There is increasing evidence that investments in modern claims technology may be one of the best strategic decisions insurers can make.
We recently wrote on the competitive benefits that can accrue from the improvements in customer service derived from modern claims systems. Not only are customers more satisfied (improving retention), but, as Celent’s Donald Light commented recently, the process can be shorted for everyone. “The claim handler or adjuster has to rely on technology to see the whole process and where the claimant is in that process, and whether he or she might need to push a certain part of the process along,” Light commented.
CNA found that modern technology allows a comprehensive view of the process and data can be extended to the whole portfolio of claims, to ensure that the right people are handling the right processes at the right time. Moreover, the same, correct information can be provided to all interested parties (including underwriters, actuaries, and marketing staff) in a timely fashion. According to Becky Nelson, VP of IT, (reported in Insurance & Technology) “This will be accessible to many more people than in the past, when we have had to gather the information in different ways through different channels.”
Analytics offer increased opportunities to not only react to claims, but determine proactive strategies to address complex problems. There are a significant number of variables in fraud management. New techniques, such as link analysis and visual analysis of large data sets are allowing detection and penetration of fraud rings. It’s pretty esoteric stuff, but it is showing promise in addressing complex, previously insoluble problems.
Last, but not least, modern technologies in the claims department fast tracks people on the systems learning curve. For smaller organizations such as Narragansett Bay Insurance Co., a Rhode Island based specialty insurer, this can be especially important in handling spikes in activity due to events such as hurricanes. Quoted in Insurance Networking News, Bob Khosropur, chief claims officer credits modern technology for allowing causal users to become proficient in gathering information during these periods: “We have to ensure that our phone lines never get choked-that they’re able to take in as much as the demand calls for in terms of service, and have someone at the end of the line who can take all that information from the policyholder and populate our claims systems with every bit of information needed to begin the claims process.”