The French ACPR (Autorité de Contrôle Prudentiel et de Résolution) has just published two new sanctions a few weeks apart relating to dormant contracts. At Testamento, we have analyzed the key points of these sanctions. Following our communications (on our site as well as on social networks), we have had a lot of feedback from customers with whom we exchange on this subject. One of the key point this time is the ACPR clearly highlighting the crucial importance of the beneficiary clause. This is an opportunity to discuss about this subject with Virgile Delporte, co-founder and CEO of Testamento. We do it through this interview, so here are five questions to Virgile Delporte on beneficiary clause.
[SG] Virgile, is it fair to say that you have become a specialist in the beneficiary clause?
[VD] A specialist, probably a little bit. I hope I have not become a monomaniac of the subject, but it is true that I have been communicating for many years on this subject beneficiary clauses because it is close to my heart. It all started when we launched Testamento at the end of 2013. We then identified the parallel between the online will (which was our first B2C product) and the beneficiary clause. To be quite frank, overall, at the time, no one understood the importance of these two fundamental acts. The general public did not necessarily perceive how essential anticipating was, and professionals were disarmed enough to talk about it serenely, in the absence of support and educational tools.
[SG] Can you go back to the chronology that made Testamento a specialist in the subject?
[VD] As I said, as early as 2013, designing a tool to digitize the drafting of a beneficiary clause was on our roadmap. Three years later, in 2016 , we began our work on the construction of a beneficiary designation tool for insurers’ distribution networks, with the first functional prototypes in 2017. Things then accelerate and in 2018 and 2019, we developed and industrialized a solution in partnership with French major insurers such as MACIF and Malakoff Humanis. From the end of 2019, we integrated Beneficiary (the name of the solution) into life insurance underwriting processes, then into the insured’s website customer areas. In 2020 and 2021, as part of group insurance solutions, we equipped dozens of companies with a specific extranet to designate its beneficiaries in a few minutes, with electronic signature and immediate effect.
[SG] And today? How would you describe Testamento's know-how?
[VD] Today, in mid-2022, our Testamento Beneficiary solution is being deployed on a large scale by French mutuals, insurers and their brokers on life insurance, group and individual pension contracts, and accessible to millions of policyholders in France. In the field of corporate or group insurance, we have two CAC40 member companies that use Beneficiary, and many mid-caps as well. Our solution has clearly gone industrial. We have demonstrated the ability to manage significant peaks of activity and to process large volumes of data. With Beneficiary, in self-care or with an advisor, it only takes about ten minutes to design a beneficiary clause that meets 100% of the wishes of the insured and his/her personal situation. For the insurer, it is the certainty that the clauses produced are all compliant, it is also a proof and excellent traceability via the electronic signature of the customer’s agreement (with date and time).
[SG] How is this Testamento Beneficiary solution received?
[VD] This is one of the strengths of Beneficiary, and one of the key points of a B2B solution like ours: to create use, you need a good acceptance rate. Advisors appreciate it because they become “augmented” advisors with Beneficiary. They have fun and educational digital courses, can approach this question with an expert positioning. Staff in charge of handling the clauses can focus on value-added tasks. They no longer have to reread the documents that come into management: this represents considerable savings in terms of time and increased serenity. Finally, customers are systematically sensitized and supported on this major subject of their lives. They can act in a few minutes and also gain serenity with a better strategy to protect their loved ones. Without going into too much detail we observe completion rates of courses that exceed 80% whether in selfcare or with the intervention of an advisor.
[SG] And concretely, what else does Beneficiary do, apart from digitizing a process?
[VD] Clients appreciate taking back control of their assets, their contract. Insurance is an area that is still perceived as very opaque. Jargon doesn’t help! But with our pedagogical approach, policyholders take ownership of the possibilities offered by our solution. Contrary to a common misconception that the free clause represents only 10% or 15% of cases, we observe that a large majority of clauses are personalized. The standard clause sometimes represents only one clause out of seven or eight! This is largely due to the changes in the lifestyle of couples in our society. Over the past 15 or 20 years, things have changed a lot and the standard clause no longer corresponds to the expectations or situations of the French. Some want to favour their children more than their spouses, others appreciate dismemberment solutions. Beneficiary allows this. Our solution is adapted and not only makes it possible to have, at one moment in time, a clause in pdf format signed electronically, but also and above all to allow, throughout the life of the insured to easily and quickly modify its beneficiary clause. That is probably what is most interesting. I am aware that there is still a long way to go before everyone has a clause adapted to their situation… But with our partners, we are making progress! Count on us to change that, in France and elsewhere.
This interview: Five questions to Virgile Delporte on beneficiary clause, was conducted by Stéphane Girardot, head of marketing Testamento on May 25, 2022.