- On July 31, 2017
In our conversations with insurance carriers and solution providers, we’re often asked how teams can set themselves up to handle the objections that come up when making the case to adopt new technology that is set to transform a fundamental part of their business. It’s natural for any initiative, with the number of stakeholders who become involved, to get stuck in the myriad of details that need to get sorted out. How long is it going to take? How can we do it without disrupting how we operate today? What are the next steps?
It all makes business transformation seem like the most daunting of challenges — so many things to consider, and even more things to do.
Automated claims handling is a topic that’s top of mind for many insurers. The idea of end-to-end “no-touch” claims handling is appealing to be sure: Property and Casualty (P&C) insurance carriers continue to see the number of claims rise every year along with claim severity and insured losses, and the Claims function is often viewed as one of the most manual, labour-intensive parts of an insurance business. Straight-through processing (STP), in which a claims process is fully automated, offers the promise of making it possible for a large percentage of claims, typically low-risk in nature, to be handled quickly and efficiently through the smart application of data analytics and artificial intelligence.
Instead of taking weeks to close a claim, imagine being able to do it in seconds (and without any of the manual labour). It sounds great in principle, but can feel impossible to do in practice.
Four keys to success
At NGRAIN, we work with our customers every day to bring clarity to claims automation, in particular how insurance companies can apply our AI-based capabilities to automatically process photos or 3D imagery, generate estimates, and validate claims in seconds. By establishing what we call the “four keys to success,” a foundation can be established that informs a deployment roadmap, considers the need to minimize day-to-day disruption, and ensures that all stakeholders are involved in the journey:
- Outcomes: We always ask stakeholders to be clear about what they want to achieve, and work with them to breakdown their long-term vision for claims handling into practical, actionable priorities. A long term vision can be a double-edged sword. It helps teams clarify what “good” looks like, but can also become an obstacle if achieving the vision is expected on Day 1. Establishing clear priorities, and setting achievable goals on reasonable timescales helps everyone see continuous progress being made, which incidentally goes a long way toward helping build buy-in and support from the rest of the organization.
- People: Getting the right team together and getting participation from all of the functions and roles who have a stake in the end solution is crucial to success. It can be tempting to assume that change needs to be driven “top down” or “bottom up,” but the reality is that both are often needed to be successful. For example, an executive sponsor (“top down”) can help build recognition that the initiative is a corporate priority. Likewise, a team of people who deal with claims problems on the ground (“bottom up”) can be your most avid champions in adopting a new approach, especially if they develop a sense of ownership and stake in its success.
- Process: A careful diagnosis of the way claims are currently handled can be an enlightening exercise — while it’s easy to get excited about the idea of fully automated claims handling, developing a careful understanding of the problems that exist in the claims process today can help inform near-term priorities (i.e. what the “low hanging fruit” might be), and also establish early wins that prove out the business case for new technology, while also eliminating as much uncertainty as early as possible. Being able to articulate what the business looks like today, and what it will look like tomorrow, will also help drive conversations with stakeholders — what are the issues that will need to be addressed, and is this something that can be made to work in practice?
- Technology: While undoubtedly an essential component to enabling change, we always think of technology as the last, rather than first, piece of the puzzle. Informed by the right outcomes, people, and process, the discussion can then be had about what technology will need to be put into place, and how that tech will have to interface and interact with all of the other technology already in place within the organization. It’s always helpful to think of technology as something that is continuously evolving — establishing a solid foundation that solves some specific business problems on Day 1, with room to evolve over time, is a good way to take action early and manage expectations at the same time!
We understand that delivering a great customer experience, reducing cycle time in claims, and achieving greater operational efficiencies are the priorities of any insurance business. If you’re interested in automating claims and are looking for help, we’d love to connect — get in touch with us today!