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Guidelines for Using Digitally Signing Insurance Documents From a Remote Location

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The use of esignature solutions in the banking sector is well known. The banking sector has been one of the leading sectors of the economy to leverage the benefits of digital signatures.

One more such industry is the insurance industry where the use of paperwork is huge and the paper documents are transferred and shared with multiple parties to bring any action into the effect. Insurance brokers and insurance providers try their best to make the process less troublesome, more time-saving, more accurate, and easier. It is the need of time to proceed with any transaction within the least possible time. What can assist this objective better than a digital solution?

The smart insurance brokers have realized that the process can get better and faster if the signing activity gets a bit faster and error-free as it will help to get rid of the strenuous work of scanning multiple documents, and faxing them to the concerned parties for their signature.

eSignature Solution for Insurance has to adhere to the laws and the guidelines mentioned in ESIGN Act, UETA, and eIDAS. Hence, any insurance company who wishes to deploy Insurance Industry eSignature Solutions has to make sure that the solution complies with the law of the land.

Let us understand the guidelines and must-do things to be done by insurers.

ESIGN and UETA Act recognize Electronic Signatures and Electronic Records as valid to fulfill all the legal requirements. These laws are applicable to a range of transactions, be it company to consumer or company to company. Both acts clarify that they need every party’s consent

Transact electronically.

Here are some of the best practices to be followed by the business to adhere to the laws and regulations if it wishes to enjoy eSignature for Insurance:

Guidelines common to Insurers and Producers

1.Begin with a simple product and process. Then build a road map for the perfect/valid esignature, delivery or archival of the document, etc.

2. If the documents are supposed to be delivered electronically, get clarity on how that is needed to be done. One precaution that has to be taken for any edelivery is that the information/records having confidential data of the parties or the contract should never be shared through email. Businesses can share a link to the secured site, through which the parties can access the details.

Make sure you have the consent of the parties with whom you are sharing the data.

If the email gets bounced back, consult the related insurance code before resending or halting the email.

3. For the chosen process and product:

a. Determine the number of and types of forms that need to be signed and shared. These documents can be categorized as follows:

i) A document that does not have to be signed,

ii) a Special Consumer Disclosure which is not required to be signed

iii) a Special Consumer Disclosure which needs to be signed.

iv) a document that is required to be signed,

For these 4 categories:

b. Define if any of the forms need to be re-filed.

c. Choose an appropriate way to get a consumer’s signature and consumer’s consent on the making an electronic form of the signature, receiving Electronic Record, etc.

d. identify every other aspect, process, or document that needs to be gathered and recorded in the Audit Trail for better transparency. e. Decide the way of making the document Tamper-proof.

f. determine how to receive the consumers’ perspective on the process, etc.

4. Before deploying any electronic signature solution ( built in-house or purchased from the third party) make sure the solution is in compliance with the related laws both at the state and national levels.

Specific for Insurers

1. Issue a specific set of rules dedicated to those producers who have or wish to have their esignature or edelivery process.

2. Streamline an accurate way of reviewing and verifying producers’ application for approval of their esignature/delivery processes.

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3. Take the help of experts from across the areas such as design, IT, finance, law, etc to make sure that the solution is perfect in all the areas. Insurers should consider factors like policyholder claims, legal compliance, privacy, and security, before developing a solution.

4. A common set of rules has to be fixed for easy use of solutions by every provider.

There are strict rules developed by the state and the federal government that needs to be followed. Even the person who is buying insurance has to make sure that he/she has received any details closely or remotely related to the insurance and the signature made is used at the right place with the consent.

Conclusion

Laws have been made to regulate the framework of electronic signature since 2000. These laws have been governing insurance practices for years. Adherence to the laws will make you the perfect solution provider and insurer.