The much-loved tablet device now has a fast-growing role as an all-in-one sales tool for life insurance distributors, especially in Japan. Amy Friedman explains.
Singapore is one of the top tablet users in the world, with penetration at 42%, making the tablet platform potentially more attractive to customers. At least two more insurers in Singapore are reportedly developing iPad capabilities, while others in emerging markets are focusing on the Android platform.
AEGON Turkey has also joined the tablet fray. As part of its local ‘Advisor of the Future’ programme, the company in February 2013 rolled out software enabling end-to-end life insurance and pension plan sales using tablet devices containing a customised platform developed by the Dutch financial software company Figlo.
The Figlo platform enables AEGON Turkey agents to organise appointments, manage references, conduct marketing and develop financial analyses, all without pen and paper. The sale, including the application, the e-signature and even the initial payment, are all processed via the tablet.
Once the sale is concluded, the application information is integrated into the company’s main system, underwriting is done, and upon approval, policies are issued automatically.
The tablet was initially made available to 500 members of its direct sales team. AEGON Turkey plans are to roll it out to other sales channels as well. The company is already seeing strong results: by early March, 80% of its direct sales were being facilitated solely by the tablet. The company is anticipating an approximate 20% drop in operational costs.
It might seem surprising that it has taken until recently for tablets to integrate into the sales process. But tablets are a somewhat recent technological development. The first iPad was introduced in January 2010, but they are gaining ground quickly.
In the UK, 2012 tablet penetration, according to a 2013 study by ZenithOptimedia, is already at 23.1%, and is expected to rise to 34% by 2015.
Will tablets cause producers to lose control of the sales and underwriting process? Although some companies and agents might fear that, it’s more likely that tablets will enhance producer control of the sales process, while cutting costs and improving turnaround times for carriers.
Electronic enrolments are far cheaper than paper applications, both in processing and paper costs.
Advisers can process electronic enrolments far faster and with fewer errors, which is good news from the adviser’s point of view. And given how rapidly tablet device sales are increasing worldwide, consumers, even in the near future, are likely to expect their financial advisers to be tablet-equipped for life insurance sales.
Amy Friedman is senior writer at RGA Reinsurance
For life and health insurance
Another record month
Protection for the masses?
Five levels of cover
She joined mid-2018