eSignatures: A Broker's Perspective on Paperless Workflow

Jay Sproule launched Sproule Insurance with a singular focus on customer service through paperless workflow.

eSignatures is one such solution that features prominently in Jay’s brokerage, and CSIO spoke with him to gain insight into how more brokers can benefit from this technology.

Q: Why did you decide to adopt eSignatures?

Jay: It’s a paperless, easier approach to doing business. It was a way to save time, a way for us to create uniformity in how we’re writing new business and to reduce errors.

Paperless

Q: What is your favourite benefit of eSignatures?

Jay: eSignatures is more about creating a seamless digital insurance transaction than simply obtaining a digital signature. It’s about amalgamating various documents, possibly from different sources, and combining them into a client-ready document that can be presented via email or on a tablet for review and signing. The result is no paper or scanning.

“Three, four years ago, I’d have a room full of paper. Now, you walk into my office and you might see 10 sheets.”

Q: What legal research did you perform before adopting eSignatures?

Jay: Fortunately, my office is located in a law firm, so I had the opportunity to get some legal advice very easily! I wanted to look at the enforceability of documents that are signed electronically. We read through the Electronic Transactions Act and the Alberta Statute of Frauds and made sure that I was comfortable that if we were ever sued, that the process that we’ve created would be enforceable. We’ve made sure that our bases are covered.

[In December 2013, CSIO released an eSignatures Advisory Report prepared by Fasken Martineau LLP, serving as a foundational document educating brokers on the legal and regulatory landscape governing eSignatures in Canada.]

CSIO eSignatures

Q: How have clients responded to the technology?

Jay: We receive comments of excitement, comments on the ease of doing business, and a general sense that they are pleased. It’s the entire process of getting a client from start to finish without our office using any paper, which is quite a feat considering we have four major insurance markets and some specialty insurers that all require different documentation, little of which is generated directly from our BMS.

Q: What do you think would encourage more brokers to use eSignatures?

Jay: Showing real-time savings and cost savings per transaction, and indicate the pros of a green business. Tell them about the reduction in administration that’s required to transact a piece of new business and present data that shows the advantages of time stamps and data trails. Creating the paperless process and using eSignatures is less about the client per se, and more about creating a more efficient brokerage.

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