NU Online News Service, April 12, 3:39 p.m. – GE Financial is one of several life insurers focusing this year on speeding up the life insurance sales process.

The company, a unit of General Electric Capital Corp., Stamford, Conn., recently began marketing the Quick App term life application system for bank and brokerage firm financial advisors who sell life insurance.

The system is more vanilla than plain vanilla: it’s merely an Intranet-based tool that helps an advisor get several different GE Sure Term term life quotes for the same applicant.

GE Financial executives declined to provide sales figures or other volume figures, but Desi Wyatt, a client solutions leader at GE Financial, says he thinks the tool will succeed because of its simplicity.

“It’s quick,” Wyatt says. “There’s no paperwork.”

Once the advisor enters customer information, a GE Financial fulfillment center in Omaha, Neb., takes over the underwriting and sends the advisor an application ready for delivery to the customer.

The application is one of only two pieces of paper that the advisors have to see, Wyatt says.

“The second piece of paper they see is their commission checks,” Wyatt says.

An advisor could get term life quotes from many companies by visiting a Web-based insurance supermarket. But, in the real world, most of the advisors using Quick App are limited to selling term life from three or four insurers, and the financial services companies that have adopted the Quick App system are emphasizing sales of GE coverage, Wyatt says.

When GE Financial was planning the system, “we found we didn’t really need to offer any incentives for using it,” says Sally Deering, a senior product manager at GE Financial.

The advisors themselves were demanding the service, Deering reports.

The MIB Group Inc., Westwood, Mass., and inviva Inc., New York, are two other companies making major efforts to speed up sales turn-around times this spring.

MIB, a nonprofit industry group that collects personal underwriting information, has announced an initiative to offer instant, wireless underwriting.

Inviva is promoting the use of temporary life insurance binders, so that consumers can buy temporary coverage through the Web immediately, while waiting for insurers to review their applications for conventional, fully underwritten life insurance policies.