PROTECTION INSIGHT - 11
THE RISE OF INTERACTIVE UNDERWRITING (and how it can boost client relationships)
The benefits of interactive over fixed underwriting – for advisers and clients – are plentiful, writes Scott Sinclair… The rise of interactive underwriting Interactive underwriting – unlike fixed underwriting – involves smarter questioning so your clients are only asked relevant questions. It allows insurers to make swift decisions in many more cases and helps to avoid some cases being referred to an underwriter. Interactive underwriting, as well as straight- through processing and point-of-sale decisions, are not new developments in protection. But the frequency with which interactive is used has grown rapidly. Only 10% of business written with Zurich through financial advisers in 2018 used the fixed route, and this pattern has continued into this year. Benefits of interactive The benefits of interactive underwriting are three-fold: there is an upside for the adviser, for the client, and for the insurance company.
used a laptop in front of a client and don’t intend to begin now. These are all legitimate reasons, and it is unlikely that 100% of applications will be made via interactive underwriting, at least for the next few years. But its rise, and popularity, continues to grow with advisers. To find out more, contact your Zurich consultant on 08085 546 546 or visit www.zurichintermediary.co.uk
From an adviser’s perspective, most insurers offer higher commission on policies written via interactive. This is for a simple reason: it involves less work for the underwriters so more policies can be placed on risk overall. There is another, less feted reason why interactive can benefit advisers: it can be impressive to a client to be insured so quickly, and can help strengthen a relationship. Similarly for the client, a point-of-sale decision means no delay, fewer underwriting questions, and they can enjoy the peace of mind protection offers almost immediately. Interactive underwriting is flexible too. There are a number of ways to collect data from a client and pursue the interactive route. Some advisers sit with clients to begin the online application, while others capture clients’ answers to enter into the interactive system later. A call centre model is also likely to use interactive underwriting. And some insurers, including Zurich, offer a ‘delegated’ underwriting option, allowing the client to complete the interactive questions at their own leisure. Popularity of interactive underwriting Of course, for some advisers, the fixed route remains the preferred option, usually for reasons to do with client preference or advice model. Some advisers have never
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Scott Sinclair Zurich Content Manager, Marketing
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