Insurers will widely adopt e-signatures
Using e-signatures, which are widely adopted in America using solutions like DocuSign, customers can securely sign off a document electronically on computers or mobile devices such as tablets and smartphones.
Currently LV= is one of few UK insurers using e-signatures, but Williams reckoned the rest of the market will eventually catch up with the US, where more than 70% of providers use e-signatures.
He said: “Once the early movers prove the benefits of using e-signatures the rest of the market will follow like dominoes.
“Trust is a big issue but it really doesn’t need to be. If you explain to people how they work they will use them. The Americans have been doing so for seven or eight years.
“When I first saw them a couple of years ago I thought using them is an absolute no brainer for our industry and they will become a hygiene factor in a few years’ time.”
Until recently a major stumbling block was the lack of support from the British Medical Association (BMA), but Williams said this will now change.
He said: “The objection was the BMA weren’t supportive of using these signatures, but I’ve been working with the Association of British Insurers and a number of others to address this problem and the BMA will give the green light with their approval.”
He explained be benefits of using e-signatures in layman’s terms. “It takes £4 to send a piece of paper backwards and forwards but an e-signature will do the same thing instantly,” he added. “It can take two weeks out of the process.”
In the USA the Inland Revenue Service uses e-signatures, while Barclays and Vodafone also adopt them.
Williams said: “The frustration is we’ve got great stuff out there but the insurers have been slow to adopt it.
“We’ve got servers in the UK and servers in Europe so there are no data protection issues.
“The barriers are in thought process rather than anything physical.”