In Part 1, we covered some of the common questions asked about electronic signatures. Today, we’ll cover some solutions.
There are a growing number of e-signature solutions that are available for insurance agents. The following is a short list of a few we have come across.
RPost, known for its registered email service, has added electronic signatures to the product mix. Documents can be “signed” in a variety of ways electronically, encrypted, and sent to the people who need them. (RPost supports cryptographic digital signatures and handwritten e-signatures, among other options.) RPost also offers another twist: it can also add a digital return receipt if you want proof of when someone opened your email.
It should be noted that in early June, RPost was granted a patent for its method of covering the tracking of email openings through embedded links. As a result of this and other patents, RPost has recently filed a series of lawsuits against RightSignature, Farmers Insurance, DocuSign, and Adobe Systems’ EchoSign.
A simple and straightforward solution, DocuSign’s basic-level service collects electronic signatures, authenticates recipients, tracks all activity for a document, and is available online and through mobile devices, like the iPhone and iPad. It offers several additional features with its more advanced editions, including collaboration, document routing, and user and group management.
Adobe recently acquired EchoSign and has been incorporating its functionality into the Adobe line of products. The company recently announced the integration of e-signature capabilities into its popular free Adobe Reader product. Adobe EchoSign gives you five free signatures per month and stores the last five documents that you signed. The $14.95 Pro level gives one user unlimited e-signatures, and prices go up from there. Using Adobe Reader, EchoSign now lets you sign with your finger on a smartphone or tablet.
While not as well know as some of the other in the digital signature arena, SIGNiX has several impressive features that speed up the signature process as well as document archival. Their three levels of service will allow an agency of any size to experiment with the process.
ContractPal calls itself an “electronic signatures cloud” and offers several features to help reduce certain hassles of contract negotiation, like incomplete documents, which are reduced through what it calls a “reflexive questioning engine.” They also automatically route forms and agreements based on content and parameters you set so you’re not waiting on approvals or revisions.
GoPaperless is another solution that provides simple digital signing of documents. Not quite as feature-rich as some other services, it’s an easy-to-use alternative that offers basic “click to sign” functionality with security through layered encryption, password-protected signing sessions, and session activity tracking. It also provides the ability to export to a variety of formats, as well as have multi-party contracts with a controlled sequence of signers.
RightSignature might tout the fastest process for sending electronic documents for signature with its “one-minute send,” but it also offers more elaborate features than some services, such as handwritten signatures, webcam photo authentication, digital fingerprints and iPhone mobile signing. It also offers a unique “NaviGuide” flag to point signers to the next required field, as well as a checklist and progress meter to show users what needs to be done to complete the process.
Designed exclusively for insurance agents, InsureSign allows you to add insurance company-specific applications and forms. It includes auto placement of signature fields for popular insurance carriers’ forms. You can implement completely paperless in-person signing. You create the documents, allow the customer to sign in your office, and archive and file the documents, all without paper or toner.
The insurance industry is one of the first to acknowledge the advantages of e-signatures. Agents are now equipped with laptops and tablet computers so it is easy to process intricate application forms. The e-signature method makes everything much simpler. This system not only saves hours but also reduces huge efforts needed for processing traditional paperbound requirements.
E-signatures are coming. It’s time for agents to begin experiencing the benefits of increased efficiency, reduced staff workload, and improved client satisfaction. You can no longer wait for others in the industry to embrace this change. Take the lead and begin experimenting with using electronic signatures in your agency today.