What is E-Signature for Life Insurance and Annuities?

A woman sitting at a desk throwing paper into a wastebasket.

Electronic signature (e-signature) is a technology that allows individuals to sign documents electronically. This is opposed to traditional pen and paper signatures, also known as wet signatures. E-signatures are increasingly used in the modern life insurance and annuities industry.

Advantages Over Paper Signatures

The use of e-signatures is growing in the insurance industry. This is because e-signatures offer many advantages over wet signatures.

Time Savings

In the past, insurance advisors needed to physically meet with clients for signatures. This process was time-consuming, for both the advisor and the client. Finding an acceptable time to meet could delay processes by days or even weeks.

Many carriers and distribution firms use e-application platforms to handle sales digitally. Wet signatures are often the culprit that forces their sales process back to paper.

E-signature technology eliminates a notorious speed bump. It allows the sales process to be more streamlined and efficient. This is a good thing for clients, distributors and carriers alike.

A shorter sales cycle allows clients to get their policy faster. And a fully digital sales cycle gives clients a sleek digital sales experience. The type of experience they are used to getting in most other aspects of their lives.

Cost Savings

E-signature saves money for insurance carriers and distributors. It reduces the need to print and mail documents. The expenses of paper, copying, packaging, shipping and storage are all eliminated. Not to mention that employees’ time is better spent on other, more profitable, tasks.

Some insurance sales platforms now offer e-signature built-in with no charge for access. By using such a platform, you save more by not having to use (and pay for) a separate e-signature tool.

Added Security

In addition to time savings, e-signatures are more secure than traditional wet signatures. E-signatures are less prone to fraud and forgery. E-signature technology allows for a documented audit trail and a defensible compliance process.
E-signature gets rid of the need to physically transport or mail documents from place to place. Documents moved around are more open to a privacy breach.

A Future of Growth

E-signature technology will continue to be more widely used for life insurance and annuity sales. It provides a faster, more secure and more convenient way to complete the sales process. It allows carriers and distributors to meet consumer demands while also saving time and resources.

Consumers will choose companies that have digital conveniences like e-signature. This will eventually force their competitors to follow suit or risk losing market share. Which means the industry will continue to move toward a fully digital sales process empowered in part by e-signature technology.

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