How to work safely in the midst of social distancing

Providing financial advisers with the tools to focus on the advice-giving process.

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As financial advisers we have learned our craft from those before us. The profession itself dates back to 3 BC when Babylonian, Chinese and Indian traders practiced methods of transferring or distributing risk in a monetary economy. This mainly related to a version of maritime insurance.

But it was in 600 BC that the Greeks and Romans practiced the first version of life insurance.  This was done through guilds called “benevolent societies”, which cared for the families of deceased members, as well as paying for the funeral expenses of members.

Since then, the profession has undergone significant changes and processes have developed and grown into a much sleeker version to finally culminate in the vibrant profession we have today. However, we still find today that in the traditional space some processes are so lengthy, that it impacts on the efficiency of the financial adviser. A case in point is the time it takes a financial adviser to conclude an insurance policy with a client.

The long process of concluding an insurance policy

The process of concluding a policy with a client may take up to five weeks before a policy is issued. The length of this process and the fact that the financial adviser and client are required to have multiple meetings in order to conclude the transaction eats away at the time the financial adviser could use to hunt for new business and service existing clients. And, it eats away at the time spent on the advice process.

Simplified underwriting – the way of the future

Based on a Swiss Re market insights survey* conducted in the individual risk space, insurers highlighted that 23% of respondents indicated that simplified underwriting through a limited underwriting process will be critical to grow business and 29% showed interest in a digital platform based on feedback from financial adviser and clients.

We understand that simplified underwriting makes insurance easier to buy. By reducing the complexity of the underwriting process, one can structure simple products which do not have to absorb the costs of lengthy medical examinations, backed by intensive administration procedures. By doing this, the underwriting process is sped-up.

1Life Vantage – an alternative to long processes

That’s why in 2019 1Life developed a digital solution that could address this timeline issue for financial advisers, namely 1Life Vantage. The response from financial advisers who are using it has been very positive. It saves both the financial adviser and the client time and is simple and user-friendly, complementing the financial advisers existing processes.

But it’s really Vantage’s latest feature that is revolutionising the way in which financial advisers work.

Remote acceptance, the new way forward 

With the advent of the Covid-19 pandemic, and the first lockdown in March 2020, financial advisers were unable to conduct face-to-face meetings. However, they still had enormous pressure from clients. 1Life quickly responded to the changes and within three days we had implemented a new feature on 1Life Vantage – remote acceptance.

With the recent resurge in Covid-19 cases and the indication that the pandemic is going to be with the world for the foreseeable future, we believe that remote acceptance has become one of the most important features in the arsenal of a financial adviser. Social distancing has put a question mark around the safety of one-to-one meetings.

Kobus Wentzel, Executive Head, 1Life Direct Sales and Distribution

How does remote acceptance work and what is it? 

There is no need for physical contact between the client and the financial adviser anymore. The client and financial adviser can now be in different locations interacting via skype, zoom or mobile phone and conduct new business via remote acceptance through OTP functionality. This enables the conclusion of business, while adhering to Covid-19 restrictions and keeping the client and adviser safe.

Once a financial adviser has conducted a meeting online or telephonically with the client, the client will have the opportunity to confirm information provided in compiling a financial needs analyses, the product features, premium payable and the terms and conditions of the 1Life product. Once the client accepts the product, an OTP will be sent to the client and this will be forwarded to the financial adviser for confirmation of acceptance.

Partnership through innovation

1Life is in a unique position, as a truly multi-distribution insurer and one with a long history of innovation, especially in the digital and direct space, where we are able to use our existing technology that has allowed us to win best direct life insurer** for the past ten years and adapt it into our financial adviser space.

And, this is exactly how 1Life Vantage came to be. We simply ask you to shift your perspective, make your life easier and contact us for more information. Let us help you focus on the advice aspects and spend your time more efficiently, while we do the heavy lifting.

*Swiss Re Market Insights 2017: Individual Life market South Africa Jan–Dec 2017
** Swiss Re Individual Risk Market New Business Volume survey