April 2018 – Application Education: Resources for Advisors

Application education is a valuable resource to improve purchasing procedures for advisors, clients and firms. While application methods vary by firm and product, adding online applications and eSignature can reduce not-in-good-order (NIGO) submissions and procurement costs. Publishing informational materials can prepare advisors for possible snags and encourage online submission over slower methods. Even firms without online options should provide instructions for completing suitability requirements. These resources reduce potential frustration and time-consuming calls to the firm, decreasing costs and freeing advisors to focus on meeting customers’ needs rather than addressing errors. This Annuity Monitor Report examines application options and related educational resources available on advisor sites in our coverage group.

Firms in this report vary by type and depth of provided information. Only 60% of coverage group firms offer educational materials, and only 44% of these offer an application overview. More than half of firms (56%) promote streamlined processing through recommendations for in-good-order application submission. Leading firms offer detailed information about suitability requirements and the actual application process, allowing advisors a complete view of the process. Annotated applications and frequently asked questions further stand out as extra help resources. Only one firm in this report offers these, however, leaving significant room for improvement.

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