Canadian Underwriter

Q&A: Business Continuity in the Digital Age

May 21, 2020   by David Gambrill

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Electronic signatures, also known as “eSignatures,” are basically the digital equivalent of handwritten signatures.

Quite a few eSignature options are available to brokers and their clients. Some wonder if a universal standard may apply.

We raised the issue recently with Steve Whitelaw, vice president of broker and industry partnerships at Applied, shortly after airing the first episode of our webinar series in mid-April, COVID-19: Business Continuity in the Digital Age. Our webinars examine how the pandemic has affected Canada’s property and casualty insurance industry. Steve answered a question from the webinar audience on the topic of eSignatures.

Q&A with Steve Whitelaw (Mar. 21, 2020)

Q: A question on digital signatures.  Contactless payment in Canada has been successful because of one unified network (Interac); other methods piggybacked on that. What is the standard that will be used for digital signatures to make it frictionless for the policyholder? Adobe? Docusign? Signnow?

A: Paperless, secure and convenient, electronic signatures enable customers to sign documents electronically on computers and mobile devices in a single step. As remote working makes the print-sign-scan process more challenging, brokers are looking to eSignature solutions for fast, secure, verifiable transactions. A number of solutions are available to brokers.

The Centre for Study of Insurance Operations (CSIO) eSignature resources are an excellent first step for brokers who are investigating a solution that best fits their organizational needs. Applied partners with a number of eSignature providers to enable brokerages to get contracts, applications, internal documents, and other types of documents filled out and signed with easily, legally-binding e-signatures.


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