This author believes that the shorter the structured settlement sales cycle the more happy your customer will be.
One thing that I have observed that needlessly extends the sales cycle is delivery of structured annuity contracts to settlement agents, brokers or consultants after contract issue. After what for some companies is a multi month process even after all documents are in, some companies will only send the documents to one broker.
This practice occurs even if there are multiple brokers on the case. The "jilted broker" has to wait until the "mailed to broker" has the time or places a priority on getting the documents to the"jilted broker". I have personally experienced a situation where the "mailed to broker" sat on the annuity contract for a month and then, when I finally received them, they contained an error. This required my contacting the annuity carrier and another needlessly significant delay.
My solution to the problem was to include specific instructions in the split agreement/co-brokerage agreements (submitted to the annuity carrier) which detail the number of originals and copies of the closing documents (annuity contract and fully executed qualified assignment) to be delivered to each broker and the consent of both brokers to this arrangement. For certain carriers this has worked well; for others not. The process needs to be standardized.
It seems to me that it's in all parties' best interest to get the annuity contract in the hands of the their client as quickly as possible from the "all documents are in" date. In my opinion policy issue cycles need to be shortened and annuity issuers need to abide by agreements to split the policy delivery. Favorable branding and goodwill outweigh a minor administrative savings.
Several companies are apparently exploring the possibility of electronic delivery of the annuity contracts as a solution. This would be welcome as long as the standard "wrapping" is easily available for supply to agents. A few years ago I questioned one of the carriers for effectively "saran wrapping" their contacts, even those in which millions of dollars were placed. It took a while but generally, the structured annuity packaging today is pretty good. I'm not saying we need a blue Tiffany type bag, but we do not need to move back in THAT direction. There is a reason why you can go into McDonalds anywhere in the US, where there is consistent packaging even though a store may be owned by a different franchisee.