Michal Spiar, Broker Relations & Communications Specialist | Manitoba Insurance Broker, Winter 2016
Consumers may have been slow to switch to electronic correspondence, but behaviour is now shifting in the opposite direction. In fact, consumers now increasingly view electronic communications as a baseline service offering. For proof, look no further than Canada Post’s epost™ electronic mailbox service. Over 9 million Canadian now have a free account with epost, using it to manage and consolidate income statements, utility bills, property tax and bank statements in one place.
To support the broker channel in meeting consumer expectations for paperless communications, CSIO introduced eDelivery solution in 2015. It builds upon our industry’s adoption of the eDocs data standard, creating a secure connection between CSIOnet and epost to deliver policy documents directly to insureds.
The P&C industry is already familiar with eDocs – it enables electronic transfer of policy documents from insurers to a broker’s BMS through CSIOnet, reducing the cost and effort of printing, mailing, sorting, scanning, filing and destroying paper documents. Since eDocs debuted in 2012, broker use has soared to 80% for personal lines, and its expansion into commercial lines is well underway. Extending that paperless workflow to the personal insurance customer with eDelivery is a natural next step.
Entrepreneur Magazine says it costs $25,000 to fill a four-drawer filing cabinet holding 15-20,000 files, and another $2,000/year to maintain it, not to mention the cost of traditional snail mail. Postage costs are constantly rising and in January 2016, the bulk rate for domestic letter mail (30 grams or less) rose to 90 cents.
Using eDelivery, members sending policy documents by mail will be able to offer e-document delivery to customers registered with epost, providing superior customer service and reducing the costs of postage and manual processing. Also, CSIO negotiated favourable group pricing with epost for the broker channel. And, mailer volume among CSIO members is tracked collectively, producing more savings as industry adoption grows.
epost’s bank-grade security and privacy technology, called “the Vault”, supports and enhances compliance with PIPEDA as well. Along with the legal benefit to brokers, all customer data stored in epost resides in Canada and is not subject to foreign privacy laws.
Additionally, when members implement eDelivery, they do so under the guidelines of the CSIO Certification program. With certification, members ensure that their use of eDelivery conforms to industry best practices.
Who Implements eDelivery?
In any broker-insurer relationship, only one party needs to implement eDelivery – the one who assumes the cost and responsibility of mailing policy documents to the insured. The strength of eDelivery, however, is that it transforms the consumer’s experience and perception of broker and insurer alike, generating goodwill and loyalty towards both parties.
At the time of this writing, Northbridge Insurance and Peace Hills Insurance have implemented eDelivery and achieved CSIO Certification, and more members have added this solution to their IT roadmap for 2016 and 2017. Visit www.csio.com/certified-solutions for more information.
Customer and Environmental Benefits
Paper clutter is annoying – trashcans fill up quickly, and it can be cumbersome to store and retrieve paper documents. With an online account such as epost, customers can retrieve their document history at the click of a button. Leveraging epost, customers will have one digital mailbox and conveniently receive all their policy documents in one location.
Furthermore, as door-to-door mail has been reduced across Canada, eDelivery means one less document insurance customers must retrieve from their physical mailbox, a particular benefit for those customers with a community box. epost is also more secure than a home paper filing system, safely protecting all data while simultaneously blocking spam, ads and junk mail.
And, epost is free to the consumer, increasing the convenience of managing financial documentation over paper at no additional cost.
Many firms set a goal of being ‘carbon neutral,’ reducing the overall carbon emissions generated from their business. The greenhouse gas emissions generated by printing are significant (9% of total carbon dioxide emissions), plus the fuel that’s required to transport mail.
Thus, eDelivery can be part of an eco-friendly marketing initiative, positioning the broker channel as an environmentally sensitive insurance option to the 46% of customers who are inclined to patronize ‘green’ businesses.
eDelivery, Auto Insurance and eSlips
Most provinces without a government auto insurance program require insurers to mail a paper ‘pink slip’ as proof of auto insurance. Thus, even with eDelivery, our industry can’t completely eliminate the need for printing and mailing. CSIO has advocated for approval of electronic proof of auto insurance, or eSlips (www.csio.com/eslips), and the Canadian Council of Insurance Regulators (CCIR) has announced it will implement eSlips in the first half of 2017.
For more about eDelivery, and to use the eDelivery Savings Calculator to determine the ROI of adopting this solution, visit www.csio.com/edelivery.