Form completion is a necessary task for any annuity advisor looking to submit new business or service an existing account. Firms can facilitate this often tedious process by offering forms in a straightforward and easy to access forms library. Annuity firms can further supplement basic form resources by additionally offering a forms wizarding tool or application submission tool. The ability to bundle and send forms in addition to retrieving them for download is essential. This Annuity Monitor Report analyzes the form resources provided by the 15 advisor sites in our coverage group.
All firms provide the basic ability to download forms from their advisor sites. Organizational methods and accessibility differ across our coverage group, but most firms—87%—provide direct access from a main navigation tab, and 60% from an additional homepage quick link. Firms rank highly for going above and beyond the basics and offering additional methods of retrieval, including the abilities to email, order for mail and create custom form packages. Search options are also key—while the nature of search capabilities varies, 73% of firms provide a search option. The highest-ranking firms in this report are those that go beyond simply allowing advisors to search for and download firms but additionally provide tools for submission and e-signature of new business forms. Given the nature of business practices in 2016 and the increasing importance of online sales support, advisors ought to be able download, email and submit forms entirely online. Firms ought to continue to move forms practices online; making advisors wait for mail order delivery slows sales and adds unnecessary mailing costs.