eSignature Adoption in the Insurance Industry: The Real ROI

Leor Melamedov

Let’s face it: Buying or modifying an insurance plan is not typically an enjoyable activity for customers. They need to take time out of their day to meet with an insurance broker to discuss potentially uncomfortable topics such as health, disaster, or death, and wade through and sign endless paperwork about those topics. All the while, customers may be feeling pressured to make certain purchases, or unable to take the time to properly consider all their options.

By allowing customers to sign up for insurance with an eSignature on digital forms and documents, it removes a lot of the barriers to purchase, improves deal turnaround time, and makes life easier for busy insurance brokers.

The perils of traditional signatures and paperwork for insurance companies

Insurance companies, like companies across many industries, tend to think of physical paperwork as a necessary evil. Unfortunately, there are many repercussions for relying on outdated frontend systems when managing customer transactions. Here are a couple of the harmful effects of excess paperwork and traditional signatures.

Lack of customer centricity

Insurance customers understand that having insurance is necessary, but that doesn’t mean they want to go out of their way to obtain it. Requiring customers to go to a physical location to be sold various insurance packages, and then requiring them to sit there, read the fine print, and provide their signature on every page is not a best practice. Similarly, customers who wish to make modifications to existing plans shouldn’t have to go to a particular location, such as an office or post office, to do so.

Time consuming for agents

Insurance agents shouldn’t need to continuously chase customers for supporting documents and signatures. Unfortunately, this is a common occurrence. The more cumbersome it is for customers to purchase or modify an insurance plan, the more agents will need to follow up and assist them. All this is time that could be better spent providing high-valuing guidance or selling to greater numbers of customers in a shorter time frame.

Less compliant

Physical paperwork and signatures can be easily forged, misplaced, or contain errors due to manual processing. Insurance companies that wish to reduce their risk exposure should be wary of their dependence on seemingly secure physical copies, which have a tendency of being misinterpreted or contested when things go wrong.

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The benefits of eSignature solutions for insurance companies

New technology such as mobile-first eSignature solutions can simplify and automate insurance sign-ups, amendments and claims. Customers can submit all information and documentation needed to process the application or claim, agree to policy terms in real-time and make payments instantly from their mobile devices. Here are six reasons insurers have adopted digital workflows, mobile eSignatures, and instant eForms:

  1. Shorten sales cycles and improve renewal rates

Customers are most inclined to sign policies when speaking with their insurers on the phone. At that moment, they are most informed and have the highest intent to complete the process. With agent-guided signup procedures, insurers can ensure customers complete documentation and signatures in the moment and address any lingering issues or doubts. Studies show that any delay causes significant sales loss: estimates show the likelihood of closing customers halves every few days. By guiding customers through sign up procedures, insurers are seeing completion rates jump.

2. Cut the high cost of paperwork

eSignatures slash the transaction costs of binding policies and processing claims. Recent estimates show that simply digitizing contracts, policies and signatures save $15 dollars per transaction in paper, faxing, scanning costs alone. This saving does not reflect the time and cost saved by not having to chase customers.

3. Eliminate time-consuming, frustrating errors

eForms streamline form completion. By using preconfigured, smart eForms, insurers can limit the effort required to complete forms and reduce the rework associated with manual errors and paper forms. eForms use digital rules to reduce the number of fields required to fill, limits the effort required to complete each field, and ensures the data entered conforms with field requirements. As a result, customer information has the highest data integrity: it is complete, legible and synced with the insurer’s databases.

4. Remove the burden of regulatory compliance

By digitizing new policy signups, claims processes and renewals, documentation and consent is faster and requires less effort. Thanks to easily auditable, court-admissible documents and signatures (surpassing ESIGN regulatory requirements), insurance companies are accelerating their work processes, delivering better customer experiences and eliminating the legal risk of non-compliance.

5. Improve customer satisfaction and retention

Simplifying otherwise cumbersome processes improves customer satisfaction. Thanks to streamlined eSignatures and eForms, customers find it easier to work with insurance companies. This digitization is in step with customer expectations: Customers are demanding simplicity and ability to transact anytime, anywhere –– from their mobile phones. Insurers see improved retention and referral rates by providing insurance solutions that exceed expectations.

6. Shorten time to settlement

Digitization of forms, evidence and document collection expedites claims processing at the customer’s time of need. Settling claims faster leads to a more productive claims team and improved post-claims retention rates.

The bottom line: Accelerate insurance sales and claims with an eSignature solution

Streamlined insurance eForms, eSignatures and workflows enables insurance teams to expedite sales and claims processes across core areas of business. Insurers have experienced dramatic business results across different areas of their business including

  • Accelerate Sales & Renewals
  • Boost Conversion Rates
  • Decrease Operational Costs
  • Improve Customer Experience (NPS)
  • Remove the Burden of Regulatory Compliance

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