Traditionally, life insurance applications were long, tedious, complicated, and done entirely on paper. Today, however, increasing numbers of providers are offering electronic applications to speed up the application process and remove some of the frustrations commonly experienced by customers.
The application process for life insurance commonly takes four to six weeks. Applicants need to answer questionnaires about healthy history, occupation and lifestyle. They also need a medical exam. The insurance underwriter then considers a variety of additional factors such as medical files (for which you have to consent to release) and driving records.
The process can be time consuming for people on both sides of the process, the applicant and the underwriter. It can also be extremely frustrating: so frustrating, in fact, that some people are willing to pay substantially higher premiums for policies that require less paperwork, such as guaranteed acceptance insurance.
Benefits of eApplications
Electronic applications are much easier to process on the side of the insurance company. It takes less time, which is beneficial for company and applicant, and it takes fewer people less time to process the application. That saves the company money, which can then pass savings onto its policyholders.
Just as important is the improvement in communication. Previously, questionable or incomplete submissions required the underwriter to contact the applicant by phone or mail. Then paperwork had to be returned to the applicant, filled out correctly, and returned.
Through eApplications, much of that communication can be done immediately through electronic means. That means less time, less confusion, and less frustration.
As more and more aspects of insurance underwriting can be done electronically, the less paper needs to be used. Not only is this good for the environment, it also makes it easier for information to be accessed. It also increases security since there is less paper containing sensitive materials that might be mishandled.
One of the newer digital technologies are eSignatures, where a variety of marks can be used in place of a conventional paper signature. This is very important for businesses that require many pages of documents to be legally signed or initialed. Implementation has been slow do to questions of how legally binding eSignatures can be, but it’s definitely an up-and-coming technology for the industry.
Additional Online Tools
Besides the availability of eApplications, many insurance companies also offer mobile tools to help manage your policy after it is accepted. In addition, their websites may offer considerable amounts of information about different policies affect you in order for you to make more informed decisions.
As technology advances, so does the way we do life insurance. Online tools are making it quicker and easier than ever to get and maintain policies.