The concept of Fast Track handling was one of the hot topics in 2008-2009. This was the time when new customer service models along with emerging technology began to make its way into the insurance industry. Since then, Fast Track claim initiatives have been in a flux primarily due to the tradeoff between the service benefits that fast track claims provided versus the financial exposure presented by a reliance on the customer to provide critical claim processing information. The lack of technology solutions to verify the policyholder’s information made it difficult for insurance carriers to universally commit to Fast Track claims.
In 2008 and 2009, the Fast Track claims concept may have been ahead of its time. But this is no longer the case, as modern technologies and customer self-service mobile apps are now readily available. Not only does modern technology support the efficient collection of information in the form of captured pictures and recorded video, but it also ensures the accuracy of the information delivered by the policyholders with features such as geo-location verification and other tools. Today, adjusters are even using live video collaboration to process claims at first notice of loss, to see what the customer sees, assess damages and resolve claims immediately.
Technology is finally here to support wide-scale deployment of the Fast Track claims process, and the solutions that have been developed have been built for obvious reasons. Fast Track claims benefit both the carriers and policyholders. It offers a way to streamline and accelerate claims resolution for small and medium size claims while offering the policyholders an ideal insurance service experience. Also, resolving a claim quickly and moving it off the books has a positive financial benefit. Eliminating the number of touch points reduces loss adjustment cost and helps to keep loss costs from escalating out of control. There is now no limitation to achieving great service and financial benefits on high-frequency, low-severity claims, especially those encountered during CAT.
In addition to Fast Track claims, the industry is embarking on a new interest, Scope Only loss estimation. Scope Only is becoming an acceptable approach given the speed and efficiency of the claim handling. In property claims, for example, instead of deploying a highly-skilled, higher-cost field adjuster to write a full estimate, there has been a shift towards sending a less-skilled, lower cost “inspector” to document damages, verify measurements and define scope of loss. The inspector then provides that information to an in-office adjusting expert to write the repair estimate. The in-office expert prepares the damage estimate using information collected by the field inspector and from available technology resources such as recorded video, aerial imagery/measurements and weather reports. By deploying this model, carriers can cut their field adjusting transactional cost in half. They can also increase adjuster throughput by achieving 3 claims resolved per hour versus 1.3 claims resolved per hour under prior Fast Track models.
With small claims typically representing 75% of the entire claim volume, there is a lot of opportunity to maximize Fast Track utilization to deliver better service and achieve operational efficiency and cost savings. Technological advances are expanding the dollar threshold for claims that are eligible for Fast Track with more carriers using the model for larger, more complex claims. The reason for broader utilization is that modern technology now delivers many of the check points needed to verify information and minimize opportunities for misrepresentation, inaccuracy, and fraud.
Finally, Fast Track claims gives carriers the opportunity to effectively and efficiently respond to their customers in a time of need, and do it in a convenient way. This can have a significant impact on customer satisfaction results.
The benefits of the new era of Fast Track claims handling is becoming quite clear. Technological advances are enabling carriers to overcome the limitations of earlier Fast Track models and consistently realize improved cost, efficiency, and service results. That is why Fast Track claims are taking-off again.