Touching Base on Touchless Claims

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26 August 2021
Andrew Schwartz

Over the past several years some insurers have, for an increasing number of claims, been moving from a traditional process to one that is driven by automation. Innovative technologies such as AI, RPA and intelligent automation have not only enabled carriers to successfully automate low-touch-high-frequency claims but augment those in more complex lines of business.

Last week I published Unlocking The Value of Touchless Claims which covers topics including the tangible benefits of claims automation and the components of a successful touchless claims journey. While the customer benefits of a touchless claims approach may be straightforward (i.e. filing a claim whenever they want and getting paid more quickly), below are some of the direct advantages to insurers.

There can be increased Efficiency as claims automation allows insurers to use human beings to work on more complicated claims where human expertise is most valuable. By producing custom rules that effectively triage simple claims, they can devote staff to handling complex cases requiring a “human touch”.

An expedited claims process may also mean Cost Savings. If an insurer settles an auto claim faster, that means fewer days of rental car payments or storage fees. For homeowners, the faster the policyholder can return home, the fewer days they'll need to stay in a hotel. With worker’s compensation, a quicker carrier response may allow a swifter recovery.

Claims automation can lead to Better Decision Making which is a byproduct of more accessible data and analytics. The result is improved accuracy and handling of claims. Finally, an effective touchless claims process can result in Fewer Disputes. By involving the customer in the claims process and allowing them to submit relevant information, insurers can make them feel as if they have a more significant stake in the process. As a result, there is reduced customer dissatisfaction which potentially decreases the incidence of time-consuming and costly disputes.

Even though the benefits of ‘going touchless’ may seem clear, claims automation is far from ubiquitous. Basically every other primary function at the insurer is more advanced in its automation journey than claims. In underwriting and policy issuance, many lines (especially personal lines) no longer need human underwriters. Billing is highly automated as only a few employees are required to manage the billing process. Yet, the claims process is still a function in which a human being is almost always involved. On the one hand, this allows an insurer to deliver a personal experience. On the other hand, that experience may not be consistently aligned with the brand, and is quite expensive. The $64,000 question is: How can insurers deliver a personal experience without humans?

Some of the recommendations I provide for insurers looking to begin their touchless claims journey are:

·Consider how touchless claims will help your organization fulfill its broader strategic objectives

·Understand that ‘going touchless’ is a process. Insurers typically don't start at zero touchless and instantly go to 100% touchless. Needless to say, there are some claims that full never go fully touchless.

·Define the pain points within your claims process and determine where to begin the claims automation journey

·Don’t feel it is necessary to go it alone

·Think about ways to leverage both structured and unstructured data to expedite the claims process and make better decisions

Keep in mind, the above recommendations are just the tip of the iceberg. There is much more color and nuance to the touchless claims process.

Mark your calendars for October 4th as I will be moderating an InsureTech Connect (ITC) panel with some industry leaders at the forefront of claims automation. Having personally achieved or helped others achieve a successful touchless claims journey, they will share secrets to success and pitfalls to avoid. We will also discuss some of the most innovative and cutting-edge players in the burgeoning InsurTech ecosystem. You may want to consider partnering with some of these names as you embark on your own claims automation voyage.

You will not want to miss it!

P.S.: We’ve also got several other sessions going on at InsureTech Connect. Here’s a description of all six sessions we’ll be participating in – and a link to some pretty deep discounts. If you’re interested in attending ITC, we can provide you with a $200 discount. If you’re an executive at an insurer, we can offer you an even lower price of $895.

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Property & Casualty Insurance
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