Skip to main content
Securian Financial Home

Securian Financial receives patent for technology that aids employees in benefits selection

Patent confirms commitment to innovation and value of Benefit Scout tool

Securian Financial is committed to exploring and experimenting with new technologies to remain relevant and competitive in a constantly changing business environment.

Patents are fairly commonplace in the technology and energy sectors, but not so much in the insurance industry. So, when Securian Financial received a patent — its first — for its Estimate Potential Insurance Payout technology, U.S. Patent No. 11,574,367, it was a special win.

Also called Map a Payout, this technology is a key component of Benefit Scout®, and interactive, digital platform that helps employees build claim scenarios following an accident or hospital stay to see potential payouts based on their applicable plan design and coverage selections.

Since it was first introduced in 2018, Benefit Scout has won kudos for helping users understand their benefit offerings and make informed decisions about their coverage needs. This feature is one in a suite of digital decision-support tools designed to educate employees about how their benefit plans can work together. By helping to ensure employees are enrolling for appropriate coverage amounts, it assures they are protected against unplanned expenses. Tools like this can boost companies’ financial wellness by reducing the number of un- and under-insured employees and empowering them to take full advantage of their benefits.

A long and winding road to patent approval

It takes a lot of work and diligence to receive patent protection. Not only do you need a good idea, you must also develop the idea into an invention or process that demonstrates a new way of doing something or a unique way of solving a problem. For inventors Don Rosenthal, user experience senior consultant, and Travis Symoniak, product senior manager, this meant experimenting with telling an interactive story to illustrate a potential insurance payout.

Once Don and Travis had a prototype of their idea, they presented the concept to users of Benefit Scout and various stakeholder at Securian Financial. The concept was well received, which signaled it was time to collaborate with the technology development team to build out the idea.

While the development team was building the technology, Don and Travis enlisted the help of the legal department to help navigate the process. Working together, they completed a comprehensive search for similar products. Once they determined that this was truly a unique offering, they began refining their documentation.

The effort to bring Map a Payout to life spanned many areas at the company and added up to more than 85 paragraphs of text and eight detailed drawings. It was submitted to the patent office in December 2019.

Waiting and hoping

After the application was submitted, there was a long period of silence until October 2021 when they received notice that the patent office had rejected the application. This is a routine first step in the application process. They appealed the ruling and provided additional details and clarification. They continued to respond to additional rejections throughout the next year, further refining documentation each time — a tedious but normal process for obtaining a patent. They finally got word of the patent approval in early 2023.

An emblem of innovation and service

“This patent demonstrates our commitment to delivering market-leading customer experiences in moments that matter,” said Don. “It also shows that Securian Financial is innovative, and it helps differentiate us from other insurers. This is an important way we can improve participation in voluntary benefits and continue to grow in this core market.”

While no additional patent applications are in progress, the team recently trademarked a new feature called Coverage Connector™ in Benefit Scout that helps employees understand how voluntary benefits compliment their other benefits. It’s a powerful tool for employees to learn about their options.

Benefit Scout is one of the many tools Securian Financial offers to help engage and educate customers. By making it easy for users to estimate financial needs, find appropriate solutions and enroll in benefits, this decision-support tool helps Securian Financial stand out — and win — with prospective employers and employees.

Like what you’re reading?

Get articles like this delivered directly to your inbox. 

Sign up
Gears icon

Accelerating innovation

Making innovation a priority in solving customer problems and preparing for the future.

See how we work

Securian Financial is the marketing name for Securian Financial Group, Inc., and its subsidiaries. Insurance products are issued by its subsidiary insurance companies, including Minnesota Life Insurance Company and Securian Life Insurance Company, a New York authorized insurer. Variable products are distributed by Securian Financial Services, Inc., member FINRA.

DOFU 12-2023