Centrepoint Alliance is encouraging advisers across its network to use tele-underwriting services for insurance applications as a means to improve efficiency.
Speaking to ifa, Centrepoint Alliance's national risk manager, David Spiteri, said advisers are dedicating considerable time to completing risk insurance applications, meaning they have less time to work on other areas of their business, such as sourcing new clients.
"Generally, when you do an application for a client – whether it is [straightforward] or very complex – the average insurance case will take about 10 hours to complete," Mr Spiteri said.
"So, you will have appointment number one, appointment number two, you have your SOA that you have [written], and you have medicals that need to be followed up for clarification.
"If you can use tele-underwriting – you do the short form application and then the tele-underwriting looks after the application and the follow-up of underwriting – you are generally going to save yourself anywhere from two to four hours' worth of work.
"What that does is it gives you a fair bit more time to source your next lead, or your next client."
Mr Spiteri added that as well as improving efficiency within the business, advisers will be able to place responsibility for completing the application with a third party.
"Generally, that third party will record the conversation – so it is not going to be a 'he said, she said' situation in the event of a claim," he said.
"We look at tele-underwriting as extremely efficient in the event of a claim not being paid out. Sure, they are going to be disenchanted with the adviser, but the onus is really with the insurer and the tele-underwriter rather than the client and the adviser."
Mr Spiteri acknowledged, however, that some advisers may feel they are losing control of the advice and application process.
"They may perceive that the tele-underwriter is trying to prompt additional questions and seek out some stuff that an adviser would not normally put on an application which, in turn, may give negative consequences of getting that application through," he said.
"However, you have the new brigade of advisers which use it every day of the week. They see it as efficiency, they see it as the blame game is not between the adviser and the client if there is a dispute; it is between them and the insurer based on what the client has said to the insurer."
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