More than 5 million employees (only 3.6% of the U.S. workforce) work from home but 56% have a job where they could work from home. * Technologies like video conferencing and internet-based phones have made working outside of a traditional office much easier. When you factor in perks such as zero commute time, comfy clothes, flexible schedules and fewer office distractions… who wouldn’t want to work remotely?
There are some aspects of our industry that don’t lend themselves to doing business online. Some insurance carriers still require wet signatures on applications and delivering old-school paper policies. Carriers aren’t trying to be difficult – some have legal concerns about e-sigs, some have older legacy systems that weren’t built for newer electronic business practices, etc. It’s the nature of doing business with multiple insurance carriers.
Many of the carriers we work with accept electronic documents signed using the DocuSign platform. DocuSign is an industry standard that uses email account ownership/access and public key infrastructure (PKI) for security. PKI is a set of roles, policies, hardware and procedures that maintain the integrity and security of documents signed using the DocuSign platform. The two most important parts of DocuSign’s PKI is their use of Access Codes and Certificates of Completion.
Access Codes are password or passphrases that are manually created by the sender and communicated separately to the signer. The Access Codes can be communicated via email, telephone, etc. but they cannot be communicated via DocuSign envelope. dibroker West typically uses a passphrase that includes something the recipient knows such as their birth year or the last four-digits of their SSN plus their last name (i.e. Smith1972, Johnson1214, etc.).
Think of the Certificate of Completion like an audit trail that accompanies a DocuSign envelope on its journey. Every time a DocuSign document is viewed or signed, DocuSign captures a time/date stamp and IP address (a unique number assigned to every device) to create the audit trail history. If a DocuSign document is edited or tampered with during the signature flow, the Certificate of Completion will show it – thereby nullifying the document.
Learn more about DocuSign here.
Insurance carriers are slowly becoming more flexible with their application processes. Some offer their own online app processing system while others accept electronic signatures from platforms such as DocuSign, Adobe Sign, DocVerify, etc.
Ameritas has their own e-app for processing online applications. The broker must be contracted with Ameritas prior to submitting an application. After the app is received, Ameritas will notify dibroker West to ensure the underwriting process goes smoothly. Ameritas also accepts applications that have been signed using DocuSign, but the application must include an Access Code and a Certificate of Completion.
If you have your own DocuSign account, you can submit applications directly to Ameritas and they’ll notify us once the application is received.
Assurity also has an e-app but it can be a little tricky to figure out. Assurity also requires that the broker is contracted with Assurity prior to submitting applications. Their Drop Ticket TeleApp is a simple one-page app with authorizations that can easily be submitted via DocuSign. Assurity also requires that the Certificate of Completion accompanies the application; an Access Code is not required.
Illinois Mutual has an e-app and they accept most e-signature platforms.
Mutual of Omaha does not currently have their own e-app but they will accept DocuSign with the Certificate of Completion. Mutual of Omaha does not require an Access Code for DocuSign.
Petersen does not currently have their own e-app for the products dibroker West sells. They will accept electronic signatures from most platforms.
Principal also has a proprietary e-app. Currently they allow first time agents to submit apps using their system – but you must enter dibroker West’s information for the Field Office Contact and enter your correct Agent Detail Number/Code. This ensures that dibroker West is kept in the loop. They will accept DocuSign but DocuSign envelopes must use Access Code authentication and provide Certificate of Completion.
Standard has an e-app but only for their IDI product. They will also accept DocuSign, Adobe Sign, DocVerify, OneSpan Sign and RightSignature. You must sign and submit Standard’s Electronics Signature Certification form and agree to some security and documentation requirements prior to using any e-signature platform. Standard also requires their Consent form to be included and signed by the proposed insured with all documents that are electronically signed. dibroker West is approved to send DocuSign applications to a client on broker’s behalf.
Easier to manage, store and share, going paperless has a lot of great benefits. However, many of the disability income insurance carriers we work still do things the old-fashioned way… paper, envelopes and stamps. Whenever possible, dibroker West scans paper communications to create electronic versions for our advisors.
Ameritas issues policies in a PDF format for delivery. They will accept DocuSign for policy delivery, but the envelope must include Access Code authentication and Certificate of Completion. If you don’t have your own DocuSign account, dibroker West can send it out for you.
Assurity only issues printed policies and they currently don’t have a way to issue them electronically. While Assurity accepts DocuSign for some documents, we haven’t received confirmation they will accept DocuSign on delivery.
Illinois Mutual also only issues printed policies with no current process to deliver electronically. They have not accepted e-signature on delivery documents in the past, but we’re hopeful they’ll adopt this platform in the future. We’ll keep you posted!
Mutual of Omaha only issues printed policies and does not have a way to issue them electronically. We’re also waiting for confirmation if they will accept electronic signature on delivery.
Petersen issues policies via PDF along with a link that can be sent to the client to agree to e-sign. All policies are now issued in PDF format for delivery once delivery requirements received. Reminder, it does take 7 to 10 days for policy to be issued upon receipt of signed offer requirements.
Principal issues IDI policies in a PDF format for delivery and they will accept DocuSign. The DocuSign envelope must use Access Code authentication and provide the Certificate of Completion. If you don’t have their own DocuSign account, dibroker West can send these out for you. Please note that Petersen can’t currently deliver business products (i.e. BOE, BUY-SELL, etc.) in a PDF format. Petersen is printing the policies for delivery and emailing dibroker West a copy of the data pages and delivery requirements.
Standard has their own full e-delivery issue system – called DocFast – that allows all delivery actions to be done electronically. Exception is if a policy is Employer paid, the payment must be processed outside of the e-delivery system. The policy can still be delivered electronically, but the payment will be handled separately. Standard also accepts DocuSign, Adobe Sign, DocVerify, OneSpan Sign and RightSignature. Standard also requires their Consent form to be included and signed by the proposed insured with all documents that are electronically signed. dibroker West is approved to send DocuSign applications to a client on broker’s behalf.