July 2, 2018
Time for E-Signatures, Doc Management
by Jesse Wood
Used separately, e-signature and document management systems are ineffective. But their interplay makes dealing with regulatory changes simple.
If you want to know why insurance companies need electronic signatures and document management, you must first look at the regulatory landscape.
In the past 10 years, this climate has changed considerably, and most insurance companies are struggling to do one of two things to handle these changes: 1) make internal policies to comply with these changes without sacrificing profitability; and 2) find creative ways to outpace competitors looking for the same solutions to these problems.
Neither is an easy feat.
The National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC) has even devoted a large portion of its industry report to addressing one of the myriad ways insurance companies are striving to transcend regulatory difficulties—through the efficiency of the internet.
This is a major reason why insurance companies need both electronic signatures and document management. Used separately, they are ineffective at delivering that the solutions insurance companies need. Together, their interplay makes navigating regulatory changes easy, especially those administered and upheld by the Federal Insurance Office (FIO) and NAIC.
Understanding E-Commerce and Insurance Sales Problems
Most states in the U.S. require those applying for insurance services over the internet to complete an electronic signature, whether it is used as a standalone technology or integrates with document management technologies. Although the approach may seem like common sense, its advent does away with the use of a witness or notary and brings into question the legitimacy of signatures.
Despite digital signatures being more efficient (after all, if e-signatures existed in 1776, all 56 U.S. delegates could’ve signed the document on the day our nation was founded; instead, it took roughly a month to collect all the signatures), they require additional authentications. This can be automated by document management tools.
Legitimizing Electronic Insurance Applications
ACORD, the Association for Cooperative Operations Research and Development, achieved this automation by making digital forms available on its domain. Application of electronic signature technology situated in document management solutions just needs to be applied during the final stages of the process.
Why the Need Is Paramount
Above all else, these are the features that create an effective interplay between document management technologies and electronic signatures.
Inclusion of a KBA challenge question helps authenticate the digital signature process. This ensures that the party attempting to sign a document is who he or she says he or she is.
IP Address Verification
IP address verification is an extra layer that can bolster the legitimacy of a signed document if a legal dispute over its authenticity ever arises.
Form Fill Automation
There are new and exciting ways to automate the form fill process for recurring client-based and document related processes. Zonal OCR makes this possible, eliminating manual processes and reducing document workload to a bare minimum.
See also: E-Signatures: an Easy Tech Win
Bar Code Authentication
Although a bar code authentication in an electronic signature should never be a standalone backup, it does add a layer of legitimacy. A bar code is a stamp of individuality that reveals its purpose and origins quite clearly.
Ensuring Data in Documents is Unaltered
It becomes obvious that electronic signatures are more useful if applied through document management technologies, as these technologies ensure documentation is not altered.
What’s more, the role-based user permissions of a document management system can trace who changed what within a system, ensuring that those who alter data without authorization can be held accountable for their actions.