Life insurance made simple

life insurance insurance appointments advisers financial services industry executive director ANZ

17 October 2007
| By Craig Phillips |

In an effort to encourage and better enable advisers to sell life insurance, ING Australia has developed a new electronic service capable of approving applications in just 15 minutes.

ING executive director, life risk, Helen Troup said although the financial services industry is now well aware of Australia’s chronic underinsurance problems (particularly in relation to life insurance), it has struggled to find workable solutions.

“The life insurance industry is the most dynamic it’s ever been. But we need to decide what to do about [underinsurance]. At ING, we’re still working to increase awareness of life insurance, but we’re also doing all we can to make it easier for advisers to sell it.”

In her view, the life insurance application and approval process needs to be made simpler and more streamlined to encourage more advisers to sell it.

ING head of retail products Mark Vilo described the new service, OneCare Express, as an intuitive, questionnaire-style application with its own underwriting facility. He said it enables advisers to provide about 40 per cent of clients with instant insurance cover and reduces the time needed to do so by about half. For clients whose applications are not immediately accepted, advisers will be provided with a list of additional requirements, enabling him or her to arrange for these to be completed while the client is still in the appointment.

In response to adviser feedback, applications require a ‘wet signature’ from the client to seal the deal. The signed application form can then be faxed or posted back to ING. Vilo said this may change in future but, for now at least, most advisers report feeling more comfortable with wet, as opposed to electronic, signatures.

OneCare Express’ launch to the general adviser market follows a successful pilot with ANZ financial planners, who helped fine-tune the service.

The pilot reported a 20 per cent approval rate for clearskin applications, while non-clearskin applications were processed two weeks faster on average than traditional, paper-based applications.

Queensland-based professional investment services adviser Jason Churchill said that, in the four months he had been using the service, he had submitted 14 applications to the value of $44,000.

He said he found the service easy to use, despite not being very tech savvy, and cost-effective.

“It’s saved me a tremendous amount of time. It’s cutting down most appointments to around half the time I spent previously.”

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