Paperless Office Technical Support

Nov 23, 2008

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  1. warnerins
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    warnerins Super Genius

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    Our office is a paperless office and all documents are scanned to an online server through our agency management system. At the closing interview we are currently printing applications and clients sign the hard copy. We then scan the documents to a .pdf file and upload the file to the server. pdf files seem to be the smallest documents that we could find so that we are not eating up to much online real estate with each client upload.

    I am trying to see if it is possible to print the applications directly to the .pdf file and have the clients sign them with a signature pad/capture pad and then upload this directly to the server. This would remove the printing and hard copy step completely. We then could allocate the office expense of paper and ink to something more worthwhile. Not to mention the time spent (after the close) scanning the applications to the .pdf format and attaching to the server.

    I am sure questions of legality will arise in this forum. That's ok. In this modern age of (for example) Progressive e-signatures and other carriers moving in that direction. Not to mention computer screens that you can sign a document by touching the screen with your fingers. There has to be a way that the signature pad and software that comes with it can work.....?

    We are looking into Adobe Acrobat products and will try to solicite information from their CSR's and Tech support for the most compatible and cost effective combination of the two technoligies.

    The questions for this forum are:
    1. Has anyone tried this with success?
    2. If so, what products or combination of technologies are being used? Is the .pdf format the smallest document format that could be used?
    3. Anyone know the legalities or E&O exposures?
    4. Or am I just crazy and need to go to the nearest Staples and buy some grey five drawer beauties that make the office look so professional?
     
  2. Newby
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    Newby Guru

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    I used to use a Tablet PC where people would just sign the screen with a stylus. It worked fine except mine was very slow as a PC so I got a different laptop.

    I asked a few carriers if digital sigs were OK and none of them actually knew. But there was no way to tell the difference between ink signed and digitally signed (especially if the app is faxed) so I used it on occasion.


     
    Newby, Nov 24, 2008
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  3. abovocom
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    abovocom New Member

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    To print pdf insurance applications for free, use PDF Creator. Instead of printing to a printer, the software lets you create a pdf file and either save it to disk or email it. I have used it for years and it works great.

    sourceforge [dot] net/projects/pdfcreator/

    A program like Paperport will let you modify and add a signature to a pdf document. A limited copy that came with my Brother multifunction printer works fine for that. Or, you can purchase the full edition

    nuance [dot] com/paperport/

    A pdf may or may not be the smallest document around but with 1tb external hard drives being available for under $200, who cares?

    Lastly, I came across an interesting company that converts applications to digital signature pages. This may have some possibilities for e-signatures.

    echosign [dot] com
     
    abovocom, Nov 24, 2008
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  4. warnerins
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    warnerins Super Genius

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    Thanks Newby,

    See that is the scary part. The carrier doesn't know until there is a claim and law suit-then everybody seems to know the answer. I think will contact the regional reps and get input from them. That is alot of phone calls with 2 dozen carriers. Better to do the research up front. Any other input out there. Thanks in advance.....
     
  5. Newby
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    Yes, they are all very unclear on it.

    Back in 2004 I was at a Forethought convention and they showed all of us (about 600 of their top producing agents) their new digital apps and how they could be used on their tablet PCs and then e-mailed in directly to Forethought.

    When I got back home, I went to Best Buy and bought a Tablet.

    Turned out Foerthought's legal dept did a complete about face on using it and didn't allow it. Some of the other carriers did allow and others didn't.

    But I can promise you, a digital signature (on a good tablet) looks every bit as good a an ink one and if they are faxed in, there is NO way to tell the difference.

    The problem would be that the agent can store the signature and put it anywhere he wants. But if he's going to do that, he will do it on paper apps anyway. A crook is a crook.
     
    Newby, Nov 24, 2008
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  6. saieddie
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    saieddie Guru

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    I'm all for paperless, especially for recordkeeping. On the other hand, I like having the insureds signature on file. I don't mind emailing and doing computer illustrations and proposals. Its a piece of mind thing, having the signed paper app on file.
     
    saieddie, Nov 24, 2008
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  7. warnerins
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    warnerins Super Genius

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    Thanks abovocom for the info. I have downloaded the pdfcreator on all of the systems and laptops in the office and it works fine. I still can't get a handle on how to get a digital signature on the pdf files. Will get it figured out eventually.

    I appreciate the feedback.
     
  8. zakhash
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    zakhash New Member

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    What are the benefits for accepting insurance claim forms digitally. For an insurance company? Would insurance companies accept emails?
     
    zakhash, Dec 29, 2009
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  9. CharityQuotes
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    CharityQuotes Expert

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    This is all pretty easy to do. I will have to research tomorrow to come up with the exact product/software combination however I do know that it can be done easily and affordable.

    As far as uploading PDF documents are going to be the best form to do so. Generally they are the smallest as far as document size and they are going to definitely be the most convenient.
     
  10. chase
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    chase New Member

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    try Docusign. It works great.
     
    chase, Jan 24, 2010
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