Interviewed by Angus MacCaull

Last year, the Centre for the Study of Insurance Operations recognized AA Munro as a Technology LeaderThe final step in our journey toward this achievement was our adoption of eSignatures.

I talked recently with our Online TeAAM Manager, Val Guilbault, about using this new digital tool.

INTERVIEWER

How did we start using eSignatures?

GUILBAULT

We started with the online team. From there we had a few more brokers, they saw that we were using it and thought, ”Oh wow. That would be nice to have.”

INTERVIEWER

Why was the online team interested?

GUILBAULT

It was the ease of doing business. We had customers who would have to go, for example, to a Staples to actually print off an application, sign it, and then scan it so they could send it back. Right? It’s just the ease of doing business for the customer. It really is. And when we get it back, we don’t have to print it off to put our broker’s signature on it either. Now we have a really clear digital copy that we can send to our companies.

INTERVIEW

What about trust? Are there any cases where customers are calling and saying, “Hey, is this valid? Is it real?”

GUILBAULT

No. We haven’t had that issue, because we’ve always explained to customers how they are going to be receiving it, and what they need to do when they get it. If we sent something like this out of the blue, without them being aware of it, I mean, I myself, if I received something like that, I’d probably ignore it or delete it.

INTERVIEWER

Right.

GUILBAULT

Because there’s so much spam going around. But we’ve advised them that it’s coming, who it’s coming from, and that it’s going to be an invite. So, they’re expecting it, and they know what to do when they get it.

INTERVIEWER

It makes me think of how in so many cases digital tools can simplify communication and workflows, but the tools don’t actually do the work, or make the message clear for us. We still need to be there. It’s about working with technology.

GUILBAULT

It’s not replacing us, that’s for sure. And it’s not just applications that we get signed. I mean, there are cancellation requests, if somebody needs to cancel their policy, well we can send them that. We can also send them a payment plan form, if they want to change their payment plan throughout the year.

INTERVIEWER

Have you used similar eSignatures yourself, in your personal life?

GUILBAULT

Yes. When I was doing a real estate transaction actually. And this was a couple of years ago. It was very similar. They sent me the document, and basically I received it on my phone. You just have to press a button, and it takes you to where you need to sign. You sign it off, and you send it back. The only thing that I find with the software, is I can see people who are receiving the form, are perhaps not really reading what they’re signing.

INTERVIEWER

Yes. That’s a classic problem with software platforms.

GUILBAULT

Exactly. Before sending the application to our customers, we need to make sure we’re having the conversation of what kind of contract they’re signing, what coverages they’re going to be getting. Just like we do face to face.

Val sits at a dinner table with balloons celebrating New Years
Val celebrating New Years at Salty’s on the waterfront in Halifax