Technology is changing the way we live and do business―and at an increasingly rapid pace. Forward thinking companies must continually leverage new technology to better serve their customers and gain a competitive edge. The insurance industry is no exception to this trend.

The industry is seeking ways to automate legacy claims processes that are highly manual and cumbersome for both customers and claims professionals.  Customers have become accustomed to automation, especially over recent years, as it seems like everyone carries a smart phone today and the popularity of self-service apps is exploding.  Claims professionals are no different.  They use the latest technology in their personal life but at work many claims employees are still manually inputting each piece of customer information to adequately begin the claims process.  Such a manual process often requires follow up calls to collect even the basic claim information.  However, today this data can be pre-filled with data based on a customer supplying minimal information such as a phone number or a license plate. This same technology could be applied to a carrier’s mobile claim app.  Digitization, automation and data analytics are increasingly pushing the insurance industry towards potentially “touchless” process.

While technology innovation is a key driver behind this transformation it is only one of many facets. After all, technology innovation doesn’t happen in a vacuum. There are numerous factors influencing this transition, including:

  • Changing customer expectations: The smart phone along with today’s digital technology have dramatically changed customer expectations about service.  Customers order food, deposit checks, shop for everything and some even visit their doctor virtually from their computer or phone.  No wonder customers expect their insurance claim to be processed in a similar manner.
  • Changing carrier needs: In a fiercely competitive environment, carriers are looking to maximize their resources by leveraging today’s technology to automate claim processes to enhance customer service and lower claims adjustment expense.
  • A changing workforce: As baby boomers move out of the workforce, companies are at risk of losing valuable legacy knowledge that is difficult to replace in today’s competitive job market with the average college graduate changing jobs 10 times by age 40 according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Automation and data analytics can help address all of these issues. The better an organization is at leveraging technology to eliminate customer pain points, the more loyal their customers will be. And when you can make your processes more efficient at the same time, you’ve just increased employee satisfaction and given your bottom line a significant boost. When knowledge is embedded into your database and processes, you’re never at risk of losing it.

There are solutions in the market that help claims departments meet all of these objectives. For example, carriers can now automatically populate claim forms with accurate and robust data drawn from many internal and external sources. This type of solution saves customer’s and carrier’s time, increases information accuracy, and helps to derail fraud, all of which can be extremely costly.

The good news is that the claims area within the insurance industry has many opportunities for automation by leveraging advanced data and analytics.  This will only increase with the rise of telematics, autonomous vehicles and connected homes.  The critical step is in creating a claims automation roadmap and taking action now to prepare for the amazing automation to come.  Just imagine a future where a large portion of non-complex claims will be handled in a touchless claims environment where each step from FNOL to Investigation, damage assessment and payment will be fully automated for customers of all ages but particularly the millennial generation.

A recent podcast, Optimizing the Claims Process with Data and Analytics, explores the industry developments that created the foundation for the change we see happening today and provides deeper insights into the implications for carriers now and into the future.

Listen to the podcast below.