eryone, including insureds from all walks
of life as well as carriers and agents. Let’s
first take a look from the insured’s perspective. Convenience and ease of use are
the first and most obvious benefits. This
means that the policyholder can shop as
soon as his or her pre-paid debit card has
been activated. With paper checks, insureds must deposit the funds at a bank
and then follow banking protocol which
usually requires waiting several days for
Industry averages for paper checks range from
$10 up to $19 per check. Pre-paid cards cost
much less than that.
the check to clear. Add a weekend or holiday into the mix and the waiting period
could be extended to four days or nearly
a week. That is a long wait for someone
who is trying to get her life back together after a loss. In the wake of Hurricane
Irene, agents in the field with laptops
were able to deliver cards directly to insureds and activate them for instant use,
without a trip to the bank.
Pre-paid debit cards are a superior option
for “unbanked” or “underbanked” insured.
These are consumers who don’t have a bank
account or don’t carry enough of a balance
to conduct financial transactions through
traditional banking institutions. The most
common option for these consumers is to
access their funds through a check cashing vendor where exorbitant fees are often
charged, cutting deeply into settlement payments. Pre-paid debit cards are a universal
solution for all types of insured.
Benefits for Carriers and
Many of the benefits of pre-paid debit
cards for the insured also apply to carriers and agents. What could be more
convenient for an agent than arriving
onsite with a stack of cards that can be
loaded and activated for immediate use
by insureds? Carriers realize immediate
savings in direct costs of checks such as
paper, printing and processing fees. Industry averages for paper checks range
from $10 up to $19 per check. Cards cost
much less than that. Cards are more secure than checks, helping reduce accruing costs due to fraud, lost checks, return
checks and check replacement. In addition to these tangible benefits, carriers
benefit from higher levels of customer
satisfaction and increased customer loyalty of insureds who take advantage of all
of the conveniences and rewards cards
have to offer.
Topline benefits for carriers, include:
E Savings of up to 80 percent of the cost of
issuing and reissuing checks.
E Cards are easily reloaded (initial payments, settlement, supplements and recoverable depreciation).
E Unique dual activation on cards replaces co-party checks.