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Nexben: Demystifying the Insurance Ecosystem

John Kelly, Founder & CEO, NexbenJohn Kelly, Founder & CEO Whether the product in question is real estate or electronic goods, consumers today scour endless message boards, third-party reviews, coupon-deal forums, and comparison websites before sealing the deal on purchases. However, when it comes to buying insurance or getting a quote, the process still lacks transparency, made worse by the complex web of policy features and fine print that insurance brochures contain. This process is at odds with the expectation of the modern day consumer who demands clarity, simplicity, and a personalized experience even when buying insurance. Five years ago, when John Kelly laid the foundation of Nexben, his agenda was simple. Having worked as a financial advisor and with deep knowledge in insurance distribution, Kelly wanted to replace clunky workflows, outdated software, and an extensive paper-based approach with effective tools that would simplify the complex process of buying and selling of insurance. Today, Nexben’s advanced, cloud-based platform connects the entire health insurance industry, from national and independent insurance agencies to businesses and individuals, through a next generation interactive and visual shopping experience. “We’re not an agent! Rather, we are a technology platform helping insurers reinvent their business through a digital ecosystem that enables employers to make informed decisions while empowering agents with the tools they need,” remarks John Kelly, Founder and CEO, Nexben.

"There is an opportunity for insurers to move beyond simply providing insurance. They can create a new digital age that provides customers with real-time solutions that address their real goals, all driven by AI technology that interacts in a more natural, human way"

According to a survey by Accenture, 73 percent of U.S. consumers prefer to buy insurance through agencies, even after using the web to conduct preliminary research and compare options. In the process, customers often face difficulties in understanding the complicated financial instruments offered by insurers. Agents are a key source of information and value creation. Even with the evolution of sophisticated technology and direct sales channels, the complete removal of agents from the process is a far-fetched proposition.
However, a persistent challenge for agents is the lack of effective solutions that allow them to be responsive to customer servicing and at the same time, digitize and curate information into a streamlined workflow. Agents need customer-facing technology, quality tools, and analytics that simplify distribution operations, collections, and reporting. “There is an opportunity for insurers to move beyond simply providing insurance. They can create a new digital age that provides customers with real-time solutions that address their real goals, all driven by AI technology that interacts in a more natural, human way,” says John Kelly.

Through our ecosystem, we are creating the 2nd generation of digital insurers that provides agents with the technology they need to give their customers a simple and smart insurance experience


Cutting through the Information Clutter

With Nexben, organizations have a complete picture of their distribution, in an all-in-one platform that easily integrates with their infrastructure without disrupting existing technology. “We use advanced data analytics and machine learning to compile important client information and bundle benefits package for clients at point of sale,” explains Kelly. Nexben conducted a case study on employee buying behavior by bundling high deductible health plans with health saving accounts. The data showed that 82 percent of employees picked an HSA plan on recommendation, as it was easy to track, understand, and make a contribution to. The industry average for HSA selection floats around 15 percent.

With one click of a button, agents and employers can shop the market for hundreds of products from major medical, dental, vision and life insurance providers, as well as health savings accounts (HSAs) and health reimbursement arrangements (HRAs). This helps solve another problem for many small companies that were reluctant to offer insurance as they are confused about employee health plans. On top of that, insurance carriers are also pulling back from offering individual insurance products. The agent is now the only bridge between small-scale employers and carriers. Nexben enables agents to get quick, filtered quotes for target groups. Along with superior quoting, Nexben enables agents to prepare proposals and manage life events in real time while interacting back and forth on the platform with clients.
Eliminating reoccurring administrative tasks, clients can easily fill out intuitive digital applications that support e-signatures directly from a proposal.

In addition to a better experience, Nexben also offers benefits and HR tools that simplify the process of employee management. No matter how big the company, Nexben’s solution allows employers to stay up to date with any alterations in an employee’s profile, sent through real-time notifications. HR departments can store and share important documents along with in-app messaging, which makes it easy to declare announcements, engage in conversations about benefits, or discuss any employee needs directly. “Above all, paying a premium is a hassle-free process with Nexben, as the solution facilitates transparent billing and secures ACH or eCheck payment transfers in real time,” mentions Kelly. While there is always a delay with manual payment processes, Nexben accelerates account transactions, as the company leaves no room for disorderly information exchange. Employers can view, pay, and track monthly premiums from one place, with no surprise fees or varying costs. Each piece of information that is fed into the Nexben platform is directly transmitted to insurance carriers for elevated policy administration.

The Force behind Insur Next

Nexben has many success stories tied to their revolutionary platform. In 2016, when Nexben launched its solution in Minnesota, the number of active users surged from 160 to 3,400 agents in two months. Having introduced the solution a few months before the fourth quarter, Nexben enabled agents to effectively and quickly complete insurance renewals, while meeting scalability requirements. Noting the efficacy and popularity of the product, Nexben expanded its solution in the Midwest for both large and small agencies. Another notable win for the company was when MetLife, a global provider of insurance and benefits partnered with Nexben. “We use AI interfaces to transform complicated processes into simple and smart interactions that everyday people understand,” reveals Kelly. To top it all, since the entire process is automated, enrollments can now be completed at lightning fast speed.

At present, Nexben is working with national firms and general agencies, as they plan to roll out the platform on a national scale in the coming year. Keeping in mind the importance of the agent-client relationship, the company is planning to add additional products in its solution suite such as P&C to round out the agent’s product offering. “Through our ecosystem, we are creating the 2nd generation of digital insurers that provides agents with the technology they need to give their customers a simple and smart insurance experience,” ends Kelly.