Norwich Union delivers life cover in an instant - with launch of online term assurance for IFAs

Article date: 15 February 2002

Norwich Union – the UK’s largest insurer – isthe first life provider to offer IFAs the choice of quoting for andsubmitting term assurance electronically both online and offline.This is the first time that Norwich Union’s online acceptanceservice has been made available and is in addition to the offlinesubmission service Norwich Union already provides.

Research commissioned by Norwich Union into the use of e-commerce by IFAs has thrown-up some interesting facts and figureswith 41% of IFAs believing that it takes between one and threeweeks to process a term assurance application online*.

In actual fact, Norwich Union estimate that, for younger lives,as much as 60% of “clean” term assurance quotes can besubmitted online with a decision returned within seconds** usingits new online term assurance application process – launchedtoday. The whole process including the completion of theapplication form takes as little as fifteen minutes**.

Available from the 18 February 2002, IFAs will be able to accessthis new e-commerce service through the Norwich Union IFA extranetat www.norwich-union.co.uk/ifa and the Exchange. Currently, IFAsprint off an average of 400,000 term quotes a year through theExchange quote platform*** and Norwich Union is hoping tocapitalise on the growing need amongst IFAs to move away frompaper-based procedures and embrace the use of the internet.

Willie Mowatt, head of retirement and propositions from NorwichUnion said: “By offering IFAs the choice of applying for termassurance both on and offline, we are recognising that no singlesolution will meet the needs of all IFAs and that differentsolutions are needed to meet different requirements.

“IFAs are able to choose the functionality that mostclosely fits with their individual needs. For example, the onlineprocess would be more suitable for IFAs who value the importance ofspeed and require fully instant term assurance decisions while theoffline process offers IFAs the capability of populating proposalforms from their fact finds, meaning common data is only keyed inonce. According to our research 65% of IFAs would use an onlineapplication process if applications were processed quicker thanpaper-based applications* so we are expecting lots ofdemand.”

Simple and easy to use, additional benefits of using NorwichUnion e-commerce systems include a faster turnaround and greateraccuracy thanks to the self-checking application forms that ensuresno invalid data is submitted – leading to fewer applicationerrors, returns and administration costs. A new feature of theonline system is the addition of a help function to maximise thenumber of cases getting an immediate online decision. Using theNorwich Union extranet, IFAs will also be able to track theprogress of their protection application in an instant.

For further information visit the Norwich Union website atwww.norwich-union.co.uk/ifa or the Exchange.

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Press office contacts:
James Evans, Norwich Union 08703 66 68 78
Out of hours 07790 487105

Louise Goffee, Norwich Union 08703 66 68 70
Out of hours 07810 057362

Notes to editors

* The research was commissioned by Norwich Union and took placefrom 12 November – 23 November 2001. The research sampleconsisted of 204 telephone interviews amongst IFAs throughout theUK, national, regional and local. Source : Norwich Union
** This is based on current proportions of term assurance (nooptions) business accepted for lives under 40. Source : NorwichUnion.
*** Between May 2001 and January 2002, 302,000 term quotes wereprinted by IFAs using the Exchange quote platform. Therefore theannual projection would be 400,000 printed quotes per year. Source: The Exchange / Norwich Union, January 2001.

Key findings include:

  • 81% of IFAs rate the importance of being able to track theprogress of an application form for a term assurance/mortgageprotection policy as very/quite important
  • 83% of IFAs would be very/quite likely to use an onlineapplication process for a client with a clean medical history
  • 17% of IFAs rate the proportion of returned policydocumentation on which clerical errors are noticed as between 21%and 100%
  • 79% of IFAs feel that it is very/quite important to thecompany’s image that you appear progressive and linked tothe e-commerce revolution
  • Norwich Union is the UK’s largest insurer. It is theUK’s largest provider of life, pensions and investmentproducts and one of the leading IFA providers. IFAs provide around75% of the company’s long-term savings business.
  • Norwich Union has strategic alliances with over 20 buildingsocieties and other leading UK brand names including TescoPersonal Finance and The Royal Bank of Scotland Group.
  • Norwich Union’s news releases are available on thisinternet site
  • A selection of images is available from the CGNU Newscast siteat www.newscast.co.uk
  • An ISDN facility is available for studio quality interviews.Call the press office on 08703 66 68 73

For all life & pensions media enquiries 08703 66 68 73
For all other media enquiries 08703 66 68 68

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