Protection advisers support e-signatures

Providers said they felt such an introduction would help to help speed up the underwriting process for products such as life cover, critical illness and income protection.

Currently UK insurers still require a wet signature to obtain further medical evidence for protection applications even though more than 600 US insurers use e-signatures to obtain legally binding agreements from their customers.

When asked if replacing the wet signature process with e-signatures would result in clients being covered more quickly when further medical evidence was required 93% of adviser firms interviewed said yes. The research also found that 86% of the adviser firms interviewed would be in favour of using e-signatures with their clients.

Emma Thomson, Life Office relationship director for LifeSearch, said: “The move to e-signatures will be another positive step towards simplifying the underwriting process and helping customers arrange valuable protection cover quicker.

“Our industry should embrace this technology and work with other key third parties (for example surgeries) to ensure we can maximise this opportunity for the benefit of consumers.”

Liss managing director David Hanley added: “Given a compliance approved process with no data protection issues, adapting to e-signatures improves the buying process, reduces costs and most importantly reduces delays in offering protection cover.

“It is the norm in many countries and also for other markets in the UK. E-signatures can be completed on PCs, laptops, tablets and smart phones. No downloads are required and the process takes a few seconds.”