Driven by the growing popularity of simplified underwriting products, the proposal has shifted from a simple digitized PDF copy to a platform that can mimic the intelligence of a seasoned underwriter.
Luis Romero, CEO of Equisoft, reminds us that studies show that the electronic proposal allows the insurer to save money, which it can optimize if the form is intelligent and that it guides the adviser of the question in question. The form will contain fewer errors and the insurer will have less to ask for clarification.
Equisoft offers its customers an intelligent form that dynamically adds questions or even other forms, thanks to a set of logical rules. “If the client responds to having already done extreme sports, the form of dangerous sports appears. The counselor has fewer questions to ask. He has only to follow the fields which are presented to him. Hence a gain in efficiency. We made such a proposal from a 43-page paper form. Such a proposal can easily hide 3,000 business rules specific to the insurer, “says Romero.
Players in the presence
The technology provider claims to count among its competitors Telus and iPipeline, an American player trying to break into Canada. “We also see a lot of custom development by insurers,” says Romero.
The architect of the Fundserv transactional fund platform and founder of Planeffico, Michel Fragasso estimates that it costs a company $ 300 to issue a life insurance policy according to the traditional process. Costs that have certainly not declined today, he suggests. “With a digital process where all players would be interconnected, advisor, general agent, an insurer, these costs could rise to $ 150,” he says.
Most players offer some form of the electronic proposal. The solutions offered vary from one insurer to another and do not allow the exchange of information between insurers.
Players who are not already preparing their offensive, including Financière Foresters and UV Mutuelle. BMO Life Insurance has just launched its own, said Daniel Walsh, Vice President of Business Development. The launch comes after a soft launch with general agents. “Phase 1 is done with a proposal for term insurance and critical illness products. We will launch phase 2 for life and universal life in 2018. ”
The proposal will enable electronic signature touch, tablet or smartphone. “It will increase the efficiency of firms that handle a high volume of transactions by avoiding double-entry digital paper,” says Walsh.
Why did you wait so long? “Not being first allowed us to better understand and launch a solution that is better tailored to the needs of advisors. We’ve enhanced the features and made the proposal more intuitive, so it’s easy for the advisor to navigate. ”
UV Mutuelle is in the midst of strategic thinking on this subject. The insurer can not reveal the details until the deposit of its strategic plan in early December.
“UV Mutuelle is about to take a significant turn. We have prepared it, among other things, by appointing Jean-Mathieu Sigouin a few months ago, who will be the prime contractor for our entire technological component. We have scheduled work days on September 13 and October 6, “said its CEO Christian Mercier.
RBC Insurance launched an electronic application in the spring of 2017. Maria Winslow, Senior Life and Life Benefits Director at RBC Insurance, said the electronic process is currently limited to the sale of term insurance products up to $ 500,000.
“We will gradually extend it to Disability Insurance and Critical Illness Insurance products. We do not sell universal life insurance on an electronic proposal. We will eventually do it. We will increase the limit of the amount of insurance allowed when we are more comfortable with the process. ”
In addition to speed, consumers appreciate being able to do business anywhere, including in the comfort of the home. “If you are a young parent, you may want to do business in your own way. Maybe you do not want a counselor to go to your kitchen. An electronic proposal responds perfectly to this need and makes the process more comfortable for the customer, “says Winslow.
Regional Vice-President, Sun Life Financial Canada Career Network, Stéphane Beaumier stresses that the electronic proposal has become increasingly intelligent. At the point where the insurer wants to eliminate the paper thanks to it. “Our electronic proposal is not based on a PDF. It is integrated into our software. ”
The insurer also offers an optional telephone interview service provided by Hooper Holmes. “We suggest the counselor use this telephone interview service to collect the client’s medical information. We prefer that they choose this option. We would like to eventually switch to medical underwriting entirely by telephone interview, “says Beaumier.
Currently, only 35% of councilors use it. “It’s good because we have only been offering this service for two or three years. It’s a question of adaptation, as in any change. We must demonstrate to advisors the added value of this service. With the electronic proposal combined with the telephone interview, compliance risks are reduced, as well as the risks of misrepresentation, “says Beaumier.
Luis Romero stresses that Sun Life is a reference in the market for the interconnection of its proposal with the projection tools of its insurance products. This interconnection promotes the penetration rate of the proposal, as well as the environment specific to the career network.
In brokerage, advisors are reluctant to adopt connected projections, says Romero. The CEO of Equisoft, however, wonders if insurers will tolerate everything for a long time. “Will they dare to say to the counselors: come back and log in?”
However, advisors would benefit from using the electronic proposal in front of their clients, especially if they use the pricing and underwriting tools that the insurer connects to it, says Romero. “In a selection process without exams or tests, the counselor can have an immediate response and compensation. One of our clients electronically pays his or her compensation to the advisor the same day that an acceptable insurance proposal arrives. ”
The customer experience is also enhanced, insists Mr. Romero. “If the client’s initial proposal is rejected, the advisor knows it while he is still in front of the customer to immediately offer the product of another company. He does not lose his client. With the paper process, he must return to his client to announce the refusal, which is never pleasant. It is then even harder to convince him for a second product. “