Most advisers expect tele-interviewing to form a part of all protection sales in the future, an IFAonline poll suggests.
Of the 300 respondents, 53% said they believed tele-interviewing will be the undisputed king of the protection underwriting process, despite concerns surrounding non-disclosure and wet signatures.
A total of 25% said they were unsure if tele-interviewing would be a part of all protection sales in the future, while 22% said they thought other methods would supersede it.
The poll was sparked by an AXA report last year which suggested consumers are five times more likely not to disclose important medical and lifestyle information on paper applications than tele-underwritten forms.
The provider analysed data from more than 9,500 applications for protection products throughout 2007 and found non-disclosure that could potentially lead to a claim being declined with 5.78% of paper applications.
This compared to 3.48% for electronic applications and 1.23% for tele-underwriting applications.
Mike Taylor, chief underwriter for AXA, said: “Non-disclosure is a huge issue for the protection industry and anything we can do to reduce it can only be a benefit to both consumers and advisers, who can then have faith that protection products will pay out.
“We believe that tele-underwriting can increase confidence within the industry, and this is reinforced by our own claims record, with no major benefits declined on tele-underwritten cover.”
However, the issue of tele-underwriting is not without its critics, particularly surrounding the issue of wet signatures.
Some firms argue it is vital the customer personally signs off the application to prevent further dispute over a claim, but others say there is no need for a wet signature if firms have efficient audit trails.
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