Insurance provider Aegon Scottish Equitable, has announced that it has made significant changes to its online processing services for its electronic life, critical illness and income protection applications.

As a result of the modifications, advisers can now obtain instant cover for their clients when they submit applications online, whether on standard or non-standard terms. A policy start date can be given up to 30 days after submission.

Following extensive consultation with its distribution customers, Aegon Scottish Equitable has also extended the time period to return a signed protection declaration from 30 days to 60 days. All new cases will have this time limit applied, as well as any cases submitted since April 30, 2007.

Furthermore, Aegon will be including the access to medical reports consent form (AMRA) within the data capture form, which will also be made available for advisers to download from its extranet. This will allow advisers to print the AMRA independently rather than as part of a larger document, helping put the adviser in control of the application process.

Rod McKie, head of individual protection marketing at Aegon, said: We have made these changes to make the whole process of applying for protection quicker and smoother for both our IFA customers and their clients. A policy can now go on-risk immediately – subject to acceptance of course – from the requested start date.

However, an ink signature from the client is still required to complete the form, as policyholders will need to confirm that they have checked their declaration to avoid any issues of non-disclosure, which will protect the adviser and the client. To help speed up this process, Aegon will be highlighting to the client exactly what it needs and the timeframe for returning the signed declaration.