Intelligent Automation for volume Personal Injury claims delivery
“Intelligence is the ability to adapt to change” - Stephen Hawking
It is not just disrupters such as the impact of Covid-19 or the effect of the pending whiplash reforms that is driving the delivery of personal injury claims through a period of accelerated transition for motor insurers. A transformational potential for new world claims delivery had already taken off before either of these events and is now cruising at high altitude, super-fuelled by the race for innovation, invention and efficiency. The consolidation of robotic process automation (RPA), emerging artificially intelligent machine learning and developing optical character recognition software (OCR) is bringing opportunities to remodel claims delivery in this sector faster than could have been foreseen just a few years ago.
Challenging horizons do still remain, such as how to transition from legacy claims delivery solutions to a layered artificial intelligence and people claims handling approach; or how to ensure efficiency savings are maximised and looped back into processes for the benefit of customers. But there is no doubt that the genie signposting permanent change is now unequivocally out of the bottle and any motor insurer who fails to significantly alter its claims delivery platforms and systems will be left trailing in the slip-stream of its competitors.
“I could either watch it happen or be a part of it” - Elon Musk
Integrated, automated claims processing for the high volume motor claims environment is now a reality, capable of fast deployment and significant scalability. Automation is becoming the cornerstone for all claims functionality from liability decision making, valuing quantum, through to offer and settlement. By interacting efficient, automated process management with skilled claims handlers, an insurer can significantly reduce its costs base, not just through efficiency savings but also improved claims experience and life cycles. Kuarterback, our own digital intelligent claims solution, has rapidly gained traction and sign up with motor insurers, having demonstrated significant time and process efficiency savings, an ability to negotiate and auto offer as well as providing a data source extraction for insight into claims indemnity spend, benchmarking, know your opponent and strategy.
It is no longer a case of exploring the advantages of automated claims processing but rather delivering those advantages to rationalise claims handling and accelerate efficiency and expediency. Behavioural pattern recognition is the next ticket, resetting the early investigation of fraudulent and suspicious claims from first notification of loss to claims commencement. Predictive analytics will serve as the foundation for liability decision modelling and automated data processing is already rebooting analytical capability, avoiding both administrative errors and time costly manual processing. Intelligent document processing (IDP) sits above artificial intelligence and machine learning, replacing manual, labour focused and high volume repetitive tasks across claims handling platforms in the digital claims processing transformational journey.
And this is just the beginning, because digital innovation and invention in claims processing is still relatively embryonic and fast developing.
“Computers are incredibly fast, accurate and stupid: humans are incredibly slow, inaccurate and brilliant: together they are powerful beyond imagination” – Albert Einstein
Einstein was right, except for the “stupid” part. Automation’s next step change will be a transition from the computer robot to pioneering artificial intelligence - the ability to assimilate and deploy digital deep learning and neural network pathways to claims handling functions, substituting a claims handler’s experience and professional judgement in certain areas for a digital answer in seconds.
But if this prediction is accurate, where does it leave the claims professional? Will there be a people role in claims processing and what will it look like? The demise of the claims professional in the delivery process is not as imminent as some artificial intelligence scientists suggest, because tomorrow’s claims delivery will require an effective hybrid functionality and a decision making process where people are still part of the claims solution. Claims solutions will still require intervention from people claims handlers and the impact of a dual technological and people approach to claims delivery will add to and enhance the customer proposition. The technological realignment in claims delivery solutions cannot provide a complete solution without a skilled claims professional working alongside smart thinking digital systems to counter claims severity and damages inflation driven by changing injury types such as the industrialisation of minor multi-site and psychological injuries. Intelligent technology will compliment and augment the capability of the skilled claims professional, not replace it.
“There is only one boss. The customer. And he can fire everybody in the company from the chairman down, simply by spending his money elsewhere” - Sam Walton Founder of Wal-Mart Stores Inc.
Customer experience of the claims journey tests the strength of the relationship with the insurer. Speed of settlement, transparency of process and clear communication remain the foundations of the customer claims experience. Such customer experience, efficiency and effectiveness must be a central objective of a hybrid automated and people claims handling solution. A hybrid solution has the opportunity to increase customer satisfaction, reduce claims expenses and improve claims handling accuracy, driving customer loyalty. Satisfaction surveys, however, confirm that personal contact is key to the claims journey and customer proposition. The use of digital channels to notify and track status of claims enhances the claims experience but cannot replace the personal element. The insurer that can combine a multi-channel digital and data-driven claims proposition for back and front office services entwined with a personal approach across its claims delivery platforms will deliver a better overall claims experience and manage the changing expectations of its customers, resulting in increased customer retention.
“Change is the law of life and those who look only to the past and present are certain to miss the future”- John F Kennedy
Many insurers are (and all insurers should now be) reviewing strategy, focusing on road mapping a hybrid automated and claims professional solution for claims delivery. This remodelling will need to stitch together all existing and pending claims handling platforms under one umbrella strategy. This review should be kick started and, if it has already begun, expedited now to ensure motor personal injury claims delivery is fit for purpose in a new artificially intelligent claims world.