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ATMs & Insurance

One of the big news items earlier this year was the refusal of the Supreme Court to hear an appeal by the insurance industry, which was trying to block financial institutions from selling insurance.

In over half the states, you can now purchase life, health, automobile, and other insurance products through your bank. This marketing can be accomplished through storefront agencies, telemarketing, or through direct mail in all but 20 states (which prohibit such sales by financial institutions).Even after this victory by the banking industry, we still have some catching up to do to equal the sale of insurance by banks in the United Kingdom.

In Britain there is a service called TouchBank, which is an automated teller machine (ATM) that sells insurance. It operates much like a regular ATM, but has a touch sensitive screen. You can choose what kind of insurance you want (including household and travel insurance) and it provides details and quotations, and then prints out policy documents confirming immediate coverage if you choose to buy. TouchBank can also provide mortgage rate quotations with repayment examples, handle transfers between a depositor's accounts, and order foreign currency and travelers checks which are then delivered by mail to the customer.

And we thought we were way ahead in technology because you can buy postage stamps at our ATMs!

Copyright © 1992 Bankers' Hotline. Originally appeared in Bankers' Hotline, Vol. 2, No. 12, 3/92

First published on 03/01/1992

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