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Easy instructions to get docs from your hands to ours, with just a phone in between.
Published December 18, 2018
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Many insurance companies have embraced the electronic signature, but some companies still require a wet signature — pen on paper instead of pixel on pixel.
While that means you may have to track down a printer (or wait for the mail) to get your documents, you can still submit your signed contract back to your broker via digital scan, using a scanner or an app on your phone.
The catch is that life insurance documents are legal contracts, and taking a grainy picture just won’t cut it. But your phone likely has the capability to take and send a scan of your paperwork. If not, we can recommend an app that will do it, too.
Three things to check before you scan:
1. Make sure you’ve signed the documents
And don’t forget to date everywhere you need to, as well.
2. Date and initial errors
If you mess up and need to scratch something out, that’s okay — but you need to make sure you date and initial each error. If you don’t, your contract will be returned.
3. Lay it out
Find a flat, well-lit surface and smooth your documents out so that you can take the best scans of them. A table is good, the floor works — but heads up that a white counter may not work ( scanning apps need contrast between the paper and the background).
And remember: These are legal documents, so shadows, fingers, and cat paws (really) don’t belong in the scan.
If you have a newer Android or iPhone, you probably have an app pre-installed on your phone that you can take scans with (see below). For the rest of us, there are plenty of free apps available to make scanning easier. You can use any of these apps, but one that we recommend is Scanbot, for its interface and ease of use.
If you’re an Android user, you likely already have the Google Drive app installed. Here’s how to use it to take scans:
Newer iPhone models (iOS 11 and above) have scanning capabilities built into the Notes app. Here’s how it works:
Just to repeat. You can send your life insurance policy documents to Policygenius the following ways:
Logan Sachon is the co-founder of The Billfold, a groundbreaking personal finance site for millennials that was named one of Time's 25 Best Blogs of 2012. Her work has been published in New York Magazine, Glamour, The Guardian, BuzzFeed and more.