New research finds strong appeal among variable annuity and variable universal life policy holders for electronic delivery of prospectuses and related compliance documents.

NewRiver Inc., Andover, Mass., commissioned a survey of policyholders and found that more than half of respondents who were not offered electronic delivery of documents and prospectuses would said they would choose electronic delivery if it were available.

While participants were split in their assessments about how their VA and VUL providers were promoting e-delivery, only 26% recalled being notified about the option.

New River says 29% of the VA/VUL owners reported that they read the hard copy prospectuses and other documents they receive, but that only 6% claim to read these documents from cover to cover.

Asked what was preventing them from using e-delivery, 59% of the respondents said it was due to the difficulty in reading compliance documents online.

“This is a call to action for the insurance industry,” says NewRiver Chief Executive Officer Russell Planitzer. “There has long been a misconception within the insurance sector that due to its older customer demographics there isn’t a high level of interest in electronic delivery or that reading and accessing documents online is difficult. The research dispels this myth.”

New rules that permit VA and VUL companies to use summary prospectuses should make online documents easier to read and increase their popularity, Planitzer says.