Four years in ...
Haven Life looks back on some of our most cringe-worthy reviews
It’s been four years since Haven Life started. In that time, we’ve helped thousands of people purchase billions of dollars worth of coverage to protect their loved ones.
But as we reflect on this milestone (and others), it’s important for us to also be mindful of our shortcomings and the role negative feedback has played in getting us to where we are today.
Truly, we see a lot of value in the occasional poor review. They keep us on our toes, remind us there’s still work to be done and help us trigger substantial changes to our business.
So, in honor of our 4-year anniversary, we’re looking back at some of our less-than-stellar reviews and the positive impacts they’ve had on Haven Life.
U could die waiting for approval ...
“I was drawn to Haven Life b/c of the advertised simple online application process that I figured would make life my easier. My god, was I wrong. The application process was exhausting and ridiculously frustrating – taking 6 months total. I’m not sure why they have underwriters, when you have to do all the work in chasing down medical records. I had to obsessively contact past medical providers, even so HL denied my application because time had run out in obtaining my medical records. Such a stress-inducing let down.”
A two-star review, but a five-star pun.
This reviewer points out a common struggle with the insurance application process industry-wide: When medical records are needed from a physician, they can be a real challenge to obtain in a timely manner.
Even though getting your doctor to send over medical information quickly is not entirely in our control, there are still things we can do (and are doing) to try to improve this experience.
For example, our team has recently extended the expiration date for applications that require an APS (or Attending Physician Statement). So if your doctor’s office is, how do we put this politely… taking their sweet time responding, at least your application won’t time out and cancel. In the meantime, we will follow up with the facility on your behalf every few days to ensure they are motivated to process the request as promptly as possible.
More changes are in the works to improve the overall efficiency of the process in the coming months. We are just as eager to convey an underwriting decision to applicants as they are to receive it.
Efficient application process. Unable to review claim performance.
“I have purchased a product that I may never use, so I can not speak to how Haven Life performs if, or when, a claim is made against this policy. Acquiring this policy was relatively simple, and Haven was efficient all through the application process.
Life insurance is a financial decision, not an emotional one. I think it’s statistically a waste of money, but not a guatanteed loser. If a claim is made against this policy, then the beneficiaries can honestly review Haven’s performance.”
What if life insurance could be something that, you know, actually benefits you while you’re living?
We knew even way back in the early days at Haven Life, that if “making life less hard” was our mission, we had to completely rethink the relationship between the insurance provider and policyholder. People like this reviewer and many others, buy life insurance and hope to never have to use it. But what if that didn’t have to be the case? What if buying life insurance could mean more than just paying a premium every month for your peace of mind?
In August 2018 Haven Life launched Plus, a no-cost rider to the Haven Term policy that provides customers with access to benefits that make their and their family’s lives healthier, fuller and more protected.
Plus is customer-centric in the truest sense. Each service on the rider was chosen based on policyholder demand. And comments like this reviewer’s helped to reinforce that we were on the right track with Plus.
Of course, a rewarding relationship also requires a foundation of trust. Thankfully, our customers can feel secure knowing that each Haven Term policy is issued by our parent company MassMutual, an A++ A.M. Best rated insurer who paid $5.3 billion in claims in 2018 and has been in existence longer than Minnesota has been a state. We like to say that we have your back and MassMutual has ours.
I felt Haven was misleading on the 'no exam life insurance.'
“It was super easy to sign up and find out what your tentative rate would be. I felt Haven was misleading on the “no exam life insurance.” This was not true for me or my husband. I give it 4 stars because of this and the fact that the lab that they partner with is so booked that you are scheduled 4 weeks out. The lab also said that we didn’t need a fasting blood draw when Haven said we did. Once we had our appointment, lab results were quick and our decision followed immediately after.”
When you tell someone they don’t have to do something, but then it turns out they have to, that’s at best a pain and at worst, misleading.
Many Haven Term applicants need to take a medical exam to finalize coverage. If we’re being honest, more than we thought would need to by this time. That’s why reviews like this one confirmed the need for more consistent marketing messaging so that InstantTerm (the process for buying coverage without an exam) is under promised and over delivered. Simultaneously, the brilliant minds on the underwriting product team are working to increase the number of people who qualify for the InstantTerm process.
At the end of 2018, for example, we were able to increase no medical exam offers by raising the eligibility age and adjusting several rules in the underwriting algorithms that determine who is able to get InstantTerm. The result of this work has more has doubled the InstantTerm offers (as of May 2019.)
Additionally, our product team will be rolling out improvements to medical exam scheduling soon, so that applicants who do need to take the exam will be able to do so in a more convenient manner.
Reminds me of filling out an application with the DMV.
“Not simple or easy … I don’t understand how the folks describe the process as simple or easy. Reminds me of filling out an application with the DMV.”
Since the experience redesign in 2017, we’re proud to report that we’ve seen a 100% drop in reviews that compare us to the DMV.
Candid reviews like this reminded us that just putting a paper life insurance application online wasn’t enough, which, to be fair, is kind of what we did with the initial Haven Life application experience. There was still a lot we could do to innovate and better serve today’s digitally savvy life insurance buyer. That’s why we set out in 2017 (just two years after launching) to completely redesign our brand and purchasing experience so that it was shorter, friendlier, and accessible via any device.
By leveraging industry learnings, the latest technical innovations and, yes, plenty of actual customer feedback (are you sensing a trend here?), we re-launched Haven Life as the brand you see on our website today.