NU Online News Service, August 10, 2004, 10 a.m. EST

RBC Insurance is offering life insurance entirely on line, with no need for physical exams or agents.[@@]

The company, in Greenville, S.C., is a division of the Royal Bank of Canada, Toronto.

RBC says it is offering actual life insurance coverage online, not just a quote, in as little as 15 minutes, compared to up to 8 weeks for most life insurance policies.

Instant approvals are offered to “qualified applicants,” the company says.

The applicant goes to the company Web site, fills out a short application, answers a series of health-related questions, specifies form of payment and signs up electronically. An automated underwriting systems reviews the information and issues or denies the policy, generally within seconds, RBC says.

The market for the policies consists of married couples, young families and others who pressed for time, says Jim Sharkey, vice president of business development for Liberty Life Insurance Company, a U.S. subsidiary of RBC Insurance.

Liberty underwrites the policies, which are available in coverage amounts from $25,000 to $150,000 in 10-, 15- and 20-year term options, at simplified issue rates.

Purchasers have 31 days to cancel for any reason to receive a refund.

They can also go back on line to review their policy and beneficiaries or payment method.

The Web site for applicants is http://www.rbcexpressterm.com