Electronic signatures and insurance brokers – a case study

Sep 24, 2020

This article was written by a real-life insurance broker and demonstrates how e-signature services like Countersign can help you build your insurance brokerage business.

Insurance brokers are beginning to embrace electronic documents and electronic signatures. Along with most other industries, electronic documents’ security and efficiency allow insurance brokers to spend less time maintaining records and more time building business. In today’s workplace, keeping up with these technological advances is a must.

Speed and efficiency

When I began my insurance brokerage, I conducted most of my business by paper. My office had several file cabinets storing client records, the policies of the nearly two dozen insurance companies I contracted with, and various other documents. I used to send any documents needing signatures through the mail.

Recently, I realized an increase in the number of my clients leaving for other brokerages. When asked, these customers said other brokers provided a more convenient method of conducting business, sharing contracts and policies online, and having clients sign the documents electronically. I decided to research moving my documents online.

I found Countersign, an online e-signature service geared toward business needs. I signed up with my email and was able to test the service with 10 free documents.

Countersign allows users to upload documents that need to be signed over and over again. The papers are stored as templates in Countersign’s system. These templates can be edited as needed. As I have several insurance companies I contract with, and many similar documents I send out frequently, I found this very convenient. Instead of keeping several paper copies of the various policies, I can send a copy of the template to my clients. They will receive a email notification with a link to sign the document in Countersign, without having to sign up for Countersign themselves.

Thanks to Countersign, I now save the costs of paper, postage, and ink, and time rummaging through files.

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Legally binding

In the past, I had concerns about whether electronic signatures are legally binding. These concerns were one of the reasons it took me so long to begin transitioning to electronic documents. I soon learned that electronic signatures are legally binding in all 50 states, Europe, and many other countries.

Electronic signatures are binding under the Electronic Signatures in Global and National Commerce Act (E-SIGN Act) and the Uniform Electronic Transaction Act (UETA). As the insurance companies and clients I deal with are located in various states, I do not need to worry about conflicting state electronic signature laws interfering with their ability to do business.

The process

Once the documents are uploaded into Countersign, a template is created. After learning about my clients’ specific needs and risk tolerance, I will connect my clients with the appropriate insurance plan and send the required documents to all interested parties. Countersign makes this process simple. 

First, I will make changes to the template, reflecting the specific circumstances of the transaction. I can add additional signature lines and spaces for names, dates, and initials. I can then send the document to the company or customer. The signor will receive a notification and be taken to Countersign. The signor does not need to install any new software or separate applications; the app works in any browser and mobile! The signor can then add their electronic signature from anywhere at any time with internet access. I may complete the process by also signing, making these documents legally enforceable. Each party will be able to view the signed copies at their leisure on the Countersign web app, and a finalized copy is emailed to their inbox.

Users can send documents to multiple recipients. This feature is useful if, for instance, a copy of a policy needs to go to several individual employees of a client, or if something needs to go to both the client and insurance company at the same time.

Safety and security

Countersign monitors every interaction made with documents on its network. It will keep track of anyone who gets access to the record and notifies users if anyone attempts to change them.

Countersign is very secure. Google manages its secure infrastructure. Countersign’s system is further encrypted, giving it security similar to that enjoyed by a bank.

Further, Countersign uses cloud-based storage. This means that there will always be a backup of documents on the cloud. Most businesses are at risk of suffering some debilitating tragedy, either through a natural or humanmade cause. While buildings can be rebuilt and equipment repurchased, if a room full of paper records goes up in flames, there’s no getting that information back. I will have peace of mind knowing that my documents and records will remain secure no matter what happens to my office.

With these simple changes, I will put my time and resources into other activities. I can spend more time getting to know my clients and building relationships with insurance companies’ representatives. I can also market my services as client-friendly and hassle-free.

If you have an insurance brokerage company, you must switch to electronic documents before the rest of the industry leaves you behind. Countersign provides the tools you need to begin.

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