Next Generation Claim Handling: Use Technology to Your Best Advantage

Published on 10/14/2020 by Bar List Publishing

As technologies continue to grow and thrive the insurance industry will increasingly see changes on this front. Insurtech–the use of technology to enhance insurance operations and the customer experience–is already in wide use when it comes to insurance underwriting. Implementation across the varied landscape of claims handling is the next frontier. But as with any relatively new practice or technique, reactions from insurance companies and claims professionals can span a spectrum. 

In some sectors insurtech might be slow to catch on, while in others, technology is fully embraced, no questions asked. Neither approach is ideal and both implied viewpoints can be detrimental to all parties involved. New tech isn’t evil, but it isn’t flawless either. So as you work to keep your company modern and relevant, take time to reflect on the intersection of tech and claims management and how to best incorporate change in your business.

Walking The Line

Insurance claims adjusters can attest to the fact that everyday they walk a fine line between modern and antiquated, efficient and redundant. Policyholders are forced to answer the same rounds of loss-related questions as they progress through the phone chain. Claims status letters have to be manually generated, and hours a week are spent on compliance, data integrity, and other low-skill administrative activities. Unlike stellar customer service or complex problem solving, these tasks don’t require an insurance claims adjuster’s skill set, but that’s who ends up spending valuable time handling them.

Insurtech has set out to remedy this with large-scale automation, but can often end up creating issues right alongside solutions. For instance, a potential customer might do a bit of research and settle on a next-generation, technology-based insurance company. They breeze through the sign-up process and purchase seemingly affordable coverage–all’s well so far. It’s once a claim needs to be filed that they could encounter a headache or two. Since this company is tech-centric, the policyholder must use an app to submit the claim. They answer some basic questions, upload images of the damage, and almost instantaneously receive both an estimate for repair and an electronic transfer of funds. 

On its face, this sounds quick, painless, even ideal. But when the repair shop discovers hidden damage and disputes the insurance company’s estimate, things head south. The customer is then forced to notify the insurance company about the situation and a once-closed case is now open. The burden then falls on the customer to do necessary legwork to get another inspection, and to facilitate communication between the auto shop and the insurer. What was meant to be simple has become complex, frustrating, and redundant. 

While technology can certainly assist in simple, everyday claims, AI can’t compete with an insurance claims professional’s nuanced touch. And sadly, everyone suffers in this situation. But besides frustrated customers and drawn out claims, the insurance claims adjusters can also draw the short straw. Instead of using their deep knowledge and skills to solve complex issues or take extra time to provide top-notch customer service, they can find themselves bogged down by inefficiency and seemingly pointless repetition. 

Make Technology Work

Insurtech innovations are exciting, and as new companies come on the scene or traditional providers adopt these advancements, we’re going to continue to see change. But when a company is considering which technologies to utilize, they need to realize that these updates can have a ripple effect that’s key to consider ahead of time. 

In the rush to advance and compete, a provider could easily overlook how using a new platform would work with existing systems. Legacy platforms may not be compatible with newer technologies and data flow could be compromised. To provide a complete picture of any claim, it’s key that medical audit and estimating programs work well with new programs. 

And remember, too, that decisions to adopt new programs should include input from the very folks who will be troubleshooting and handling implementation–the IT experts. If new programs are created hastily or use poorly written or incompatible code, further frustration and inefficiency will be the unintended consequences. This is key because the money spent to purchase, integrate, and train staff on new systems might be lost to a learning experience if forethought isn’t given to such weighty decisions. 

Key Takeaways

Change is inevitable, but in the insurance realm use of tech has arguably been slow to gain ground. So as you traverse this new phase, we recommend caution. While technology is already part of our everyday, keeping an eye toward the future will give insurance providers the impetus needed to be smart about implementing emerging insurtech options. 

Future generations of insurance customers will demand seamless, real-time interactions, and we’ll see development of tech resources that aren’t fathomable today. But making time now for thorough evaluation will enable a smoother, more comprehensive transition when the time is right. Getting all teams on board will ensure that a measured approach prevails and that no one is left behind. And retaining vital human elements and customer service touch points will help to guarantee that policyholders will always get the best that your company has to offer. 

An enhanced user experience, increased efficiency, and smooth resource integration remain the key components of successful insurtech use. So be sure that your company is doing right by everyone concerned. Startups might tout “cutting-edge” tech that’s exciting and seemingly customer-focused. But by truly focusing on policyholders and the potential pros and cons of any new technology, insurance providers can build convenience right alongside quality, and enhance their customer’s experience at every turn. In the end, technology is key to growth, but it isn’t a cure-all. Taking into account all aspects of sound insurance practices and vital customer service standards will set insurance providers up for success.

Call on The Experts

Change can be a very good thing. But when it comes to adding insurtech to your company’s arsenal, we’d suggest that cautious optimism is the safe zone – it can take time and reflection to land your company in that sweet spot. As you navigate this shifting tide, know that The Bar List insurance network will continue to be your trusted reference source for insurance claims adjusters. We are ready to provide you with the top-tier insurance adjuster resources you need to get business done, and we proudly stand behind the insurance claims managers we list. So as you work hard to incorporate insurtech solutions into your company’s claims management process, we can help you to worry about one less thing. Give us a call today to learn more.