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Canada Protection Plan offers advisors digital assistants

By Aurélia Morvan | June 12 2019 11:30AM

Michael Aziz

Canada Protection Plan recently launched technological solutions designed to help advisors sell insurance policies.

Canada Protection Plan, an MGA that specializes in life insurance with no medical exam and simplified issue, is banking on artificial intelligence.

Clients guided by Emilie and Alexa

In partnership with the firm Thinktum, the company has developed Emilie, a virtual agent. Accessed from the insurer’s website, this chatbot asks questions, and the advisor or client answers. Emilie then determines the best coverage based on the client’s profile, and calculates the premium amount.

The insurer also lets advisors and clients chat with Alexa, Amazon’s voice-activated virtual assistant. It works the same way as Emilie, except that instead of using a keyboard, the person interacts with the application by talking.

The two virtual agents are there “to support advisors during the sales process,” says Michael Aziz, Chief Distribution Officer at Canada Protection Plan.

Clients who use Emilie or Alexa need to deal with an advisor if they want to carry out a transaction following the conversation.

Selling via a digital assistant

The second digital solution implemented by Canada Protection Plan is the Advisor Assist Program (AAP). This tool enables advisors to complete a sale without having to meet with the client in person. Unlike the chatbot, the AAP “lets clients complete an insurance application,” Aziz explains.

The advisor first sends the client a digital link. After clicking on it, the client is invited to answer three questions that will let the machine determine the most appropriate product. The client then completes the application produced by the tool, and can ask Emilie or Alexa any questions along the way.

Completed applications are then emailed to the advisors, who fill in their part, and finalize the sale. “The advisors are still involved,” Michael Aziz explains.

Launch delayed in Québec

For sales concluded via the AAP, clients’ financial needs are analyzed online, depending on the clients’ preference. “The tool lets clients get around this step. We encourage them to do this analysis but if they say they are sure they do not want to do it, they can go straight to the application,” Aziz says.

Quebec regulator, the Autorité des marchés financiers, recently introduced the Regulation respecting Alternative Distribution Methods, which governs the sale of insurance products online and direct distribution as of June 13. This regulation stipulates the obligation to analyze the client’s financial needs before concluding an online sale.

Following the publication of the regulation on May 15, Canada Protection Plan had to make changes to ensure the compliance of its Advisor Assist Program (AAP). As a result, the tool will be launched in Quebec only in July, Aziz says. It has been available elsewhere in Canada since May 29.

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