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e-Signature is Slowly Growing in Insurance Circles, But Challenges Remain (2 of 2)

 

In this two-part series, learn more about e-Signatures technology, acceptance and implementation. This week, learn more about security and a look toward what the future holds. Miss last week's article? Click here.

by Ara C. Trembly

Security is Not an Issue
Asked whether security questions or concerns may be part of what's holding back e-signature adoption in insurance, the analysts expressed doubt. "I don't think this is a big issue," notes Mark Breading, Partner, SMA Strategy Meets Action. "E-signatures are ubiquitous. The average person gives an e-signature several times a week via the Web, or at the grocery store, gas stations and other retail locations." Donald Light, Senior Analyst for Celent, adds that e-signatures are widely used in the banking and securities industries, so consumers, agents and brokers are likely to have had some personal experiences with the technology.

What are the key benefits of e-signatures for the insurance industry? Is it better for some types of insurers than others? "It's all about processing speed," says Matt Josefowicz, Principal in the Insurance Practice of Novarica. "Any place where e-Signature usage can shorten a critical cycle, it has a big advantage."

According to Breading, life insurers have been quicker than their P&C counterparts to adopt e-signatures, "perhaps because the lifetime value of an individual life transaction is much higher than a personal lines P&C transaction. Ultimately there is more potential for personal lines property and casualty due to the transaction volumes."

Light notes that in addition to "relatively minor cost savings," e-signatures may help to reduce cycle times and will generally improve the customer experience-unless a particular customer insists on paper and wet signatures.

Looking Ahead
Asked about the future of e-signatures in insurance, Josefowicz comments: "I'd say we're going to see more growth. The potential of iPad-like devices to improve the use of technology in the field for both selling and adjusting should make it more attractive."

Both Breading and Light say the pace of adoption in insurance will continue to be slow, however. Light believes the growth will also be "steady."

Ara C. Trembly is the founder of Ara Trembly-The Tech Consultant (www.aratremblytechnology.com), a writing, consulting and advisory practice focusing on technology for the insurance industry.