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Automated processing turns insurance claims from cost center to differentiator

March 27, 2023 | Insurance Claims, Intelligent Intake

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One of the biggest factors in customer satisfaction for insurance companies is processing claims quickly. For commercial insurance companies, artificial intelligence technologies pave the way for automated claims processing, which helps keep clients happy and can even deliver a competitive advantage.

Traditionally, claims were nothing more than a cost center for insurance companies. But a recent Accenture survey showed how insurance companies that take steps to adopt claims process automation and generally make claims more seamless for clients are rewarded with improved customer satisfaction ratings, at least for personal lines.

But it also came with a warning: “There’s one piece that, according to our survey, drives satisfaction rates more than anything else: speed of settlement. The longer it takes to settle a claim, the less satisfied that policyholder will be.”

The study also found dissatisfaction with the claims process was a major factor in driving policyholders to switch companies. Nearly three-quarters of dissatisfied customers said they either did change providers (26%) or were considering it (48%).

 

Use of artificial intelligence in claims processing

 

Arguably, the issue is even more important for commercial insurance companies, given the larger premiums at stake, as a 2023 EY NextWave report on commercial and reinsurance made clear.

“Faster claims processing and reimbursement are universal desires among commercial insurance customers, no matter their sector, size or region,” the report said. “Indeed, there is every reason to believe that instantaneous settlement will become a baseline within a few years, thanks to a more connected industry and pervasive use of real-time data and advanced analytical tools.”

Instantaneous may be a tall order, but with technology that already exists there’s certainly room to speed up the claims process, even dramatically so. Insurance executives seem to understand this, including the role AI plays in claims processing automation.

In the Accenture survey, at least 75% of insurance executives said AI and machine learning can bring “considerable” or “great” value in various aspects of claims processing. But only 44% said their companies had advanced beyond initial stages in AI implementation with respect to claims adjusting, and even fewer in areas including fraud detection and mitigation (34%), damage assessment (38%), and processing optimization and automation (34%).

 

Related content: How intelligent intake solutions deliver 20:1 ROI for insurance companies

 

Intelligent intake speeds insurance claims processing

 

If only a third or so of your competitors are making good strides with the kind of AI-based technology they acknowledge is important, that spells opportunity.

And that last item, “processing optimization and automation,” is a great place to start. AI-based intelligent intake platforms that address claims processing automation have been available for years. Think of them as a first step in your automation and process improvement efforts.

Intelligent intake is a form of intelligent document processing that can automate much of what is now a manual process with respect to commercial claims processing. The platforms come with simple tools that enable your claims handlers or loss adjusters to build AI models that read all sorts of claims-related documents – emails and attached PDFs, ACORD forms, images – and extract pertinent information, including names, dates, policy numbers, descriptions of damage, and more.

The data is then input to a downstream claims processing tool, such as Guidewire ClaimCenter.  An effective intelligent intake solution can pre-populate some 80% of the required fields in the claims management system, while delivering a 70% reduction in manual document handling during the claims process. With this type of insurance claims automation, think of the productivity boost you’ll be getting.

 

Related content: 4 ways intelligent intake improves the commercial insurance claims process

 

Delivering value across the business

 

Intelligent intake applies to more than just claims processing, as the same technology can be used to streamline underwriting, policy servicing, and more. It’s the kind of AI-powered processing that EY said is crucial to an overall digital transformation strategy.

“Every part of the insurance enterprise must be digital and fully integrated with other functions,” EY said. “To make that vision a reality, insurers should prioritize transformation investments that deliver value across the business rather than simply implementing point solutions.”

You’ve got an opportunity to gain a competitive advantage by speeding up your claims processing, keeping existing customers happy, and attracting new ones. Intelligent intake can help you seize it. Click here to learn more.

 

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