Wednesday, October 19, 2016

All Aboard with E-Apps – The Time is Now!

By Meghan Eiler, New Business Coordinator

No, we are not mind readers or fortune tellers here at Ann Arbor Annuity Exchange, but it is safe to say that our previous prediction of an “electronic application boom” in our industry has proved to be accurate! A few months ago I wrote an article titled “Jump on Board” that highlighted the push toward e-application processes on the part of various carriers on various lines of business. I spoke of the upcoming drive to go paperless and attempted to give a heads-up to the “wave of the future” that would affect how we do business.

Now, as we have entered into the last quarter of 2016, we see a large number of carriers that have jumped on board! Multiple carriers have implemented new technology to allow for applications to be written, submitted, reviewed and issued, all through an electronic process. More importantly, agents and clients are using these systems! We now have proof, statistics, feedback, and results that measure the success of the process, directly from agents who have completed business this way and carriers who have processed the business.

This month we are focusing on the ApplyNOW electronic application through Allianz Life Insurance Company of North America (Allianz), which has been available to agents for over a year. Through its rollout, it has continuously adapted to industry needs by adding enhancements that assist agents in streamlining their business and saving time.  While this system has specific advantages for producers (more to come in another article), using it also provides several benefits for your clients:
  • ApplyNOW has reduced the time for completing applications from 90 minutes to only 15 minutes.
  • An increased opportunity to have business received in good order also comes with using ApplyNOW – as many as 92% of the applications processed through this technology are in good order, versus only 36% of the mailed paper applications.
  • Since submission is done electronically via a secure system, there are no worries that the paperwork or check will get lost in the mail.
  • To make things easier, Allianz recently converted their system to allow the client and agent to simply type their names in the signature field and attest electronically.
  • ApplyNOW incorporates the common banking practice of electronic funds transfers. This allows for funding of policies to be done in less time by having funds directly transferred from a client’s bank account to their contract. Your clients no longer have to find and carry around their checkbooks and no one has to wait for them to be cashed!
  • In our experience supporting agents using ApplyNOW, we have seen cases that were received in good order, processed, issued, and had commissions paid all within 48 hours.  Such speed can only help improve your standing with your clients.

Regardless of which carrier’s e-app you are completing or the line of business it is for, the overall purpose of these new electronic application processes remains consistent: to honor the idea that time, ease, and security are all valuable in what we do and embraced by your clients. Maybe you see it in terms of how long it takes to submit a case and get paid, while clients measure time from your first interaction together to when they receive their contract. The key in both scenarios is that carriers are recognizing that all of that time is valuable to you and your clients. Implemented e-application processes are ensuring accuracy and security of information, as well as getting your client their contract and you your commission faster – saving time!

So why wouldn’t you improve your daily business processes to facilitate a better, more secure, and faster result? Call us today to see how to get started with ApplyNOW!

Meghan Eiler | New Business Coordinator
Ann Arbor Annuity Exchange
Ph: 800.321.3924 x156 | Dir: 734.786.6156

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