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Why It Might Be Time to Automate Your Insurance Claims Experiences

Distributed Commerce: Companies Turn To New Digital Marketing Channels To Survive

The claims experience can make or break an insurer’s reputation. Here’s how to resolve claims faster and more cost-effectively.

A multitude of forces are jolting the once stable insurance industry. Rising competition from insurtechs, mounting unconventional risks like climate change, and increasing consumer demands for digital-first, personalised coverage are all challenging traditional insurance models.

Given that 42% of global insurance consumers don’t fully trust their insurers, it’s time for the industry to step up and rethink their services and experiences – beginning with the claims process.

That’s a moment of truth for both policyholders and insurers. The way a claim is handled says a lot about how much (or how little) an insurer values their policyholders, and how deserving they are of their customers’ loyalty.

Wow your customers with positive claims experiences

In a low-touch business like insurance, claims processing is one of the rare and crucial occasions when customers interact with their insurers. Therefore, it’s critical that this interaction be seamless and positive. When claims handling is riddled with delays or gaps in communication, both insurers and customers suffer – customer satisfaction goes down, while insurer costs rise.

Accenture predicts that poor claims experiences could put up to $170 billion in renewal premiums at risk globally over the next five years. And that’s just the financial impact. Eighty-nine percent of insurance executives worldwide confess that delays in the claims process during the pandemic have dented trust, 66% to a massive or significant extent.

Renewing that trust will require insurers to focus on elevating customer experiences with the help of automation, analytics, and AI.

Most customers want their claims to be handled with empathy, speed, and transparency. In fact, a good claims experience can turn stressed and wary customers into happy, life-long brand advocates. Unfortunately, these experiences aren’t as common as one would hope. A report from the Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India (IRDAI) found that the majority of customer complaints (66%) among general insurance companies were claims-related.

But that can change.

  • By streamlining and automating claims processes, you can respond quicker to customer queries, and resolve their claims faster – ultimately, enabling no-touch resolutions for many claims.
  • With a complete view of customer and claims data, you can empathise better with customer concerns, while personalising their experiences.
  • And, through intuitive self-service tools, you can give customers the freedom to manage their claims with ease from anywhere.

Implement hassle-free insurance

Key hurdles in claims processing

1. Outdated, siloed infrastructure:

Claims handling is typically a data-intensive process. Teams have to gather claims information, research the claim, review policy terms, manage expense payments, and update customer information, all the while ensuring that the customer is well-informed at every step. Manually piecing together this data from multiple disconnected systems can significantly hamper the speed and quality of claims processing. And when claims cycles aren’t efficient, costs go up. Automation, by contrast, can reduce claims costs by as much as 30%.

2. Friction-filled experiences:

From the first notice of loss (FNOL), consumers expect their claims to be processed smoothly. And yet, a survey by health insurance forum, Beshak, found that 43% of Indian consumers had to repeatedly follow up during the claims process; 72% felt that there was more paperwork than they considered ideal; and 53% were extremely or mildly dissatisfied with the speed of claims payments.

To smoothen the process, many insurers are embracing a digital-first approach. For instance, ACKO has wiped out much of the paperwork from purchase to claims to renewal with a 100% digital process. Edelweiss General Insurance has launched an AI voice bot to expedite the registration of motor claims. And Digit Insurance uses image analytics, AI cognition, and machine learning to speed up claim approvals.

3. Impersonal service:

Even as customers embrace chatbots and other self-service tools to expedite claims processing, many still prefer to speak to a person about their claims concerns. Almost half (49%) say they place a lot of trust in a human advisor in an office when making an insurance claim, while only 12% say the same of automated service. Providing that personal touch, and being responsive to what customers need can go a long way towards winning their confidence.

4 steps to improve claims experiences and drive efficient growth

With new technologies and vast amounts of data available, insurers can have an unprecedented view of customer needs. Thanks to powerful productivity tools, claims handlers can serve customers faster from anywhere. In fact, almost every touchpoint of the claims journey can be digitally transformed today to create favourable customer experiences.

Here are a few ways technology can help you enhance claims experiences, while optimising costs:

• Hyper-personalise claims communications

Informed customers are happy customers – especially when they’re kept apprised of how their claims are being processed. For instance, a motor insurance policyholder might expect real-time SMS or WhatsApp updates on the status of their vehicle repairs – with the option of watching a video of the repairs. A health insurance customer might want automated health indicators and test recommendations at regular intervals to help prevent the onset of illness.

Proactive and personalised communications like these show customers that you care about their well-being. With a single source of customer truth and automated, omni-channel communications, you can do this and more.

• Speed up claims resolution

The traditional approach of manually acknowledging and assigning claims can take hours, if not days – thereby delaying settlements. But by digitising the end-to-end claims process – for example, using advanced analytics to categorise and route each claim to the relevant claims handler; or using AI to suggest next best steps and resolution paths – insurers can expedite claim processing, while also minimising friction.

• Do more with less

An overload of clerical activities and repetitive data collection often impedes the productivity of claims processing teams. But now, robotic process automation can speed up claims filing, verification, data capture, and refunds with just a few clicks. So, more claims can be processed in less time, and claim handlers can be freed up to invest their skills in more cognitive-intensive activities such as fraud prevention.

• Make better-informed decisions

With AI, claims teams can integrate and process large volumes of data at scale and at speed. AI can provide useful insights on which claims are eligible, and what percentage of them should be paid out. It also helps teams spot false or illegitimate claims more easily. These insights greatly accelerate decision-making, thereby enabling better employee and customer experiences.

Reduce claims costs, while strengthening customer satisfaction with Salesforce

Using Salesforce for Insurance, you can streamline and automate your claims process – enabling faster claims settlements, more claims processed per employee, and lower costs per claim.

We offer a functionally comprehensive insurance platform that spans the front, middle, and back-office with purpose-built industry functionalities. Through the platform, you can simplify product development, policy rating, and end-to-end management of core operations — spanning the entire policy and claims lifecycle.

Our insurance platform runs on top of Salesforce Financial Services Cloud which is built on the world’s #1 CRM platform. Operate, scale and grow your insurance business with ease — while using real-time Customer 360 insights to personalise customer journeys.

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