The most critical customer touch point for an insurance company occurs when a claim is filed by an insured. Companies who make policyholders feel valued and reassured during the claims process instill confidence and loyalty in their brands, even amidst a crisis. One key way to achieve unparalleled service throughout the claims experience is to embrace tools that support a touchless claims process.
A touchless claims process uses technology to report losses, capture claims data, process payments, and communicate with customers digitally. In a touchless workflow, claims move from first notice of loss to settlement without human intervention. Adopting a touchless claims strategy requires companies to integrate a variety of technological solutions that provide customers with a fast, efficient, and seamless experience. Here are our top five tools for a touchless claims process:
1. Insured Portals
Insured portals are web and mobile applications that encourage policyholders to interact digitally with insurers. Most portals allow customers to view policy information, submit digital First Notice of Loss (FNOL), and check the status of their claims. Advanced portals include location services, guided photo, video capture, and data pre-fill capabilities.
An insured portal empowers the policyholder to gather claims data at the time of loss. As the claim is processed, automated messaging like push notifications, in-app communication, and dashboard statuses relay information related to the account.
Insured portals streamline data collection when a loss is reported, which expedites claims processing and results in quicker payments and reduced adjuster costs for insurers. Automated messaging triggered by rules makes the claims process more transparent to policyholders and claimants.
BriteCore helps policyholders file a claim in just a few seconds using the integrated BriteApps policyholder app. Insureds can capture location and photo information in real-time as business rules automatically assign adjusters and set default reserves.
Drones are unmanned, remotely-piloted aircraft. They are best known for capturing aerial footage that can be used to evaluate a variety of losses including roof and site conditions, crop loss, and flood damage. Drones with specialized equipment perform scans for moisture, heat, and building integrity.
Insurers can use drones to gather claims data rather than sending personnel to the loss site. Adjusters and claimants can view data capture in real-time or collect and store data for subsequent analysis.
Drone usage makes the claims process safer by reducing the number of dangerous areas personnel need to visit to evaluate a claim. Since adjusters don’t need to be on-site, insurers can save on time and travel costs. Drones also provide a more accurate and objective assessment of damage and enable insurers to collect new data points for reference and analysis.
According to a recent Novarica report, EMC Insurance uses drones to provide 3-D, interactive loss control reports to both policyholders and agents. The carrier saw its original turnaround time of several weeks decrease to just one hour with improved data quality.
Telematics are devices that capture vehicular data including when and where a car is on the road, its average speed, driving time and distance, and sharp acceleration or deceleration. Telematics data is collected by an onboard dongle, a smartphone app, or connected car feature and transmitted to insurers. Policyholders can view this data in the form of a driver scorecard.
Telematic devices detect accidents, automatically notify insurers of the loss, and pre-fill relevant claim data. Telematics also provide the vehicle’s location to roadside assistance, towing, or ride-share services if they are needed.
Telematics take the burden of FNOL off of policyholders and claimants. Automation makes the claims process quicker and provides more accurate data, which aids in loss estimation and fraud detection. Additionally, policyholders can use their driver scorecard to develop safer driving habits, thereby reducing losses and claim activity.
Octo Telematics found their commercial customers benefited from telematics through a 20-30% reduced claims frequency, a 5-14% reduction in settlement time, and an 80% reduction in fraud.
4. Internet of Things
The Internet of Things (IoT) most often refers to internet—connected devices within the home. Outfitted with sensors and software, IoT devices are programmed to monitor or control environments and send notifications when abnormalities are detected. Some common examples of IoT devices are thermostats, doorbells, and home security systems.
Similar to telematics, IoT devices initiate FNOL and pre-fill claim data regarding the time, location, and severity of the loss. Devices can also alert policyholders to unusual conditions, like an open garage door or an increase in room temperature.
The IoT adds the important benefits of risk mitigation and loss prevention, which leads to fewer claims. When losses do occur, IoT devices enable quicker processing through automated FNOL and data pre-fill. In addition, the wide array of data points collected help insurers set accurate reserves and detect fraudulent claims.
According to a recent Novarica report, Hartford Steam Boiler and Church Mutual partnered on a program to provide temperature and water sensors with 24/7 monitoring and email, text, or phone alerts. The program prevented $250,000 in damages in 14 churches over two years.
5. Automated Routing
Automated routing categorizes and assigns claims based on pre-defined business rules. The automated routing system uses artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning to analyze claim data and assign a complexity score. Complexity scores are based on a variety of factors including severity, litigation potential, probability of fraud, and extent of bodily injury or physical damage. Automated routing determines adjuster assignments using the claim complexity score in combination with adjuster skillset, workload, and geographic location.
Automated routing streamlines the claims process by eliminating manual analysis, assignment, and reassignment. Low complexity claims are routed for immediate settlement. Adjusters only see and work on high complexity claims that match their expertise.
Automated routing regulates workloads and frees personnel to focus on responsibly handling important claims. The result is shorter claim cycles and reduced complaints.
According to a recent GenPact report, insurers who implement automated routing have the potential to save up to 40% of claim cycle time.
Touchless technology provides a better claims process for insurers and policyholders alike. Insurers benefit from faster, more efficiently handled claims, lowered fraud risk, and decreased claims costs. Policyholders experience value through quick settlements and a smooth, transparent claims process.
To improve your claims strategy and become more competitive in the market, start investing in data collection tools that enhance existing processes. For more information on touchless technology, integrating data with your claims cycle, or implementing a proven touchless claims solution, contact our experts at email@example.com.
This article first appeared in the Spring 2019 edition of PAMIC Pulse and can be viewed here.