By Jay Ledesma

The digital world of insurance

September 25, 2020, 2:55 pm

THERE was a time when selling an insurance product and servicing a policyholder requires physical presence and involve tons of paperwork.

My late father was an insurance agent (with then Filipinas Life) for about 3 years before becoming an OFW. I remember every night he will take out all those applications from his attaché case, review each one for the required signatures, and record all his sales on his ledger. He would occupy the entire dining table with all those papers.

He has two notebooks, one where he lists down all the servicing concerns of his clients that he needs to coordinate with their office and another one contains the lists of prospects he will be seeing. He will then prepare and go over his sales proposals and neatly tuck these papers in his attaché case ready for his appointments the following day. That was his nightly routine during those 3 years in insurance.

Not until the recent years, this was still the experience of life insurance agents or financial advisors as they are most commonly called now. Selling insurance still involves the signing of paper application forms and pages and pages of sales proposals. And premium payments and after-sales servicing include queuing at the cashier and service counters.

But as technology advancement accelerates around us, insurance companies are becoming more aware of their need to adjust, adapt, and adopt.  There’s no escaping the need to migrate to the digital platform. After all, this migration does not only offer convenience and comfort to their financial advisors but most especially to the policyholders they serve. 

Insurance companies are in different stages when it comes to digital transformation. Some have migrated even before the pandemic while some insurers are just starting their digitalization during the pandemic. 

For instance, Philamlife started their digital transformation journey about 6 years ago.

They introduced the first-ever end-to-end selling platform in a purely digital format called Interactive Point-of-Sale or IPOS, for short. 

This IPAD-based technology changed the landscape of insurance selling as Proposed Insureds can now receive sales presentation and premium quotes, fill up, sign and submit application forms, receive an approval notice and pay the premium all in a digital platform. This end-to-end process used to take weeks to complete. But with the IPOS technology, the whole process can be completed in just a few hours. In fact, in some instances when it’s straight-through processing (meaning the application is clean and has no additional requirements), it can be finished in just a few minutes.

This translates to increased productivity for both the advisors and clients. Due to shortened meeting time, advisors can now see more prospects while clients can go back doing their other activities soonest.

Goodbye to those piles of papers. No need to go to the office to print those sales proposals or queue long lines to swipe those credit cards for premium payment. With the IPOS technology, an advisor can literally make the IPAD a virtual office. 

In addition to this digital selling experience, clients through the eplan (customer portal), can also access their insurance policies anytime, anywhere without needing to go to a Branch office or without needing the assistance of their advisor. On the other hand, there is an agency portal that provides policy information to authorized financial advisors. This can again be accessed thru their IPAD. 

The Company has also recently launched an interactive chatbox called Aya, where both clients and advisors can send and receive answers on their policy-related inquiries. It’s already on Facebook Messenger and Viber.

Further, as the Company believes in continuous learning, their Advisors have 24/7 access to training and education through their online Learning Management System (LMS). In case they missed a training session or would want to review a module, they can always go to the LMS. 

Now more than ever, we appreciate and see the advantages of having our insurers migrate their services to digital platforms. Amidst the quarantine restrictions and health protocols, it’s reassuring to know that we can continue to purchase insurance plans or continue to receive customer service from the safety of our homes through the digital tools and platforms adopted by the insurance companies. 

The insurance industry has definitely shown and proven its resiliency and agility amid the current health crisis.

And while we are still not seeing the end of this crisis, let us be mindful that buying an insurance plan remains to be a wise investment when it comes to protecting and securing our families against life uncertainties, as what we are experiencing now. And we have our trusted insurers to help us do that. 


About the Columnist

Image of Jay Ledesma

Ms. Jay Ledesma writes about local tourism and business bits that delve on investments and insurance.