New Zealand insurer Pinnacle Life claims to have revolutionized insurance distribution channels with the launch of its website, which allows Kiwis to purchase life insurance with full cover effective immediately.

According to the insurer, this is the world’s first website to offer consumers the option to buy immediate life insurance cover with electronic underwriting.

Pinnacle Life senior partner and architect of the new venture, Ed Saul, said: We’re giving consumers a quicker and easier way to buy life insurance. Instead of submitting an application form and waiting days for a policy to be approved and issued, we do it online and we do it immediately.

The revolutionary website gives consumers complete control over the buying process whilst eliminating the previously obligatory involvement of people and paper. This is a global test case eagerly watched by the insurance industry around the world.

The fully electronic purchasing process takes less than 10 minutes and, by the end, full and immediate cover up to a maximum of A$500,000 is granted without requiring a medical examination, unless specific conditions are noted. Customers will then receive an email containing the policy document.

At present, the service is only available to New Zealanders, although Kiwis in seven other countries are eligible to apply. These include the UK, Ireland, Canada, Australia, Hong Kong, Singapore and the US.