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Platform promises to drive productivity

The developers of a new  online insurance application platform say it should help drive adviser productivity and cut down underwriting time.

Friday, November 11th 2016, 6:00AM

by Susan Edmunds

The Konnect Net e-app is now being used by three insurers: Asteron Life, MAS and Co-Op. Another insurer is trialling the system at present.

It can be accessed via a web browser on PC or mobile devices and displays insurers’ application forms as electronic smart forms.

It delivers applications as PDFs, branded with an adviser’s business logos.

Chief executive Michael Weiss said it should lead to quicker turnaround times, higher conversion rates, reduced re-work and double handling of files.

There are about 100 independent advisers using the e-app at present.

He said, for insurers, the e-app was quick and easy to implement and use. Insurers would not have to put up the same capital investment in using Konnect Net’s app as they would in developing their own.

“A lot build their own or buy off the shelf but our model is pay-as-you-go,” he said.

There is an implementation cost as the system is set up with the correct configuration of forms and then transaction fees.

But he said it worked out more cost effective for insurers.

He said he had initially though that the window for e-apps has closed but he was discovering that many were still having problems developing a system that worked.

Some had built their own but struggled to get enough uptake. Others had introduced things such as editable PDFs or smart paper with pens that record what is written.
But he said often they suffered because they could not get the payback on the initial investment made in application technology.  “Most of the time New Zealand insurance companies don’t have the capital to throw around.”

For advisers, it was designed to be as flexible as possible from a sales point of view, he said. “We find advisers’ processes are as numerous as there are advisers. They don’t like to be locked down to distinct processes.”

Advisers can fill out the forms using the app themselves, or ask a client to do it. It can be done remotely or in a client meeting. The platform is integrated to XPlan, which allows advisers to drop from needs analysis straight through to the application with no login required, and some of the data prepopulated.

Weiss said it should become a familiar tool that would help speed up adviser sales processes to make them more efficient. “We’re definitely not doing generic application forms. One of the key features is the ability to quickly and easily configure [the app].

“We want to drive sales in this country and this is a way to make advisers more productive and get much more done in a day.”

Online applications would help deal with the problem of incomplete or inaccurate application forms being submitted, he said.  The app could also tap into Konnect Net’s SureMed databases to verify details such as the names and addresses of GPs.

Tags: technology

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