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eSignature - Agent and Broker Resources

Part 3 of 3 on Electronic Signature in the Independent Agent industry   Updated 8/2022

E-Signatures: Agent & Broker Resources
If you don’t offer prospects and customers e-signature functionality now, you probably will before long. And if you don’t, someone else will. Agents and brokers using e-signatures say it helps them sell more, communicate faster, satisfy efficiency-conscious customers, eliminate unneeded follow-ups, ensure documents are in good order, and reduce E&O problems.
Electronic signature solutions come in a variety of forms—everything from face-to-face stylus or finger-signing on tablets, to click-to-sign functionality where an agent sends a link and instructions to a customer or prospect, who then signs and returns the document.
There are a number of resources to help agents and brokers understand what electronic signatures are and what they offer. ACT prepared an overview article and recently created papers addressing carrier- and vendor-related topics, which supply links to a number of providers.  And a recent Agencies Online video offers insight from Steve Anderson. Each of these and others offer useful information that can help as you move forward.
Making Your Decision:  Here are some things you may want to consider as you compare the various e-signature solutions for deployment in your own agency or brokerage: 
  • Does it offer you options (such as e-mail, secret questions/answers or SMS text code) to authenticate online customers?
  • Is it flexible enough to support how you do business and not require employees to implement unwanted workflow or process changes?
  • Will the solution let you promote your own brand?
  • Does it protect you with electronic proof of everything the customer sees, signs and agrees to online?
  • Will it support agency-specific forms and marketing materials?
  • Can you choose a method of signing that suits your situation and addresses both in-person and remote signing?
  • Does it support any web-enabled mobile device?
  • Is it recommended by actual users, such as those in your agent association, management system user group, or individuals who comment on product review sites like Peer Reviews?
Additional Resources: You may also want to review the checklist Joyce Sigler shared in an e-signatures article in the November 2013 issue of Rough Notes magazine. Also, explore available integrations through your agency management system vendor listed in our previous ACT article and, if you’re a Big “I” member, learn about how its partnership with one vendor might benefit your agency.
One final piece of advice: It may sound obvious, but once you’ve vetted and selected an e-signature solution in your agency, test it internally before you launch it with customers and prospects.

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