Director of Group Digital Innovation, Empire Life
Founded in 1923, The Empire Life Insurance Company, or Empire Life, is a Canadian life insurance company that has been providing life insurance, investment and group benefits solutions to its customers for almost a century. Empire Life caters mainly to small and medium-sized companies in its group benefits division.
The company’s vision is to be Canada's most convenient insurance and investment company. Digitisation has become key to effectively delivering on this vision— streamlining the customer experience and making transactions seamless for customers, their advisors, and benefit plan members.
Dara Brachman, Vice President of Group Distribution within Group Solutions at Empire Life has been with the company for seven years. For the first five of those, she led the various group operations teams as Vice President of Group Operations.
She says, “Our mission is to be Canada's most convenient insurance carrier. Our distribution partners and our strategic partners have told us that success is a function not only of our investment in various digital capabilities but also of our flexibility and the way that we engage in a customised manner. Our flexibility is enabling them to grow, and as a result, we've also been able to successfully grow our market share in a fairly short period of time.”
A new marketplace for insurance
The customer marketplace has changed considerably too over the past 24 months. Vanessa Lycos says, “Increased digitisation and improved customer experience are being focused on across all industries—from insurance and banking to retail, customers everywhere are looking for simple, fast and easy customer-focused digital experiences.”
Vanessa Lycos is responsible for product, digital and marketing for Group Solutions at Empire Life. She believes the focus of companies has shifted dramatically, and that the wellbeing of employees—in terms of health and mental wellness— is an even bigger focus than historically. Insurance companies like Empire Life are rising to the challenge and providing solutions that create better services for employees.
“One of the reasons we launched telemedicine and mental health navigator last year was so that people could have fast and easy access to services that could help bolster their physical and mental health,” she says.
Embracing change in the insurance industry
Christine Wyatt, Empire Life’s Director of Group Digital Innovation, agrees, and says the insurance industry in general has been remarkably open to the new technology and service changes currently being demanded by the post pandemic marketplace. She concludes, “Over the next 12 months, all of our projects and initiatives are aimed at driving the experience for advisors and plan sponsors, making it easier for them to access information and data that's really going to be critical in providing the right benefits for their employees.”
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“Whether it's a threat intelligence platform or an analytics platform – using that to strengthen one of the key principles and ultimately accelerating response detection and mitigation – it is key.”