Beyond just saving trees, e-apps provide a truckload of benefits to you, the agent. Even if you’re a pen and paper kind of guy, using e-apps during AEP season can save you a ton of time.
1. They’re faster to fill out
The actual process of filling out the application is much faster.
From beginning to end, it generally takes about 30 minutes. The only exception is if there’s a long list of medications, but 9 times out of 10, e-apps save you a ton of time.
2. Faster processing time
When you fill out an e-app, you’re skipping a step in the processing cycle. With paper apps, you fill it out by hand and send it off. Then, a person sits down and hand-types your paper application into the system.
By filling out the e-app, you cut out this step completely, which means your processing time will be much, much faster.
With Cigna, the difference is massive. About 30 minutes after you finish the e-app, your client gets a phone call for confirmation. By the end of the day, they get an email that the app has been approved. This would obviously never happen with a paper application.
3. You make less mistakes
While it’s not foolproof, I find that I make less mistakes when using an e-app. If I forget to fill out a section, the system won’t let me go on to the next page.
During the AEP, things can get frantic, and I can rush through apps. Using e-apps can save your behind by making sure an app doesn’t get rejected because you forgot to fill out something.
4. Quicker approval
Not only is the processing time faster, but the approval is as well.
On average, I’ve found that e-apps speed up the entire process by about 10-14 days.
That can make a huge difference, especially for your clients. 10 days could be the difference between them backing out or staying on board.
At the end of the day, every insurance company is getting flooded with business during the AEP season. Things will get backed up, so you have to do the quickest method available to you. E-apps fit the bill.
5. You can pre-qualify clients
Quite possible one of my favorite features of e-apps is the ability to pre-qualify clients. For example, with Cigna, you can pre-qualify a client by going through the health questions on the application.
If you use the Express App in the agent portal, you can choose your Medicare Supplement and click “Qualify Now.”
(Tip: Get the full list of agent portals here.)
Once you click that, the underwriting questions appear, and you can go through them to pre-qualify your clients.
This saves a lot of time as you don’t have to sift through underwriting guides to see if you client is even eligible for coverage.
6. Reach contest goals faster
Many carriers have contests where you get extra points for using an e-app. It saves them work on the backend, and you get rewarded for it.
For example, the Aetna content ending in December 2017 offers an extra $20,000 production credit if you use e-apps 60% of the time. That’s a nice bump.
You can see all the current incentives here.
7. Do multiple apps at once
While there aren’t a ton of carriers on board with this yet, we’re seeing a real push towards one application for multiple products.
Mutual of Omaha offers a 2-in-1 application with a Med Supp and a dental plan. Cigna has the sleekest system at the moment, allowing you to do a Med Supp, Final Expense, and Cancer policy with one application.
It’s as easy as checking a box. The quote immediately appears, and you can also see the grand total for all the products combined.
The other big upside to doing multiple apps at once is that it’s simpler for your client. To them, knowing that their 2 (or 3) insurance policies are with company is just easier to understand.
I've lost sales because the client didn’t want to have insurance policies with multiple companies.
Even if Cigna doesn’t have the best rate for a Med Supp + a Cancer policy, the convenience factor can be a game changer.
8. Keep up with the times
Carriers are slowly but surely shifting from paper applications to e-apps. For example, AIG’s final expense product is e-app only. Mutual of Omaha’s Med Supp is e-app only unless you specifically request a paper application.
It wouldn’t surprise us if most carriers made the switch to e-app only over the next decade or so. It’s less work on their part, we make fewer mistakes, and the process moves along more quickly.
If you aren’t already comfortable with filling out e-apps, we’d challenge you to give it a try. Before long, you might not have a choice!
9. You can sell remotely
E-apps are the solution to selling insurance remotely.
Do your clients live far away? Hold a video conference and use an e-app!
We recently wrote an article on how to sell insurance remotely using a video conferencing system and DocuSign. If you’re serious about reaching more clients, e-apps can help get you there.
Would you like to see an updated video series, or are you comfortable doing it on your own? Please leave your feedback in the comments below.