E-Signatures in U.S. Insurance: Overview, Issues, & Case Studies

by Craig Weber, August 20, 2002


Boston, MA, USA August 20, 2002

Insurers aren't lining up to take advantage of e-signature opportunities, despite a green light from most state regulators and the maturation of e-signature technologies.

The stage has been set for insurance carriers to dramatically reduce cycle times and lower process costs using e-signatures. But carriers have been slow to act. Celent Communications' new report, , predicts that the percentage of carriers making substantial use of e-signatures will reach only low double digits in the next 18 months.

Figure: Opportunities for E-Signatures in Insurance

"E-signatures can be used effectively in the insurance industry, which struggles with long cycle times and high process costs," says Celent analyst

Craig Weber, author of the report. "Particularly in relatively low-risk processes like taking applications for health and auto insurance, more carriers should be using e-signatures to help meet customer expectations of convenience and speed."

The report presents a strategic framework to help companies assess potential e-signature applications. It features case studies illustrating successful e-signature applications at American General, Zurich Life, National Health Insurance, and eHealthinsurance.

"Carriers are hesitant to go down the e-signature path because they perceive it to be risky," Weber says. "But the reality is that carriers using e-signatures today have found ways to mitigate the risk. And their efforts are reaping tangible rewards."

A is available online.

of Celent Communications' Property/Casualty Insurance and Life/Health Insurance research services can download the report electronically by clicking on the icon to the left.


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Celent is a research and advisory firm dedicated to helping financial institutions formulate comprehensive business and technology strategies. Celent publishes reports identifying trends and best practices in financial services technology and conducts consulting engagements for financial institutions looking to use technology to enhance existing business processes or launch new business strategies. With a team of internationally based analysts, Celent is uniquely positioned to offer strategic advice and market insights on a global basis. Celent is a member of the Oliver Wyman Group, which is a wholly-owned operating unit of Marsh & McLennan Companies [NYSE: MMC].

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Table of Contents


Boston, MA, USA August 20, 2002

E-Signatures in U.S. Insurance:  Overview, Issues, & Case Studies

Return to report Abstract


  A Slow Revolution 6
  E-Signature Overview 8
  The First Hurdle: Technology 8
  The Second Hurdle: Legislative Support 9
  The Third Hurdle: Department of Insurance Approval 11
  E-Signature Functions 12
  E-Signatures In Use 14
  E-Signatures Benefits 17
  Aligning Technology to Risk 18
  Key E-Signature Questions 19
  American General 21
  Zurich Life 24
  eHealthinsurance 28
  National Health Insurance 31
  Lessons 34
  Moving Forward 35
  Online Sales 35
  All Companies 37

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