While car insurance sales on the internet should boom, buyers of life insurance products are less li...
While car insurance sales on the internet should boom, buyers of life insurance products are less likely to shift from their current agent relationships, according to Legal & General
Speaking at an L&G sponsored debate on e-commerce last week, the group outlined the benefits and possible problems with the Government's plans contained within the e-commerce bill
Neeta Patel, new media director at L&G, said: "Insurance services, including auto, home, travel and medical, are likely to increase but life insurance sales will not be purchased online until changes in UK regulations are made
"Interactive services need to be further developed, allowing the purchase of policies in addition to making changes to existing policies
The bill is aiming to allow the use of digital signatures and to promote internet technology generally
The use of electronic services would be particularly beneficial to the financial services industry, which would be able to carry out more transactions online if electronic signatures were acceptable
One of the major hurdles the Government will have to get past is instilling the public with the confidence of transacting via the web. Another is that secondary legislation, such as the Companies Act and Trading Schemes Act, will have to be amended to allow for electronic signatures
Stephen de Souza, of the communications and information industries directorate at the DTI, said: "The Government aims to have 25% of Government services available electronically by 2002 and 100% by 2008
Patel said: "We are broadly supportive of the bill but we do have some concerns about the speed of change of associated legislation, the understanding of the issues by regulators and whether or not the timescales are realistic
Other criticism surrounding the bill included the exclusion of liability of service providers, consumer and content protection provisions and the lack of regulation surrounding unsolicited e-mail
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