Risk goes virtual

A risk insurance software company will commence live testing of a virtual adviser program using wireless technology.

Melbourne-based Insurance Watch has been running a risk insurance comparison program for a couple of years, but the new version — called Virtual Life Adviser — will enable the risk agent to offer a selection of products in the client’s home or office using a wireless link.

The program will also have a live video link back to a PS 146 compliant risk adviser at the company’s head office if the client wants to discuss aspects of a product. Virtual Life adviser can also be re-badged.

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Insurance Watch managing director Wally Ripper said the poor take-up rate of risk insurance could be attributed to the lack of specialist advisers and clients not wanting to discuss the subject.

“We have seen life companies using direct marketing and telemarketing with limited success,” he said.

“We have refined the process using new technology to enable more people, such as accountants, real estate agents, general insurance brokers and solicitors, to offer risk insurance on the road.”

Insurance Watch has been running a web-based version of the program where people can make the decisions completely online without seeking advice. A user enters their personal details and the type of insurance, including the amount insured, into the program, and it produces a selection of products matching the person’s needs. After selecting a product, the user can buy the cover online.

Alternatively, the user can click the advice button and a risk adviser will contact them.

Ripper said working with the motor trade to offer risk insurance at the same time people took out car loans had resulted in a better uptake of risk products.

“We can tie-in a loan product to a risk package, and this cross-selling package has been patented by us,” he said.

“The process is in real-time for the client and we can use the fact-find information for the other products the adviser is selling.”

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