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Financial Services

A Marriage Made in Heaven: CRM + Insurance Claims and Policy Management

Achieve next-level customer relationships with an integrated stack and straight-through processing.

woman holding her dog and looking at her mobile phone: CRM insurance claims policy management
CRM data only becomes useful when you can coax insights into policyholder preferences. [Oscar Wong/Getty Images]

The customer relationship management (CRM) database has come a long way from its place as a digital Rolodex. Today, savvy insurers use their CRM to boost the most critical operations in their business ⁠— claims and policy management.

It probably won’t surprise you to hear that where some see risks, others see opportunity. That’s most likely why an incredible 95% of insurance executives agreed in a recent survey that claims experiences are where insurers have the greatest opportunity to win or lose business. Research giant Gartner reports that fast-forward insurers say that claims is their top focus for cloud-based investment.

When you focus on your customers, innovation and insights that help to improve service are sure to follow.

Many insurers might not know it yet, but their CRM may be the bit of magic they need to offer the best possible experiences for claims and policy management. That’s because a fully integrated stack puts customers at the center of every engagement – from agents and brokers to individual and commercial policyholders. When you focus on your customers, innovation and insights that help to improve service are sure to follow.

The path to preferred status

Are your systems clunky? Will brokers who contact you for pricing or problems get bounced from service rep to service rep? That’s a real buzzkill for your business. Ninety percent of brokers say ease of doing business is their north star when it comes time to select a carrier. Carriers who succeed in creating a 360-degree approach to customer engagement are more likely to build experiences that brokers and their clients expect and deserve. That’s because those insurers are more likely to have the right data in the right locations – then they can show they hear you and can help you. All of that adds up to deeper, more trusting relationships.

More than three-quarters (brokers and agents) say they would send more business to insurers if insurers could improve their technology and make it easier to use.

Are you doing a good, even great, job now? Wonderful. You can’t standstill. Brokers and agents are looking for carriers who are constantly engaged in improving their technology. More than three-quarters say they would send more business to insurers if insurers could improve their technology and make it easier to use. That means insurers need a stack that is both integrated and agile. Today, both these attributes are readily available.

CRM can help make speedier recommendations and create trust

The modern CRM has much more than names, phone numbers, and street addresses. It is an information sponge, storing preferences, buying patterns, claims patterns, and support calls. But CRM data only becomes useful when you can coax insights into policyholder preferences. When that happens, you’ll find yourself on the pathway to trust.

CRM-based insights can help you discover where you need to innovate and identify pain points more quickly so you can deliver solutions faster. 

CRM-based insights can help you discover where you need to innovate and identify pain points more quickly so you can deliver solutions faster. For example, an industries-specific customer relationship manager (CRM) can help you:

  • Serve up life event reminders. If a policyholder has a child, CRM data can trigger a workstream when it’s time to update their coverage or offer new protection.
  • Summarize interactions. Service reps can personalize their responses when they know customer preferences – such as to call only after five in the afternoon. This improves interactions, especially around claims management.
  • Keep track of key business events. Teams who stay up-to-date can offer timely coverage consultation when a commercial policyholder is involved in a merger or an initial public offering.

And when you do get claims, an integrated stack lets you seamlessly manage the entire journey from one platform. The full process can be digitized and customer preferences can be easily integrated into the claims experience – enabling faster resolutions and personalized engagements that make customers happy.

Accelerate solution delivery with automation and straight-through processing

So you’ve established a bond of trust with customers because with an integrated CRM in your tech stack, you’ve shown that you know them well. Ready to go to the next level? Automation and straight-through processing will move your business from the crowded commuter lane to the express lane. When you can automate standard policy applications, you free up underwriters to attend to more complex submissions. Productivity increases and so do both customer and worker satisfaction.

A new digital solution for UK-based Ascot Group created an automated insurance offering that delivered responses in under five minutes to 80% of broker submissions. The digital-first offering, Smart Home, was built on existing architecture and taps third-party data to help improve the broker experience. It improved the underwriter experience dramatically as well: underwriting administration time dropped by 60%.

Across the ocean, Verspieren, a major insurance broker, approached France-based Electro Dépôt, an electronics and appliances retailer, to develop an innovative program allowing shoppers to instantly purchase warranty insurance. The digital solution offers a lightning-fast quote-to-bind experience – in just two minutes. And it all happens thanks to a powerful platform that enables seamless coverage selection and payment via Cofidis Digital Bank. The new technology allows Electro Dépôt customers to take advantage of automated recurring payments by bank card. “This was a plus in this program, allowing us to broaden our ecommerce targets,” said Pascal Wronski, chief information officer, Verspieren.

Automation and connectivity power straight-through processing, whether it’s insurance sold directly to customers or through the traditional independent agent/broker model. 

All these innovations can happen when companies like Smart Home or Electro Dépôt can offer omni-channel experiences that connect directly to a policy or claims management system. Automation and connectivity power straight-through processing, whether it’s insurance sold directly to customers or through the traditional independent agent/broker model. For brokers, this is a game-changer: 82% say automated connections are very important when selecting carriers.

Insurers are racing to automate and streamline quote-to-bind experiences, especially for small businesses, which are turning more to digital insurance. One-third of small businesses expect to buy insurance policies online. Novarica predicts that digital translation will push commercial online buying from $3 billion in 2020 to $12 billion by 2025. That’s a big jump. But when you realize that 90% of personal insurance is bought online, it showcases just how much the direct-to-consumer model can grow within the small business insurance market.

Looking for a happily ever after? Then unite your tech stack in wedded bliss

Harmony begins with communication. For insurers, that means unifying their CRM, claims, and policy management tech stacks together. By unifying the customer experience across channels, geographies, and lines of business, you’ll deepen customer trust. And with automation, new customers, policyholders, and brokers will benefit from faster buying journeys and claims resolutions when they are powered by straight-through processing.

It’s time for insurers to say “I do.” Join your CRM with claims and policy management — and find out what the future holds for your business.

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