Every claims organization is seeking opportunities to gain a competitive advantage. Let’s face it, lots of competition in the market and at a high level, everyone seems to provide very similar offerings. Hence, there is a lot of demand in discovering new opportunities to differentiate the services offered, especially since competing solely on price is not the best of long term strategies. This is why so many insurance organizations are looking for opportunities to tighten up any loose ends with technology.
Technological investments, however, are not all alike. Generally, there are three reasons to get new technology. It either helps generate new revenue, helps reduce costs and improve efficiency and productivity, or it minimizes business related risks. The technology being adopted will depend on the overall organizational strategy. Yet, even within a large set of options, there are technologies that are low hanging fruits. They are simple, efficient, inexpensive, and very beneficial in terms of ROI.
Let’s dissect them by their core value and benefit to find the lowest hanging fruits, with highest claims ROI.
Technologies for Generating New Revenue
New revenue is all about the book of business – all about the customers. Hence, the investments in this area start with the brokers and the agents being able to freely communicate with the customers and provide competing offerings. The most performing technology in this area at the moment is the rapid growth of mobile communication, omni-channel customer service models, and the social tools available to agent’s and broker’s disposal to offer and secure new business.
Obviously, this also means revisiting the underwriting approval models to simplify the process to make it easier for customers to do business with the insurance provider. All things desired by a 21st century consumer are at the top of the list. This means investing into a myriad of solutions to optimize the sales process – CRM for keeping track of customers, CMS to improve interaction with the consumer to deliver the right type, relevant content, and the Big Data Analytics to understand which customers buy, what they buy, and when they buy.
Once the technological investments optimize the revenue generation to stay on top of the changes in the industry to maintain the market share, it is time to look at the efficiency and productivity aspects of the business. After all, being able to operate the business on a smaller budget allows to grow the business by re-investing the funds to increase the market share, executing possible M&A actions, and commencing powerful PR & Advertisement campaigns.
Technologies for Reducing Costs and Improving Efficiency and Productivity
Insurance business is highly dependent on expensive and highly unscalable field operations which account for the largest share of expenses in the industry. These are caused by claims. Certainly, the whole business is built around “betting” on claims, but there are technologies available that facilitate a rapid reduction in costs and risks.
Though many improvements in efficiency and productivity can be gained by overhauling existing claims management systems and business processes, these are very expensive, high risk exercises that often derive long term benefits and are far from low handing fruits in ROI. The best technologies that offer a tremendous impact to ROI in this space are technologies that help optimize human operations.
Disruption in many industries is caused by minimizing and eliminating human effort in places where operations were seemingly impossible without a human touch. Picture capturing capabilities in auto claims, for example, have been able to eliminate the need to dispatch adjusters in the field for small claims and derive significant improvements in business process to reduce the claim cycle times.
On the property side, similar great ROI can be gained through mobile real-time video capabilities delivered from the policyholder directly to the desk adjuster at FNOL, CAT, or subsequent interactions. Since every property is different and each property claim is unique due to the building interior and exterior, a detailed contextual information is needed that not only documents the claim but also helps remotely assess the scope and type of the damage. This technology has the capabilities to accelerate the claim cycle time to the same standard as the automotive claims, in 24-48 hours. In addition, having the ability to quickly close small and even medium claims and provide the means to effectively triage incoming claims to prioritize field adjustment assignments is extremely powerful in reducing costs of dispatching resources in the field.
The next set of technologies helps improve the efficiency of prevention and surveyance. Weather analytics technology is extremely helpful in helping trigger notifications to the policyholders to take extra precautions to secure their belonging in an event of inclement weather. Parking the car in the garage or boarding up windows can go a long way in minimizing or completely preventing possible damage. Technologies that track weather activity and its paths are highly effective in this area. Meanwhile, satellite imagery and drones are effective tools when applied after the storm subsides to survey the land in search of sign of damage.
Technologies for Reducing Risks
Though there are many solutions for reducing business related risks, they are almost always far from low hanging fruits and require substantial investments both in the business process enhancements and technology. They rely on Data, Analytics, Trending, and many iterations of fine-tuning to help identify a set of predefined risks and trigger alarms when they are encountered.
Though every organization will implement their own business strategy and will prioritize each of the initiatives according to internal goals, there are always opportunities available to seek immediate gains by deploying lightweight scalable and inexpensive technology.
Have you identified your low hanging fruit?