The Covid-19 outbreak saw the advent of widespread enforced remote working for the first time in living memory. While this has focused industry minds on revolutionising insurance functions across the board, a particular spotlight has been shed on claims handling, and the possibility of augmenting it with enhanced digitalisation and automation.
Automated claims processing gives insurers the capacity to offer 24/7 service to their customers, without soaking up the associated costs and issues of operating a fully staffed, dedicated call centre. In the current economic climate, where stability is paramount, the adaptability of an automated claims platform could be vital.
From this, it’s clear that the automation of claims handling provides considerable benefits, to both customers and businesses alike.
Digitising the claims process
For insurers, the cost of maintaining a fully-staffed claims department – as well as a physical office – is minimised. Instead, the sophistication of automated systems enables claimants to interact directly with technology, creating a more efficient operating model.
Another clear advantage is the reduction of conventional paperwork. We all know how many files are generated throughout the claims process, but automation tech is gradually making physical archives unnecessary, freeing up valuable office space and organisational resources. In the near future, I expect physical copies will become all but obsolete.
Accelerating efficiency and reducing costs
Manually carrying out avoidable tasks is time consuming and inefficient. Without compromising on accuracy, staff can only feasibly perform one task at a time, while automated claims improve the speed and reliability of the data being processed.
In a time where many businesses are looking to reduce unnecessary spending and improve productivity, it’s important to note that claims automation reduces the manual processing workstream. That leaves experienced claims handlers with more time to concentrate on high-value tasks and complex issues.
With automation software, you’ll also have the opportunity to track, monitor and report on claims activity more effectively using the information on the digital platform. This data can be stored, manipulated and analysed at the touch of a button, using algorithms and reporting functions to improve productivity, as well as product diversity. Plus, the more data you capture, the more accurate the system becomes, so it’s a win-win.
What does automation mean for assureds?
Yet these advantages go far beyond the operational and financial impact for insurers – more importantly – there are benefits for customers too.
Customers are actually involved in the claims handling process and exposed to the full lifecycle of their claim journey – from initial advice right through real-time updates, settlement agreements and (crucially) payment! This kind of visibility has a hugely positive effect on customer satisfaction and trust.
These advancements also negate the need for traditional, lengthy claims procedures, with endless forms to fill out and questions to answer. The journey includes the customer at every stage, removing the frustrating ambiguity they might experience throughout the conventional manual process.
Best of all, these processes make the window between the submission of a claim and the receipt of payment much shorter. The customer can see a claim agreement being reached in real time, and this is followed by instant payment – which is a level of service that can’t currently be matched by the equivalent manual process.
The resulting boost in customer satisfaction leads to loyalty, and a greater trust in your insurance products. Not to mention, a happy customer can help you bring in more business and contribute to your firm’s growth.
Whether you’re ready or not, claims automation is here. The companies that will thrive are those willing to adapt, and integrate automated claims processing into their handling model. This technology can augment the skills of experienced claims handlers. Combined with the expertise of knowledgeable staff, automation can make a huge difference to the customer journey, drive efficiency and result in cost savings for every party in the chain.