E-signature maturity and high adoption in insurance means experimentation phase is over, says eSignLive.

July 25, 2010

Montreal, QC, July 26, 2010 - In support of a recent article published in Insurance Networking News (INN) entitled “Sign of the Times”, Silanis Technology, the leading provider of e-signature solutions in insurance, today elaborated on how advancements in e-signature technology has contributed to adoption growth in insurance over the last decade, and why the industry is now ready for mass expansion of e-signatures.

“Despite the fact that the E-Sign Act was passed 10 years, e-signature adoption was slow to take off in the insurance market during the time it took for solutions to mature, and for carriers to prepare their e-applications and other IT systems,” said Tommy Petrogiannis, CEO and co-founder of Silanis.

A few early adopters were out the gate starting middle of the decade. These carriers got a head-start over their competitors in reducing application cycle times, costs, staff requirements, and customer drop-off.

Since then adoption has swelled and will continue to, according to Steven Leigh, principal analyst of Insurance Industry Services for Gartner:  “Within 10 years, nearly every John Hancock on every policy will be scrawled on an electronic pad, signed with a mouse click or verified with a few spoken or text-messaged words.”

The surge in e-signature adoption, according to the article in INN, is largely attributed to vendors doing a better job of addressing insurers’ concerns over the usability, adoption, legal risks, and enterprise scalability of e-signatures. “Silanis has played a vital role in helping the insurance industry move to straight-through processing and achieve the adoption numbers that they are seeing,” said Petrogiannis. “Over the last decade and year, we have brought many advancements in e-signature technology to the market and critical features needed propel the industry forward.”

Silanis introduced a number of features that were essential for enabling consumers to easily adopt e-signatures and ensuring they don’t drop out of the electronic process mid-way through.

For example, to eliminate the need for consumers to download and install a software plug-in on their systems, which often results in consumers abandoning the process before the plug-in is installed, Silanis introduced the industry’s first zero-download, “click-to-sign” Web solution. This enables consumers to immediately sign documents electronically using nothing more than a standard internet connection, Web browser and a computer mouse.

Further, in order to increase retention rates during the insurance application process itself, Silanis introduced a unique process orchestration capability.  This greatly simplifies the execution of insurance applications involving multiple documents, disclosures, and signatures. Consumers are guided through the entire electronic transaction, from consenting to the use of e-signatures and accepting all legal disclosures, to signing and initialing in all the right places to ensure all documents are returned in good order. By improving customers’ overall experience and satisfaction, retention rates increase which, according to Craig Dierkes of Liberty Mutual, is key to a successful e-signature implementation.

To promote higher adoption in the independent agent channel, Silanis introduced support for the Apple iPad and SMS and voice attribution earlier this year.

The iPad enables agents to access internet and use the Web-based, insurance application process while on the road or at a customers’ home. The SMS and voice attribution, on the other hand, provides an extra layer of security for capturing a customer’s signing intent in agent-facing processes, and proving that it was the customer holding the mouse or iPad during the “click-to-sign” process.

The INN article also quotes Frank Zacherl, a partner at Shutts & Bowen LLP, who has represented one of the nation's largest auto insurers on electronic commerce issues, as saying electronic signatures have helped to head off “literally thousands of potential cases before they ever get to litigation" by retracing the consumer’s exact digital footprint and understanding of the agreement. Silanis introduced this capability to the market with the industry’s first and only process re-player. Silanis’ solution records the entire electronic transaction from start to finish, and secures it with digital signature technology to reproduce reliable evidence of the exact process, Web screens, and documents that were used to build the customer’s awareness of what they were signing.

In reference to the strength of the electronic evidence provided by Silanis’ solution, Zacherl went on to say: “Despite tens of thousands of online transactions, we have not seen a single electronic commerce case go to trial since this technology was implemented.” And finally the INN article quotes industry analyst, Steven Leigh, as saying, “the e-signature experimentation phase has ended, and the technology represents the last piece in automated straight-through processing for new business”. Leigh advises carriers to “look for e-signature technology they eventually can deploy enterprise-wide, even if they roll it out piecemeal”. “Having worked closely with many of the industry’s leading insurance carriers for nearly a decade, Silanis recognized the need to bring an enterprise e-signature platform to the market early on,” said Petrogiannis. “We were the first and remain the only e-signature vendor to enable insurers to easily scale electronic signatures across their entire enterprise, while providing the flexibility to customize the signing process to the unique requirements of their different lines-of-business, products and channels.” Read the full article in Insurance Networking News.

About Silanis
Silanis Technology Inc. is the leading provider of Electronic Signature Process Management solutions. The world’s largest insurance and financial services companies, major government agencies, integrators and service providers depend on Silanis to accelerate business transactions and reduce costs while improving compliance with legal and regulatory requirements. The company’s electronic signature platform, ApproveIt®, is an enterprise-class e-signature process management solution that transforms paper-based business transactions to all-electronic, Web-based processes for e-commerce and e-government.