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Insurance: improve claims management and overcome data silos

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February 18, 2016

The amount of data that insurers manage keeps growing. Insurance companies increasingly embrace big data, the Internet of Things and new ways to leverage information and technologies as part of their efforts to transform and improve efficiency. And that means data, lots of it.

Many insurance challenges and opportunities are related with digital evolutions, increasing competition from outside the industry and customer experience. Technologies play an essentially role in the insurance industry to tackle those challenges as the graphic below indicates.

Bridging information silos in transactions, claims management and beyond
On top of the data coming with the embraced new technologies, insurance companies already are highly document-intensive and inherently information-intensive. However, information silos and the growing diversity of information sources and formats in transactions and customer-related processes (for example, claims management) cause issues regarding customer experience, efficiency and even the capacity to innovate.

Technology becomes increasingly important in the insurance industry
The customer data and overall information silo issue, with paper and disconnected back-office processes remaining significant hurdles, stand in the way of transformations for a digital age.

Claims management: hybrid digitisation to deal with changing customer expectations
Challenges also exist on the level of specific processes such as insurance claims management. The mentioned diversity of information formats, documents and sources is one example of such a challenge. P&C insurers have to deal with ways to handle these many documents, content formats and information types concerning claims. Consumers expect their claims to be followed up fast and in a transparent and preferably digital way.

Optimising the claims management process is essential for customer satisfaction. However, as Accenture research found, even if they are very satisfied with the way their claim has been handled, many consumers switch to other insurers nevertheless. What really matters is the overall customer experience: from the insurance customer onboarding process to the claims process and beyond.

This doesn’t mean that claims management isn’t important. Policyholders simply expect it to be good. The need to capture more forms of claims-related data (such as pictures and a variety of documents) in one workflow or connected process can be solved with a hybrid capture approach, thus making claims management simply better and more efficient. Claims-related documents and content are then digitised and injected into the claims management processes at the best and most relevant point of entry.

Some of this data needs to be captured by agents or mobile workers. In such cases, mobile capture is a good fit in this increasingly hybrid capture reality of insurance companies. At other times, capture needs to happen on the level of the insurance staff dealing with (part of) the claims process, which means capture on a departmental level or distributed capture. And sometimes a centralised scanning approach is needed too, often combined with digitisation possibilities in a web-based capture context.

Such a ubquituous capture approach helps to speed up that crucial claims management process and improve customer experience. Moreover, a tailored digitisation strategy enables you to bridge the data silos, among others regarding customer data and claims, as data is captured and treated in the context of the business process and independent from location.