Brett Wright

Having been through a frustrating personal experience in trying to renew a life insurance policy, Stride Equity CEO Maria Halasz was very keen on LifeBid’s proposition to improve the fledgling advice sub-sector.

“Brett [Wright, LifeBid CEO and co-founder] came to us about funding shortly after I went through [the] frustrating experience of renewing my life insurance policy, so it is fair to say I was interested in hearing what he had to say,” Halasz tells Professional Planner.

“I am always excited to meet founders with deep knowledge and long-term experience in, and a passion for, their industry.”

Maria Halasz

Announced earlier this month, LifeBid approached Stride Equity to help scale up its digital streamlining processes to help expand life insurance advice despite a market that has a diminished number of advisers.

“To truly fix life insurance advice, the industry needs to work together,” Wright says.

The ‘2023 ARdata Life Insurance Study’ found there are roughly 3400 advisers that write risk, but only around 150 “pure risk” advisers, which has hampered distribution of life insurance policies for Australians.

“[LifeBid] will cut up to 90 per cent of the costs of providing life insurance advice, and reduce the complexity and the compliance risks for advisers and licensees,” Wright says.

The launch of the campaign follows an initial $700,000 co-investment from the Stride Group and industry partners, and there are currently 2000 advisers on the wait list for the end-to-end solution.

Wright explains he and LifeBid strategy adviser and director Jeremy Wright established the company because, as advisers, they were “immensely” frustrated by how high-quality advice and life insurance cover have become complex and expensive for consumers to access – and how hard, unprofitable, and risky it has become for advisers, licensees, and insurers to help everyday Australians.

“[This] is why we are building LifeBid in partnership with our industry first working group,” Wright says.

“It will make it possible for us to realise our other goal: for LifeBid to be owned by the industry.”

The service is also supported by a group of insurers and advisers, indicating a collective commitment to redefining the process of delivering life insurance advice. “There’s [clearly a] strong product market fit,” Wright says.

“We’ve validated and ran out the business and renewals and reviews processes, with compliance teams in the lock as well.”

The crowdfunding campaign is following a timeline, starting with an expression of interest period.

“[Our expression of interest period has] recently opened and has generated a lot of interest so far,” Wright says. “[It] will be open until the end of August.”

The offer is set to commence in September, allowing advisers, licensees, and industry participants to confirm investments on a first-come, first-served basis.

“The equity raise will enable us to finalise development [of the solution], grow our support team in preparation for launch, and start the onboarding of our waitlist,” Wright says, adding that the structured approach will ensure inclusivity and accessibility in the investment process.

Changes suggested by Bright Wright were incorporated into this article on 21 August 2023.

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