Electronic Signatures in South Korean Insurance: Enabling Paperless Policies

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29 November 2012


In 2012, South Korea’s insurance industry took the first steps down what promises to be a road to major change. Precipitated by a government announcement allowing electronic signatures on insurance policies and related e-signature guidelines, insurers have rapidly begun to adopt e-signature systems.

In the report, Electronic Signatures in South Korean Insurance: Enabling Paperless Policies,Celent looks at how insurers are responding to the move to allow e-signatures to be legally binding on insurance policies. The report looks at adoption trends and how insurers are looking to take advantage of the e-signature opportunity as well as the anticipated and potential benefits of e-signatures for the industry.

By embracing e-signatures and so-called “smart insurance,” South Korea’s insurers have rapidly taken strides toward becoming increasingly paperless. Insurers that adopted e-signature systems reported the following statistics for the first half of 2012:

  • Monthly increases of 200 to 300% in e-signature policy transaction numbers.
  • As of August 2012, policies signed with e-signatures accounted for 15 to 18% of all policies.

This raises the question: How do South Korean insurers expect to benefit by hopping on the e-signature bandwagon? The primary benefits insurers anticipate are:

  • Heightened efficiency across the entire contract process.
  • Reduced costs.
  • Greater customer satisfaction.
  • Greener IT.

“Beginning with property and casualty insurers and followed by life insurers, companies across the industry are putting in place e-signature systems. However, there are many issues that have to be resolved, including guideline updates and enhancing security,” says KyongSun Kong, an analyst with Celent's Asian Financial Services Group and author of the report.

This report addresses a range of issues needed to facilitate the spread of e-signature use. The report also profiles vendors involved in the adoption of e-signature systems and concludes with a range of proposals for insurers considering adopting such systems in the future.