E*Trade enters online insurance arena

E*Trade enters online insurance arena

E*Trade is to offer customers instant term life insurance, through a partnership with life and annuity holding company, inviva.

The product launch forms part of E*Trade's broader strategy to develop a complete insurance centre for its new and existing customers, providing them with a wide range of insurance product offerings, tools, and content including those related to auto, homeowners, renters, mortgage and credit insurance, as well as annuities.

Mitchell Caplan, chief financial products officer and managing director, North America, E*Trade Group, says the move marks the beginning of a new era for E*Trade. "Analysts estimate that online term life insurance premiums will grow to $410 million by 2004," he says.

The new instant term life insurance product will be offered and managed through a completely electronic platform with both online and human support. After inputting their electronic signature, setting up payment and scheduling a medical exam, customers receive a 90-day binding quote based on their application responses. During the three-month period of the binding policy, the customer's insurability at the quoted price and rate class will be confirmed. Upon underwriting completion, including a medical exam, coverage is extended for the entire 10 or 20-year term. In addition, customers will be able to access and maintain their policies online.

E*Trade expects to roll out the product to customers in the first quarter of 2002.

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