Canada Life adds resources to solve problems with online applications and policy issue

By Alain Thériault | September 22 2014 11:36AM

Canada Life is devoting additional resources to deal with the problems advisors are experiencing with New Business Now, its integrated online insurance application. Launched on July 14, the system has experienced some issues and there have been delays in processing paper applications.In a message sent to advisors on August 8, Canada Life says it is committed to addressing the problems with its New Business Now platform. The insurer recognizes that there have been delays, and has promised to triple the number of staff devoted to dealing with paper applications. The company has subcontracted more underwriters to optimize risk selection, and has also established one support team to answer questions from advisors and another to detect and fix bugs.

Further measures

In its most recent bulletin, Canada Life announced further measures. The insurer has hired additional temporary resources to deal with delays and overtime is on the agenda. The insurer has also trained and re-deployed its own resources from other divisions to lend a hand. What is to blame? The insurer says that its old paper applications are at fault, as they are taking too long to process. Canada Life is therefore encouraging advisors to use its web application or its new paper applications.

“We recognize that advisors have experienced delays related specifically to paper applications. These delays are mainly due to changes and adjustments during the transition period. We expect, however, that they will be temporary. We expect that the processing time will improve as the new system and processes are mastered,” comments Phil Marsillo, senior vice president of individual distribution at Canada Life.

Learning curve

In an interview with The Insurance and Investment Journal, Marsillo explained that the new technological process has resulted in a learning curve for advisors, particularly when it comes to connectivity issues. “We know that some advisors perceive New Business Now as experiencing connectivity problems when in fact it is just a web application safety feature,” says Marsillo.

He mentions that in order to protect the confidentiality of client information, the system automatically disconnects after twenty minutes without user activity. “This practice complies with security standards in the financial services industry,” explains Marsillo. He notes that this safety feature is designed to prevent unauthorized access should the client or advisor forget to quit the application.

The insurer points out that a slow or interrupted internet connection can cause the session to close. Canada Life says information that has already been entered is saved automatically, and advisors can resume where they left off when they reconnect. Using a mobile phone as a wireless connection can also be problematic since signal strength can vary depending on the location. Lastly, Canada Life is asking advisors to make sure their internet browsers are up to date.

Tips for advisors

In its latest bulletin, Canada Life reminds advisors who use the new paper applications to enter their Canada Life RepNet identification numbers into the system. This will allow them to follow the progress of their policies. The insurer recommends they consult the New Business Now guide using Internet browsers that are recognized by the system. Advisors must also enter cheque details correctly, putting in the numbers in the same way they appear, replacing spaces and barcodes with hyphens.

Canada Life is also telling advisers not to delete cross-sell offers they receive from the web application. “If you do, the entire policy, including the life application, will be deleted,” warns the bulletin. Instead, the insurer suggests advisors finish the application, submit it and then ask their new business associates at Canada Life to have them delete the cross-sell portion. Advisors who do not want to cross-sell offers can disable this feature in the system preferences settings.

The insurer also says it has solved a problem in which the policy placing email address was not functioning.

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