How do electronic signatures make the insurance sector more secure ?
Every sector of the economy has felt the impact of digitisation. As such, the digitisation of contract procedures has become a major issue. There are currently 291 insurance companies, 446 mutual societies and 37 personal protection institutions in France1. The majority of insurance companies have a good understanding of the importance of digital transformation and have thus integrated electronic signatures into their underwriting and after-sales processes. This was a good decision as not only are electronic signatures of equal legal value to handwritten signatures, but they also make commercial procedures much more efficient and significantly reduce administrative costs, thus becoming an indispensable element for the sector. As a certified Trust Service Provider (TSP), in accordance with the European eIDAS regulation, our trusted services comply with all current regulations. It is for this reason in particular that the insurance sector has relied on our electronic signature services for 12 years. In this article we’ll use a number of different usage examples to outline how electronic signatures make contract procedures more secure, which is of benefit to everyone.
The key features of electronic signatures
Electronic signatures in the insurance sector are the culmination of the digitisation of the customer journey. They are a legal cornerstone of online underwriting or contract procedures, and they serve as proof of:
- The integrity of the signed document, guaranteeing both the insurer and the insured party that the content of a contract has not been modified;
- The signatory’s identification, proving that they are indeed who they say they are.
Guarantee the identification of the signatory of a contract
The need for identification evolves according to the level of risk connected to your contract. As such, for health, property or car insurance contracts, considering the limited risk for the insurer that the insured party renounce their signature, it may be sufficient for identification to be declared and authenticated via text message. After all, who would want to contest their signature for car insurance and be left without cover?
As for contracts related to savings however, an insured party may be tempted to refute their signature if their chosen equity doesn’t perform as well as they’d hoped. In this context, the insurer needs a stronger guarantee of the signatory’s identification. A more binding contract like this may present a particular risk to the insurer, or even a systemic risk. As such, obtaining the correct identification documentation from the signatory is an essential part of the underwriting process.
Our advanced electronic signature with a qualified certificate responds to this urgent need for identification. The signatory’s identification will need to be verified in person with an Opérateur d’Enregistrement Délégué (OED) during the signing process. Once this step is completed, a qualified certificate can be delivered to the signatory.
The advanced signature with a qualified certificate is also a simple way to make provident and savings contracts more secure for all parties when it comes to renewing signatures, as the same certificate with the same level of security will be used for each signing.
The first thing you need to do is figure out the level of risk connected to the contract in question. What is the nature of the contract? How about the regulatory constraints? Or the related financial risks? Is there any particular factor that could trigger a major challenge to the contracts? The appropriate signature level will depend on your answers to these questions.
And another factor to take into account is the circumstances of the contract. Is it aimed at prospects or customers? Will it be signed from remotely, in person or through a website? Will the documents need to be co-signed? The specific circumstances of your contract will help to determine the best electronic signature strategy to adopt.
This particular collection of challenges faced by the insurance sector is what electronic signature services need to respond to. And what is key? Providing an optimal customer experience: multi-device, multi-channel, multiple signatories and a smooth signing process.
Are you an insurance professional who is currently undertaking digitisation projects?
Becoming essential for professionals in the insurance sector
Whether it be digitising the underwriting process for supplementary health insurance or contract processes (life or home insurance contracts, etc.), streamlining signing processes or just simplifying administrative processes, our trust services, have been used by many different companies within the insurance sector for several years and are fully compliant with the European eIDAS regulation. Some notable examples include:
The Roederer Group is a French general insurance broker and the largest insurance broker in the Grand Est region of France. The company handles delegated management for more than 20 insurance companies, mutual societies and personal protection institutions.
We helped Roederer to streamline the services their customer journey, particularly the online contract signing stage of the commitment process.
- More than 1,500 policy contracts signed each year.
The SMEREP is one of 10 regional student mutual insurance companies in France, commonly known as “Smers”. Their main activity is managing Centre 617 of the student social security system, offering supplementary health insurance with a focus on protecting the health of students.
Our electronic signature solution is simple and secure and allows students to take out insurance and sign a contract online from the SMEREP website, without interrupting the contract process.
- More than 20,000 policy contracts signed each year.
Thélem Assurances is a mutual insurance group that provides personal and property insurance for professionals and private individuals.
With our help, this insurer developed a cross-channel customer experience and standardised its signature process online, in their offices and via their network of brokers.
UGIPS is a management agency that specialises in group insurance.
We helped them to digitise how they designate beneficiaries for insurance products by integrating all the legal and time constraints connected to this kind of process.