Three paths toward a better claims experience
Most insurers can and should start with the data they already have before looking to external data streams or adopting RPA, AI or other advanced technologies. They must also recognize that these once-futuristic-seeming technologies are ready for everyday use in claims. Company culture and organizational factors are also crucial for a better claims experience.
An insurer’s priority should be to use data to create full views of individual claims from multiple perspectives. Internally, that means transactional data and historical customer data. Useful external data streams include:
- Weather data
- Consumer credit data
- Medical billing patterns
- General loss details information
- Social media
All of these inputs will help evaluate future risk and leakage risks and support potential process and experience improvements.
More mature organizations will look to leverage new data storage and management technologies, such as data lakes, as the basis for advanced analytics and real-time visualization. The most forward-looking insurers may build out data science teams to probe large and diverse data sets stored in analytics ecosystems.
Machine learning and visualization techniques can help predict claims risk with greater accuracy and certainty. They can also provide a consistent claims handling approach relative to unbiased reserving, litigation, subrogation and other claim processes. Of course, the benefits of more data and more effective analytics extend beyond the customer experience in claims.
A better experience in claims is not simply a matter of better technology. Culture and a willingness to embrace change also matter. Test-and-learn approaches may be necessary for insurers with limited digital capabilities. For instance, they may begin by piloting automated processing for claims of relatively small amounts or trying bot-driven notification systems to improve communications.
Many insurers must overcome risk-averse cultures to encourage experimentation and “fast failures” in the spirit of learning what works. Some early-adopting insurers have embraced analytics labs or customer experience centers of excellence, where relatively low-risk and low-cost experiments can be carried out in controlled environments.