Claims Modernization: Are You Prepared for Emerging Risks?

By Thomas Mulvey December 19, 2012

New risks and claims scenarios are routine in the insurance industry today. For the claims department, that means being able to understand new factors that contribute to a loss. New risks also involve new ways scammers may find to perpetrate fraud. Further, claims executives need to be ready for volume as an emerging factor: More catastrophes and increasing frequency and severity call for operational improvements that facilitate swift handling.

According to a survey by Accenture, as reported in Insurance Networking News (INN), 66 percent of claims executives don’t feel their systems can take full advantage of large new sources of data, such as social media. Seventy-eight percent indicated their claims departments aren’t prepared for a new range of risks or the increasing frequency and severity of natural catastrophes.

1. Natural catastrophes: Although not a new threat, the growth in the number and scope of natural catastrophes is certainly on the minds of the claims community, as the Accenture survey revealed. These major events can create unique challenges for carriers — from having claims adjusters in the right place at the right time to securing both new capital and future catastrophe protection.

2. Foreclosure risk: The worst of the 2008 financial crisis may be behind us, but carriers still can’t overlook the effects of foreclosure on claimant behavior. In fact, market volatility makes foreclosures an important data point in evaluating some property claims.

3. Social media: Many claims departments face the risk of missing important claimant data found on social media sites. But unless insurers use the appropriate technology — such as Web Presence Search, a recent addition to the Decision Net® suite — they may drown in the vast pool of more than 1 billion Facebook users and more than 100 million Twitter fans.

The perils carriers face continue to evolve, and claims technology must advance alongside them. Take action now to protect your insureds and your capital.

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Thomas Mulvey

Thomas Mulvey has been in the business of insurance investigations for more than 27 years. In his current position, he serves ISO as assistant vice president of SIU and claim services. He is also the coordinator of ISO’s Insurance Fraud Management Conference.