes from more than a dozen leading insurance companies (www.selectquote.com).

SelectQuote Insurance Services, www.selectquote.com, is the nation's number one term life insurance broker, offering consumers quotes and comparisons from more than a dozen of the country's leading and most highly-rated insurance carriers.

January 7, 2010 | MarketWire

Everything You Ever Needed To Know About Life Insurance, But Were Afraid To Ask.

Every month almost one million Americans consider and purchase a new life insurance policy. Life insurance experts note that consumers typically have some basic, and frequently asked, questions about life insurance and the life insurance buying process. These questions include:

  • Why do I need life insurance?
  • What type of life insurance is best?
  • How much coverage do I need -- and what are the costs?
  • What is the process and time required to purchase a policy?

A team of experts from SelectQuote provided their answers to these common questions. SelectQuote (www.selectquote.com) is the nation's number one term life insurance sales agency, and offers consumers quotes and comparisons from more than a dozen of the country's leading insurance carriers.

"A million Americans a month evaluate and purchase life insurance. Whether it's a baby on the way, a new home or a new marriage, as life progresses there are certain life triggers that remind people of the importance of protecting their families and loved ones with the financial foundation of life insurance," said Ed Shapiro, a life insurance sales agent with SelectQuote (www.selectquote.com). Shapiro has personally helped hundreds of consumers with the life insurance evaluation and purchase process.

Why do you need life insurance? "Whether you are your family's primary income producer or its primary caregiver, your dependents need the security and help that life insurance provides. Life insurance is the foundation of a smart financial plan, all other financial planning can be for naught without the foundation of life insurance in place. Life insurance can help ensure that everyday living expenses are covered, from the mortgage to car loans, credit card bills and outstanding debts, to future costs such as tuition. And generally, your beneficiaries won't have to pay federal income taxes on the insurance benefits they receive," said Shapiro.

What type of life insurance is best? There are two basic categories of life insurance: term insurance and permanent. The primary difference is that term insurance is pure insurance. It pays only if death or other defined event occurs during the specified term of the policy, typically 10, 15, 20, or 30 years. Permanent insurance policies, such as whole life, are just that -- permanent. They accrue cash value over the insured's whole life and perform more as investment instruments than as pure insurance. This generally makes them more expensive then term insurance.

"Going with a term insurance policy is one of the best ways to save when considering life insurance options. Term insurance is pure insurance and thus typically provides the most coverage for the dollar, the best value," said Paul Richard, a life insurance sales agent with SelectQuote.

Parents with young children and a limited budget might start with a term policy of 15 years -- long enough to keep their children safe until they are independent -- or until greater family wealth is built up over time. If the family still needs life insurance at end of that term, when the family income is likely to be higher, they can convert to a larger term policy or one of the higher-priced permanent or whole life insurance products. A term policy is also often used to cover specific financial obligations that will reduce over time, such as a mortgage or college expenses.

How much life insurance do I need? Of course, everyone's financial needs and situation varies, so there is no definitive answer. A financial advisor or life insurance agent can help a person determine their needs and the appropriate level of insurance coverage. That said, some experts recommend that a life insurance policy should have a value equal to seven to ten times a person's annual income -- that would be adjusted based on the age of the insured with experts recommending more coverage for younger persons and less coverage as one gets older and builds a financial "nest egg."

"Always ask yourself: Will the value of the policy cover my loved ones long term financial needs? Are the policy premiums affordable for the term of the policy?" said Paul Richard, a life insurance sales agent with SelectQuote. For further information on how much life insurance an individual needs, visit the FAQ Section of SelectQuote.com.

What is the process and time involved in purchasing a policy? Of course, the processes vary by insurance company and based on a consumer's specific situation, but typically the process will include the following steps:

  • Insurance Needs Analysis: The insurance agent will have a discussion with the individual seeking insurance and perhaps walk them through a questionnaire to determine their individual insurance needs. This will address the basic questions of: What do you need? And why do you need it? In this process, the individual and the agent will determine the optimum type, term and value of an insurance policy. Most agents will then ask their client to think about what they've learned in the process and take time to consider the type, term and value of the policy.
  • Life Insurance Application: As a next step, the agent will help determine what insurance policies, terms and premiums the individual qualifies for. Life insurance applications may vary, but are fairly standardized across the industry. Typically, an application might have 30+ questions, including questions about health, weight, medications, and family medical history, as well as behavioral questions such as driving, travel and outdoor activities habits. The application will also include financial questions.
  • Health Screening: One of the final steps is to take a free, but required health screening. Typically the insurer will send a nurse or health professional to the individual's home or office to take their blood pressure and a blood sample, as well as measure their height and weight. This process usually takes less than 20 to 30 minutes. Typically, the prospective insured will be asked to formally sign and submit the insurance application during this visit. Some insurance companies will ask for the right to order health records from the individual's physician. In most cases, the insured is covered from this point forward.
  • Insurance Declaration: Approximately two to four weeks after the health screening, the insurance company will issue a formal policy declaration that indicates the extent and value of the coverage, and the final agreed monthly premium.

Tips on Researching and Buying Life Insurance

"Of course, to ensure that you are getting the best value when purchasing a life insurance policy, conduct research online and compare prices for different policies," suggests Shapiro. "Life insurance costs can vary widely depending on variables such as age, health, and whether or not a person smokes."

SelectQuote (www.selectquote.com) is the nation's number one term life insurance sales agency, and offers consumers quotes and comparisons from more than a dozen of the country's leading insurance carriers. There are a number of additional online resources that a consumer can consult when considering life insurance, including the American Council of Life Insurance website (www.acli.com), which has a range of information on the topic, and SmartMoney (www.smartmoney.com), which has a good online insurance calculator. The Education Center on SelectQuote.com also has further information on life insurance and the life insurance buying process.

December 1, 2009 | TD AMERITRADE

SelectQuote Launches First Mobile Life Insurance Quote Service.

SelectQuote (www.SelectQuote.com), the nation's number one term life insurance sales agency and the leading online source for term insurance quote comparisons, announced today that the company has launched the industry's first life insurance quote service delivered via mobile phone. (1) Consumers can text their age to 735328 (SELECT) from their mobile devices and receive a free term life insurance quote back via text within minutes. The service is available on all major mobile phone service providers including AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile and Verizon.

"Ours is a very mobile and often fast-paced society," said Charan Singh, Founder and Chief Executive Officer of SelectQuote. "SelectQuote has led the way in providing consumers with online information and quotes for term life insurance, and as consumers increasingly rely on their mobile devices we wanted to provide them with the convenience of mobile quotes. Life insurance is the foundation of a solid financial plan, and we want consumers to think about their insurance needs and have quick and easy access to the information they need to make smart financial decisions."

Every month almost one million Americans consider and purchase a new life insurance policy. However, more than one-third of all adults carry no life insurance and the majority of those adults who do carry life insurance rely on more limited group life polices obtained through an employer.

SelectQuote (www.SelectQuote.com) is the nation's number one term life insurance broker, offering consumers quotes and comparisons from more than a dozen of the country's leading and most highly-rated insurance carriers.

The company is launching its new mobile phone and mobile device life insurance quote service effective December 1st, 2009. Consumers can simply text their age to 735328 (SELECT) and within minutes will receive an age-based term life insurance quote. The quote will typically be a short range of prices based on the life insurance premiums paid, on average, by other consumers of the same age who purchased term life insurance in the past year through SelectQuote. The quote provided is generally based on a 10 year term life policy of $500,000 -- and based on life insurance policies with more than a dozen of the nation's leading insurers. The service is available on all major mobile phone service providers including AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile and Verizon.

SelectQuote will be supporting its mobile device life insurance quote service through a parallel advertising campaign appearing online and on television in markets across the country.

November 12, 2009 | dallasnews.com

Investing In Individual Bonds Won't Eliminate Risk.

I don't know how to invest in bonds. I am in my late 40s, and my portfolio primarily consists of equities (individual stocks and mutual funds), but I also own a rental house and have a growing amount of cash equivalents in CDs and money market funds. I should probably start steering some investments away from equities and into bonds as I get older.

Bond funds have interest rate risk. And when the economy picks up, we can expect interest rates to rise, causing a loss of principal. I remember how badly people got burned in bond funds in the 1990s. I don't want to put money in a "fixed-income" investment that is certain to lose principal when interest rates rise. Does this mean I should consider buying individual bonds? How does one choose which bonds to buy?

G.G., Austin

No, you probably shouldn't consider individual bonds. They have interest rate risk, too. If interest rates rise and you are holding a bond that yields 4 percent, the value of that bond will decline. How much it declines will depend on how far from maturity it is — the longer the maturity, the greater your possible loss if you sell.

Although individual bonds have the same interest and credit risk issues that bond funds face, there is a significant difference. If you own an individual bond, it has a maturity date. That's when you get the original face value of the bond back.

You have two basic choices here. Neither is attractive. You can be safe and invest very short term at the expense of having a pathetic yield. Or you can take a risk and get a somewhat less pathetic yield by investing long term. You will, however, face the kind of risk bond investors faced in the 1970s.

Today, for instance, government money market funds yield virtually nothing. Long-term corporate bond funds yield about 5.8 percent.

Unless you have a large portfolio and investing knowledge, you are better off investing in a bond fund. Exchange-traded fixed-income index funds make fixed-income fund investing more attractive by reducing fund costs. The expense ratio for the Vanguard Total Bond Market ETF, for instance, is only 0.14 percent.

I am 57 years old and want to purchase a $150,000 to $200,000 term life insurance policy benefiting my wife. Where should I go to search for affordable policies? Also, how many years should I look to lock in for such a policy?

D.P., Austin

If you go to ... selectquote.com, you can get online quotes keyed to your age and medical condition. The quotes will also be for a variety of term periods, such as 10 or 15 years. The term should be determined by the period of time that you expect to need life insurance coverage.

Remember, the main purpose of life insurance for most people is to replace all, or part, of earning power in the event of death. So at 57, you might need to consider college tuition for children, mortgage payoff amounts and a substitute for Social Security benefits between the time your children leave home and your wife is eligible for benefits.

Your need for life insurance will decline as you get closer to retirement. It's a pretty good bet that you will have outgrown your need for life insurance by the time you are 67 because you'll probably be retired.

One possible wrinkle here, which would require talking with a life insurance planner, is that if you are eligible for a corporate pension, you could build cash value in a universal life policy now with the goal of taking a single-life pension benefit.

The idea would be to have life insurance to replace the pension income when you die. You'd do this because the pension benefit for a single life is higher than a joint and survivor pension benefit. This works best for people with plenty of room for saving.

Research has shown that while most people in their 30s and 40s have far too little life insurance, some people in their 50s are overinsured — they have more insurance than they need to protect their families' standard of living.

Scott Burns is a syndicated columnist and a principal of the Plano-based investment firm AssetBuilder Inc. E-mail questions to scott@scottburns.com.

October 9, 2009 | OPRAH.com

Suze Orman: 9 Small Money Steps That Pay Off Big.

(OPRAH.com) -- Huge, scary numbers are lurking everywhere these days: The massive federal bailout (now on the taxpayers' tab)...the unemployment rate, which is now at a 26-year high...that daunting sum you are constantly told you will need if you want to retire comfortably...the six-figure mortgage balance you barely chip away at each month.

Listen to me: Stop focusing on the big picture. Given what is going on in the world right now, you'll only fuel your fear and anxiety.

Macroeconomics matter, but your security depends far more on microfinance --the small choices you make with your money. Every financial worry you want to banish and financial dream you want to achieve comes from taking tiny steps today that put you on a path toward your goals.

My list of small moves that yield big dividends:

1. Save a bit at a time

I get so frustrated when people tell me it's unrealistic to create an eight-month emergency savings fund, or have money saved for a home down payment, or pay off their $5,000 credit card balance. I am not suggesting that you can snap your fingers and have everything taken care of.

What I'm telling you is to move toward your goals in steps. Rather than get lost in the big picture -- "Eight months? Are you crazy, Suze? I can never do that!" -- focus on what is within your power: the sums you can sock away every week or month to get closer to what you're trying to achieve.

Put $50 a week into a bank savings account earning 2 percent interest, and in three years you will have saved more than $8,000.

2. Have a little self-discipline!

Okay, so where do you find the money to put toward your financial goals? If you're dealing with a layoff or furlough, I know you feel stretched to the limit. But often when families tell me they have no money for their goals, I look at their spending and find lots of "wants" to cut.

So pull out your three most recent bank and credit card statements, circle every charge or debit that is not a necessity, and ask yourself, "Can I eliminate this cost entirely?"

If not, can you scale it back 30 to 50 percent (downgrade the cable, say, or opt for the less-pricey cell package)? Every time you cut expenses, you can put the money toward bigger goals.

3. Automate

So many financial dreams are thwarted by the failure to act upon good intentions. Even if you commit to step 2 and free up money, using it wisely can be a challenge.

Complete this sentence: I had every intention of ___________, but I got sidetracked or couldn't stick with my plan. That blank could be: (a) building an eight-month emergency fund; (b) investing in Roth IRA; (c) saving for a home down payment; (d) paying every bill on time; (e) all of the above.

The solution is easy: Put your financial life on autopilot as a form of "forced" saving. Your 401(k) is a great example of auto-investing; with every paycheck, money goes into your retirement account. You can set up the same system at a discount brokerage or fund company to help you invest in an IRA, authorizing the firm to pull money out of your bank account weekly, monthly, or quarterly.

Autopilot is also a great way to save for a home down payment. Have $100 automatically transferred from your checking account to a bank savings account each month and in five years at 2 percent interest you could have more than $6,300 set aside. An FHA-insured mortgage requires a 3.5 percent down payment, so $6,300 would be enough to buy a $180,000 home.

And if you suffer from late-payment-itis, set up auto bill pay through an online bank account. This will save you those $39 late fees on credit card payments and lift your FICO score (on-time payment history accounts for 35 percent of your score).

4. Max out on the company match

In a 2008 survey of nearly a million 401(k) participants, the investment advisory firm Financial Engines found that 33 percent don't contribute enough to their company plan to collect the maximum employer matching contribution. That's literally turning down free money.

The way a match works is that if you contribute to your retirement account, your employer will throw in some money, too. One common system is for an employer to give 50 cents for every dollar the employee contributes to her 401(k), up to a specified limit, such as 6 percent of a salary or a certain dollar amount per year.

Under those terms, if the employee contributed $3,000, the employer would kick in another $1,500. Hello! That's a guaranteed 50 percent return on your investment. And $3,000 spread out over 26 pay periods is only $115 every two weeks. That's a small step toward a big goal.

If your company doesn't provide a match -- or has opted to suspend its match during the recession -- you may still qualify for a Roth IRA. I recommend funding the IRA completely before you contribute to an unmatched 401(k). Without the match, a 401(k) is still a good deal, but a Roth IRA is even better. Details follow in the next small step.

5. Invest in a Roth IRA

I love the Roth IRA. Tax-free income in retirement is a truly great deal. That's because income tax rates are likely to rise given all the big federal deficits that will need to be repaid. (And remember: Withdrawals from a traditional IRA or 401(k) will be taxed at your ordinary income tax rate.)

If you have modified adjusted gross income (AGI) below $105,000 this year ($166,000 for married couples filing a joint return), you can invest the maximum $5,000 in an IRA (or $6,000 if you are 50 or older). Above those income limits, you can make smaller contributions; you lose eligibility if you have a modified AGI of $120,000 or more, or are part of a married couple with a modified AGI of $176,000 or above.

I know $5,000 or $6,000 is a big deal. And I promised small steps. So break that $5,000 into 12 monthly chunks. Does $416 sound more doable? If it's still too much, save what you can. No rule says it has to be $5,000. You can invest as little as $600 a year at some fund companies through an auto-investing plan, or save until you meet the $1,000 to $1,500 minimum initial investment most mutual funds require.

6. Subtract your age from 100; Put that much in stocks

Now we need to talk about asset allocation. For all your long-term investments, such as retirement accounts that you won't touch for at least ten years, you need a mix of stocks and bonds.

Stocks offer the best shot at inflation-beating gains. But stocks don't always go up. That's where bonds come into play: They have less upside potential, but they also do not pack the same risk.

So what's your Midas mix of stocks and bonds? Subtract your age from 100 and invest that percentage of your retirement savings in stocks. The rest belongs in bonds.

For the stock portion, put 70 percent in U.S. stocks and the rest in international funds.

As for the bonds: You should definitely have some lower-risk investments in your 401(k), but rather than invest in a bond fund, look for a GIC or Stable Value fund, which offers a guaranteed return.

For your IRA accounts, I am all for owning individual bonds you can hold to maturity instead of bond funds, which are subject to trading and carry more risk.

7. Spend $50 a month for peace of mind

That's about what it would cost a healthy 40-year-old woman to buy a million-dollar 20-year level term life insurance policy; figure on less if you're younger and more if you're older. But the idea is this: A small amount of money buys your family protection if you die prematurely. You can shop for term policies at SelectQuote.com ...

8. Create the four most loving documents in existence

One of the most tragic disconnects I see is when someone tells me she loves her family to pieces but hasn't set up these four must-have documents: a revocable living trust, a will, a durable power of attorney for finances, and a durable power of attorney for healthcare. I realize these don't sound like a "small" undertaking, since estate lawyers may charge $2,500 to create them.

9. Add a 13th mortgage payment; pay off your loan five years faster

If you're in your 50s and plan to live in your current home forever, try to pay off the mortgage before you stop working so you remove that big cost from your postretirement expenses. One way to do so is to make one extra mortgage payment a year. You can even spread the payment over 12 months.

Let's say you have a $1,500 monthly mortgage payment and a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage. If you divide $1,500 by 12, that's $125, so instead of paying $1,500, you send in $1,625 each month. That will cut your repayment time by five years and reduce your interest payments over the life of the loan; for a $250,000 mortgage charging 6 percent, you will save $61,000 ($228,000 in interest payments versus $289,000). That $125 a month may be tough, but it's doable. It's one small step now, and one giant leap toward future financial security.

By Suze Orman from O, The Oprah Magazine © 2009

August 17, 2009

Why Term Life Insurance Is The Smart Choice In The Current Economic Environment.
Nearly One Million Consumers Purchase a Life Insurance Policy Every Month,What Policy is Right in the Current Economic Environment?

San Francisco, CA — (August 17, 2009) — Every month almost one million Americans consider and purchase a new life insurance policy; and in today's economic environment, when consumers are looking to reduce costs, term life insurance offers one of the most affordable ways to protect a family, according to SelectQuote (www.selectquote.com), the nation's top term life insurance broker and the leading online source for term life insurance information and comparisons.

Although approximately one million new life insurance policies are secured every month, more than one-third of all adults carry no life insurance and the majority of those adults who do carry life insurance rely on more limited group life polices obtained through an employer.

"Life insurance is the foundation of a smart financial plan, particularly when there are family and loved ones who depend on the financial support provided by an individual," said Charan Singh, Founder and Chief Executive Officer of SelectQuote, the leading online source for term insurance information, comparisons and products. "All other financial planning can be for naught without the foundation of life insurance in place. That's why you see millions of people researching life insurance online and almost a million a month purchasing life insurance."

"Term life insurance is probably the smartest life insurance choice in the current economic environment. First, it is typically the most affordable form of life insurance and, secondly, it provides the most coverage for the dollar, the best value. That's because term insurance is pure insurance, whereas most other life insurance products are often, in essence, combined investment or savings vehicles," said Singh.

There are two basic categories of life insurance: term insurance and permanent. The primary difference is that term insurance is pure insurance. This makes it less expensive and more flexible. It pays only if death or other defined event occurs during the specified term of the policy, typically 10, 20, or 30 years. Because the policy specifies a particular time period during which an individual and his or her family are protected, the carrier is essentially taking the "risk" that the insured party won't die during the specified term, and that is a more limited risk than absorbed in permanent and whole life policies. Permanent insurance policies, such as whole life, are just that — permanent. They accrue cash value over the insured's whole life and perform more as investment instruments than as insurance. This makes them more expensive, because, of course, everyone dies eventually and the odds are 100 percent that the insurance carrier will have to pay a claim.

Most people buy term life insurance because it offers significantly lower monthly premiums for the same death benefit as a permanent policy. Parents with young children and limited budgets might start with a term policy of 15 years — long enough to keep their children safe until they are independent — or until greater family wealth is built up over time. If the family still needs life insurance at end of that term, when the family income is likely to be higher, they can convert to a larger term policy or one of the higher-priced permanent or whole life insurance products.

Singh said term insurance was particularly applicable in this economy for people such as (a) parents with children, particularly young children; (b) for people with older dependent children and dependent elderly parents; (c) for entrepreneurs starting a new venture or who are critical to their family or small business; and (d) even for young professionals with no dependents who are looking for an affordable insurance option.

"We buy life insurance to protect those who depend upon us. If someone you care about — a child, a spouse, a parent or partner — relies on your income than the most affordable and effective way to protect them is to have a term life insurance policy" said Singh, who previously served as a leader of insurance services at Charles Schwab before founding SelectQuote. Singh has more than 25 years experience in financial services and life insurance industry.

Singh said the value of life insurance is apparent to most people, even if they do not want to think about the subject. Life insurance replaces lost income and pays for the way of life a provider gives to his or her family. It ensures that house payments are made, meals are on the table, bills are paid, and cherished dreams are realized. "Whether you are your family's primary income producer or its primary caregiver, your dependents need the security and help that life insurance provides," said Singh.

Insurance experts caution that most people mistakenly think that they have sufficient life insurance coverage through their employer. Experts say to consider such a group policy supplemental only because the "term" of such employer-provided group insurance is usually limited to the length of employment. When the individual leaves their company, the term expires, and they are no longer insured. If an employee is moving to a different job, remember that some employment benefits don't kick in right away and the insured can fall through an insurance gap. Additionally, if a person is laid off or the company fails, they are at risk when they can least afford it. Finally, group benefits are often set to a maximum benefit that can be significantly less coverage than is recommended for an individual or family's personal needs.

SelectQuote Insurance Services, www.selectquote.com, is the nation's number one term life insurance broker, offering consumers quotes and comparisons from more than a dozen of the country's leading and most highly-rated insurance carriers.

June 16, 2009

Oracle Supports SelectQuote's Insurance Application And Issuance Cycling.

SelectQuote, a direct marketing agency for life insurance, is using Oracle® Insurance Data Exchange to streamline communication among various stakeholders in the insurance application process — driving a faster quote-to-issue process and improved closure rate.

Oracle Insurance Data Exchange is a centralized internet hub that facilitates data distribution, consolidation and sharing. It enables the exchange of secure real-time data among carriers, agencies and third parties to support straight-through processing.


SelectQuote uses Oracle Insurance Data Exchange and ACORD XML messages to integrate data streams from the various parties involved in the life insurance application process — the agency, insurance carrier, attending physician and paramedical vendors, call centers and other service providers. This integrated approach increases visibility into the application, underwriting and issuing process and automates back-office processes to avoid costly and time-consuming data re-entry in multiple systems.


When a party involved in the insurance application process enters or updates data in their systems, SelectQuote agents can view that data via its agency management system without having to access additional applications, saving time and resources.


SelectQuote says that it has shortened the policy application and issuance cycle time by integrating critical data streams with Oracle Insurance Data Exchange.


Oracle Insurance Data Exchange also enables SelectQuote agents to deliver better customer service with improved visibility into the status of each application.


Subsequent implementations at the agency leverage the same standard feed from Oracle Insurance Data Exchange, thus adhering to in-good-order and compliant formats as dictated by message recipients. Adding feeds seamlessly helps reduce costs for the carrier, agency and service provider.

"Oracle Insurance Data Exchange enables us to facilitate straight-through processing cross our growing business. By integrating critical data streams across all stakeholders in the application process and automating key aspects of the quote-to-issue process, the Oracle solution has allowed us to reduce our average policy application and issuance cycle time and increase our sales without increasing operational costs," says Andrea Hatch, director of operations, SelectQuote.

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