Auto insurance carriers are increasingly using automation to increase efficiencies, reduce costs and improve their competitive edge. And, they’re pleasing consumers in the process. We gained this insight while conducting research for the 2019 Future of Claims Study―Balancing Claims Automation and Empathy. We also shared this insight in a recent A.M. Best webinar on The Future of Claims Management.

In our 2017 Future of Claims study, we looked at where carriers stand on the claims automation continuum―ranging from traditional to fast track to virtual claims handling to touchless claims handling. Our goal was to establish a benchmark and anticipate how carriers might progress over the coming years.

When we surveyed carriers again for this year’s report to see how they’re progressing, we added a consumer survey as well. Our overarching goal in conducting this research was to gather insights that can help carriers continue to expand the benefits they’re gaining from automation and improve customer experience at the same time. The news is good―and points to opportunities in the future.

What the data tells us

Key carrier-related insights from our study include:

  • Carriers are continuing to embrace virtual claims options with 95% using or considering virtual claims processes.
  • Touchless claims handling is growing in popularity, with 79% of carriers surveyed stating they are considering or open to the idea.
  • Carriers already using claims automation report a reduction in touches, faster cycle times, increased employee productivity, lower loss adjustment expense (LAE) and higher customer satisfaction.

One of the most compelling aspects of our research was how carrier practices dovetail nicely with consumer wants and needs, with a few caveats and areas for improvement―which I will discuss in another blog post.

Looking toward the future

Generally speaking, movement toward full touchless claim handling remains gradually progressive. Carriers are conducting tests and pilots of virtual or semi-touchless applications to see how well these applications will work for them and their customers. We expect the Top 20 carriers to lead the way and set the example.

Advanced analytics and artificial intelligence (AI) are expected to play a role in the automation of non-complex claims over the next five to ten years. A changing customer base will bring new and unique expectations that will impact how carriers implement these capabilities. These are areas for carriers to keep an eye on, going forward.

Overall, the results are very positive and point to the expansion of claims automation into the future, for the mutual benefit of carriers and their customers.

You can get more details about our study, the results, their implications and the customer perspective in our 2019 Future of Claims Study―Balancing Claims Automation and Empathy. Click here to download the report.

Additionally, I was privileged to participate in an A.M. Best panel discussion on the Future of Claims Management with industry experts Larry Danielson (Deloitte) and Deniz Cultu (McKinsey & Company). It was wide-ranging and packed with helpful insights. Take a look at the video below: