Electronic policy delivery saves carriers and agents paper, time and money. It’s also more convenient for the customer because the policy arrives much faster. E-delivery can reduce the cycle time from weeks down to minutes.
Within the last decade, the industry has striven to make e-delivery the standard. Protective Life began offering it in 2008. In 2010, the Federation of Regulatory Counsel was discussing what Florida law had to say about electronic policy delivery. By 2013, Independent Insurance Agents & Brokers of America had issued a report on best practices for e-delivery.
Many states made room for technology in their legislation as consumers demanded more convenience. Even California passed the Life and Annuity Electronic Transactions Law at the end of 2015, which permitted e-delivery and e-signatures in life insurance (with significant requirements).
The e-delivery practice was considered a game-changer, both from an environmental perspective (the insurance industry was purported to be the industry with the second-highest rate of paper consumption) and in terms of customer experience. Even then, consumers insisted on online access to their information, and most preferred to receive documents electronically.
But now, in 2019, consumers expect to receive their policies electronically. It’s no longer considered innovative or cutting-edge because the industry is catching up. Now, to be innovative, you have to take it a step further. To truly be customer-centric, you’ll need to think about how you can continue to meet increasing consumer demand for efficiency and ease of use.
I have two ideas to share in this realm. I hope you’ll consider them as this sort of out-of-the-box thinking is rewarded with a thriving business.
Expand E-Delivery To Inforce Business
Most carriers offer e-delivery only when they issue a policy. What about expanding that to all stages of a policy’s life, newly issued and inforce? What about e-delivery whenever a customer asks for it? Or what if they had access to a portal from which they could access their information on demand? We must not limit ourselves to what has been done to date; we must instead think about what’s possible.
Don’t Just Send − Store
You send the policy to your client, but then what? Like other financial documents – or even photos – it becomes a burden for customers to figure out where and how to store virtual information and assets. By partnering with a company that offers long-term secure storage for all things legacy, you could change the game yet again. A platform that allows customers to dictate when and with whom they share their information would take a weight off their shoulders.
Offering your customers expanded e-delivery and policy storage would dramatically improve their experience and ability to safeguard their information. An all-encompassing process and solution is the next step in innovation.
Michael Babikian is founder and CEO of LegacyShield. Michael may be contacted at [email protected].