Understand The E-Sign Act
The goal of “going paperless” has been a major initiative in insurance companies and agencies for decades. The E-Sign Act was signed into law back in 2000 and granted electronic signatures the same legal status as handwritten signatures. Also within this law are provisions regarding the use of electronic records and e-signatures in transacting business. While digital transactions can make it more convenient and cost effective for businesses and consumers alike, it’s important for Insurance Agents and Brokers to understand how they can comply with authorization requirements.
What do Customers Think?
Based on a recent Consumer Action survey, 66% of consumers still prefer to have their insurance bills sent on paper, and 38% prefer to have other important documents (i.e. policies) delivered on paper.
Do your new and renewal business workflows include receiving authorization to conduct business electronically?
Consider the ACORD 68
Before sending policy documents to clients digitally / electronically, the agency should obtain a signed authorization form from the client. While you can go online to your carriers to view copies of their Consent Forms as a template, there is actually an ACORD form for this purpose.
The ACORD 68:
- Defines Electronic Delivery – includes delivery to an email address which has consented to receive notices or documents, OR posting on an electronic network or website accessible via internet, mobile application, computer, mobile device, tablet or any other electronic device.
- Includes check boxes for the client to indicate their preferences – electronic, electronic and paper, reject electronic delivery completely, or withdraw consent if previously accepted.
If your agency practice is to send policy documents electronically, or has a client portal or mobile app that you are using to communicate policy details to clients, we encourage you to ensure that some kind of Consent Form – ACORD or similar – is incorporated into your sales and service workflows. You will also want to check your state insurance regulations regarding Records Retention of these forms.
AVYST eForms Wizard Can Help!
eForms Wizard puts more than a thousand forms at your fingertips, including the ACORD 68. Users also bundle commonly used ACORD and carrier-specific supplemental applications into “Packages” (with a single click) to ensure you gather all of the information you need in a single call or visit.