vsHow do insurance product distributors proceed? What is the role of an insurance broker? What added value for the consumer? What provisions are laid down by law regarding this marketing method? What guarantees of reliability are offered to subscribers?
To answer these questions and to better understand this practice, we interviewed the president of Vitaassurance, Mr. BERNOUSSI Brahim, an insurance broker specialized in dematerialized and 100% digitalized sales.
An insurance broker at the forefront of the rules
Until a few years ago, most subscriptions to insurance contracts were mainly done face-to-face with general agents or insurance brokers due to the complexity and diversity of the offers.
An insurance broker is an independent professional who acts as an intermediary between insurance companies and policyholders. Like insurance companies, its activity is subject to the Insurance Act and it has a duty to advise. Its mission is not to sell, but to offer its customers suitable offers at the best prices.
Vitaassurance tells us that “Despite developments in the communication and sales channel, we are committed to complying with the applicable regulations and we show a real desire to advise and support our customers and policyholders”.
Several regulatory requirements in the pre-contractual phase are imposed on professionals in the sector to protect future policyholders. The obligations contained in the information and advice given to the customer before the conclusion of the contract must be respected.
Vitaassurance’s mission is to help customers find the insurance contract that best suits their needs. “Our quality approach revolves around the satisfaction and loyalty of our customers through a local approach, our expertise and our understanding of the challenges of the insurance sector” explains the director of the company. “We are obliged to comply with the applicable regulations in connection with distance sales, in addition, our insurance partners support us in respecting the various stages in connection with telephone searches and signing insurance contracts. Starting with the duty to advise, a legal obligation which appears in the Consumer Code and obligates the insurance company to provide, before signing the contract, a certain amount of information about the essential characteristics of the products that the customer wishes to subscribe to.”
Remember that an insurance contract is an act that commits the customer over time, which makes this duty of advice essential so that the insurance company can advise the customer and offer him the products that are adapted to his needs.
A close and approachable team
Using the insurance comparison, the consumer can fill out a contact request to receive offers for health or other insurance. This is an online tool that displays quotes from insurance companies to present them to internet users. In our case, Vitaassurance has created its comparison site to provide optimal support to its potential customers.
The company, after receiving the form or the request for a comparative estimate, will contact the client to establish his profile, in this case through the duty of advice, an explanation of his needs and will help him choose the coverage that suits him best. “All our in-house advisors are qualified and each an expert in their area of specialization, from personal insurance to non-life insurance, we want to offer all our customers quick and simplified access to information” replies Mr BERNOUSSI from Vitaassurance.
Distance selling does not change the quality of the service in any way, an estimate is sent to the customer electronically, but also by post if necessary, the advisor defines his needs precisely, and if the customer accepts the provisions of the new contract, he will electronically sign his insurance policy in as per the applicable regulations controlled by DGCCRF. This approach is supported by an electronic signature certificate provided by a trusted third party. This certificate guarantees the completeness of the documents and the authentication of the signatory.
“We seek to give our customers the opportunity to pay the right price for offers adapted to their needs. We take the trust our customers have placed in us very seriously and make sure to support them throughout their contract period. We provide them with all our technical and human resources to fulfill our advisory role. We have an on-call service that guarantees quick responses in case of difficulties and emergencies, hospitalization for example with the provision of a toll-free number and teams mainly based in France.”
Mr. Bernoussi adds “Each customer has a single contact person, specialized in the relevant type of insurance. His role is to provide specific and reliable answers to carry out his support mission”.
Management facilitated by digital
Distance selling is still unknown and according to several studies, some are reluctant to use it for their purchases in general and for insurance in particular. “There is significant digitization taking place in the insurance area. For example, each insured person has a membership space with their insurance company, no papers to fill in and send by post, it is possible to make all inquiries via this space. In the same spirit, we have succeeded as an insurance broker to offer a fully digital service, while at the same time ensuring our customers the availability of our employees to follow up on their files”.
Bernoussi continues “Thanks to the proliferation of means of communication, we are easily accessible and interactions with our policyholders are facilitated. We do not limit our service to the conclusion of the contract, we commit ourselves to support our customers and we position ourselves as a privileged interlocutor and representative of the customer with our insurance partners”.
Selling online makes support for subscribers more flexible. All procedures (subscription, forwarding of documents, notification of claims, termination, etc.) can be carried out externally.
The quality of the service offered by Vitaassurance has enabled the company to quintuple the number of contracts concluded over four years; the broker manages more than 12,000 clients on a daily basis. In light of the growing approach, the brokerage firm will also strengthen its teams and offer new products to its clients for the year 2023.