The underwriting outsource service is offering live chat to supplement existing online applications and an integrated online and tele-interview application process – so consumers can choose how they want to transact, switching between online and over the phone.

It is including a callback functionality to supplement online applications when consumers get stuck.

MorganAsh noted that, over the last ten years, traditional underwriting has been replaced with tele-interviewing and online applications have far greater volumes. 

However, online processes are being completed by IFAs inputting into the online system or, in the D2C world, they are being completed offline by someone speaking with the consumer.

Andrew Gething, managing director of MorganAsh, said: “Most online D2C offerings are actually carried out offline by somebody else. The conversion rate is appalling, something around 2.5%. These systems are sold as self-service but they are not, as the system is too complex. To improve things, to make things easier, talk to people.”

MorganAsh has also begun to explore the concept of personal underwriting as part of the sales process. It noted every consumer currently undergoes the same process and processes are fixed to the product.

It added that, by integrating the initial underwriting process, the application process can inform the consumer of the process and give them options on how they would want to proceed, depending on their preferences for the lowest price or the quickest transaction.

Gething explained: “Underwriting is very personalised, so why not bring it forward as a personalised assessment for product choice. We need to bring the underwriting and sales processes together.”

He added that, by giving guidance on pricing early on in the process, consumer expectations can be managed without the present leap from ‘standard’ to ‘rated’.

Equally, underwriting costs can be targeted in line with the likelihood of completion, rather than for every case regardless of their intention to purchase.

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