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Easing into a ‘right touch’ claims strategy: How automation strikes the perfect balance to keep policyholders happy

SUMMARY
  • Many insurers are exploring the viability of low touch claims and straight-through processing to improve operational efficiency and customer satisfaction – but balancing cost, service and quality throughout the claims process remains the main challenge for achieving ‘right touch’ claims.
  • Insurers need to embrace high levels of automation to identify meritorious claims and decide on the best route for ‘right touch’ resolution – and this must start at the triage stage.

Customer expectations are rising across the board and CX is emerging as the key differentiator for businesses, with PwC studies showing a third of consumers will walk away from a trusted brand after a single poor experience. The insurance industry is no exception. Policyholders expect swift resolution to submitted claims, without unnecessary delays or setbacks – all while having access to accurate updates and feeling engaged in the process.

Data and technology innovations such as intelligent automation play an increasingly critical role in this process, providing a digital alternative to extensive commitment of capacity and resources by insurers. Yet there is no ‘one size fits all’ approach to claims. Pursuing an excessive low touch strategy to rapidly progress all claims at any cost runs the risk of fraudsters gaming the system, inaccurate routing and prioritisation of less urgent cases.

Here’s how introducing advanced technology at the triage stage can solve the right touch conundrum:

Not every claim is alike – determine what’s important for triage

Ask any claims professional, and they’ll tell you that no two claims are the same – some may be more complex, some may lack sufficient evidence from the claimant, or straddle multiple lines of business.

The claim triage step is the ideal early opportunity to determine what is the ‘right touch’ journey for each claim. For example, can a damaged vehicle be repaired, and if so, how much will it cost? If not, the claim can be progressed through a ‘total loss’ workflow.

The decision-making process behind this must be clear, justifiable and recorded for audit purposes, allowing insurers to deliver consistently accurate triaging. This is where the human touch becomes vital – skilled staff play a critical role throughout the claims process to handle post-triage stages, correct inaccuracies where necessary and closely support more complex claims.

Data-driven technology holds the key

So how can insurers introduce technology into this triage stage to better handle the variety and sheer volume of claims experienced on a daily basis? The answer lies with automation.

This is not just a case of simply automating formerly manual processes – there must be some degree of data-driven decision-making, and integration with existing systems, data sources and supply chains to deliver a seamless end-to-end experience. Solutions such as Intelligent Vehicle Inspection from Verisk, for example, draw on advanced technologies including AI to automate estimated vehicle damages and triage a claim down the optimum resolution touch.

Policyholders should be involved wherever possible, to align what is the ‘right touch’ from the insurer’s perspective with the individual needs of the policyholder to create the ‘right journey’ for the claim. Automation deployed in this fashion unlocks more accurate claims routing, in turn leading to faster settlements for policyholders and reduced costs for the insurer – a win-win scenario.

Computer Data

Rush ahead at your peril – take a measured approach to automation for first-class CX

Despite the wealth of benefits on offer to both insurers and policyholders, automation is not a blanket, overnight solution to all pain points in the claims process.

Insurers should look to deploy or integrate automation capabilities into specific parts of the process – such as triage – before extending this further across the lifecycle of a claim, from FNOL through to subrogation. Add a self-serve portal here, automate damage estimates there – by slowly introducing ecosystem changes, insurers can avoid operational disruption and hindering customers, or making them feel disengaged from a process that lacks a human touch.

Introducing automation to streamline workflows will also free up claims professionals from repetitive, manual work – allowing them to focus on more complex claims, supporting vulnerable customers and resolving customer requests.

These technologies must be deployed with the customer at the heart of the process – allowing them to get involved through self-serve, tailor the claim journey or request a specific outcome, or benefit from further insurer support and ‘value adds’.

Prepare now: More digital disruption is in the pipeline

Greater automation inevitably lies ahead for insurers, as digital innovation continues, customer expectations rise and new industry trends emerge. For example, Verisk has this year developed automation capabilities to help insurers cope with an unprecedented volume of mandatory medical reports triggered by the Whiplash Reforms in the UK.

This may expand further as technology becomes more pervasive, such as connected vehicles immediately submitting FNOL upon being involved in an accident.

To ensure success, insurers should begin building a customer-centric right touch strategy today, with a view to a staggered implementation of proven industry technology and data capabilities. Partnering with an industry technology leader, with a track record of deploying and tailoring advanced technologies, will be essential for this.

Verisk has introduced extensive automation into our claims ecosystem, enhancing processes such as motor damage estimation through to subrogation. Browse the full portfolio to find out more about how digital solutions can help make ‘right touch’ claims processing a reality.


Aaron Cole

Aaron Cole is the vice president of Verisk Claims Europe, a Verisk business. You can contact Aaron at aaron.cole@verisk.com.


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