From manual forms and paper clips to the invention of the computer, the way claims are handled has certainly transformed.
While it’s fair to say the evolution of technology in the insurance industry has not always been smooth, customer experience and better utilisation of data are front of mind.
Cloud-based operating systems
Gone are the days when systems would be taken down at lunchtime at the end of the month so that ‘reconciliation’ could occur. Imagine the amount of lost productivity; not to mention inconvenience. New cloud-based operating systems are generally faster, more user friendly, secure, and can be easily updated to reflect available enhancements.
Drones and virtual technology (VR)
The initial roll out and adoption of drones and VR may have been slow moving at first, but the pandemic has pushed these innovations forward. Think back to the period of lockdowns, where in-person site attendance became a challenge. The ability to remotely connect using smart phones generated significant savings in terms of time and costs. Enhanced video technology now makes it possible to create a full digital copy of a property accessible to the claims handler from their desk — allowing them to assess a range of damage and even go to tender for remedial work.
Artificial intelligence (AI)
It may be early days but automation will soon be key to the future evolution of claims. Robotics is just one part of our claim notification process – generating claim references and assigning jobs to the appropriate adjuster. Additionally, our forensic accounting team has already found AI to be an essential tool to collate data and calculate COVID-19 business interruption (BI) losses using formulae that have been agreed with insurers.
It won’t be long before low touch claims of significant volumes can be processed automatically. A world where a robot can read and understand the information provided directly from a claimant, request clarification or even missing data, and then make decisions over coverage and quantum is not far away. Simply put, technology and automation allow claimants to communicate in a way that’s convenient for them. Freeing up claims handlers time to focus on the human, caring side of claims and dig into the more complex elements of the process.
The role data plays in the process
Manual forms and paper clips aren’t considered best practice for data collection, management or security. And generally speaking, they made it virtually impossible to manipulate data across claims and identify emerging trends or patterns. Future claim systems will see the focus shift to how data is used, creating improvements for a better customer experience and stronger financial performance.
Considering that complex claims may cause the claimant to express frustrations, being able to capture the data can help identify a particular stage in the process that was seemingly causing the most dissatisfaction. By easily identifying these areas, we can act proactively adjust the process and help ensure a smooth transition. In managing similar claims, we may identify trends that can lead to conversations with underwriters to help improve their loss ratios.