Aecent study suggests that replacing the traditional paper application process with one that enables applicants to provide information directly to insurers by telephone or the Web offers significant benefits.According to Boston-based Celent Communications Inc., carriers that implement teleunderwriting for at least select lines of business can achieve five major benefits: focus agents on selling; reduce costs while driving revenue; reduce new business cycle time; bring new channels online more quickly; and progress toward a future vision for new business.

More carriers are deciding that connecting proposed insureds directly to underwriters is the most efficient way to "get the right data in the hands of the people who need it," according Celent's report, "Phoning It In: Teleunderwriting Comes of Age."

The report suggests that using teleunderwriting can result in a significant increase in the number of applications written, and an increase in the close rate (the number of applications that eventually become issued policies). The report also suggests that agents will try teleunderwriting, and if they find value in it they may send an increasing proportion of their sales through a teleunderwriting engine.

Time-Saving Potential

Average amount of time (in minutes) it takes to enter application information electronically and on paper.

Agents estimate it takes 46 minutes on average to complete a policy application by hand.

Source: Celent Communications' Producer Survey

Teleunderwriting Support

Percentage of agents surveyed

Agent willingness to use teleunderwriting is higher at low face amounts and lower at high face amounts.

Low face are policies less than $100,000; medium face are policies $100,000 to $500,000, and high face are polices more than $500,000.

Source: Celent Communications' Producer Survey

Boosting Producer Productivity

Who enters electronic application information?

An immediate benefit of teleunderwriting is that it removes an administrative burden for agents.

Source: Celent Communications' Producer Survey

Agent Preferences

Willingness to let a third party collect policy application data over the phone.

Agents with less than three years of insurance sales experience are more inclined to want control over the data collection process for applications.

Source: Celent Communications' Producer Survey

Register or login for access to this item and much more

All Digital Insurance content is archived after seven days.

Community members receive:
  • All recent and archived articles
  • Conference offers and updates
  • A full menu of enewsletter options
  • Web seminars, white papers, ebooks

Don't have an account? Register for Free Unlimited Access