There has been a huge influx of technology advances in the insurance claims space in the last five years, as insurers recognise the need to innovate if they are to stay ahead of the game. This re-engineering process will transform the way that claims are managed in the future and as a result create an opportunity to deliver a more customer focused service.
At present, a significant amount of a claims handler’s time is spent on repetitive (yet often vital) administrative tasks. The increased deployment and use of data analytics, AI and robotics, will free up claims handler’s time to focus on those key claims drivers that deliver greater added value for customers such as speedy payments, increased transparency and more well-informed claims decisions on liability and quantum. Such time savings do not just benefit insurers though as the effect of simpler more efficient claims processes should also save customers time, which can be redirected into managing their own businesses.
One year ago, QBE employed its first claims robot. Now seven robots are quietly working away in claims, enabling our claims handlers to spend more time on value added services.
Robotics is a perfect example of how innovation is delivering benefits to our customers. Routine claims processes - such as searching, collating and formatting data, populating forms, setting up claims, instructing third parties and processing payments - can be automated, speeding up processes and ensuring that the right information is delivered to the right people, accurately, consistently and on time.
For example, QBE has developed a robot to carry out the task of entering emails into the claims system. Taken across the 300-strong claims team, handling hundreds of emails per day, this initiative alone frees up significant resource, releasing valuable time in our handlers working week. Combined, our seven claims robotics should free-up claims’ handlers time by some 300-350 hours per week by the end of the first quarter of 2019, enabling them to spend more time on those value added services for our customers.
When combined with predictive analytics, robotics will soon allow for the automatic submission and allocation of claims, as well as more informed decision making. At an early stage it should be possible to predict the liability stance or the cost of repair or damage, potentially expediting the claims process and reducing elapsed time. For example, we have developed an image analysis tool that can assess the extent of damage to a motor vehicle, fast-tracking claims that are likely to be a total loss.
The past two years has demonstrated the potential for technology to transform the claims process, laying the foundations for the next phase - a strategic rollout that will see technologies like robotics, machine learning and data analytics combined and applied across the commercial insurance claims function.
Our people will remain the most important asset of our claims teams and the automation of non-value added tasks will see the nature of claims handling move to a much more customer-focused discipline in the future.
For us, the key to success is developing the right technology that fits the needs of our customers and our business, while ensuring that people and technology work alongside each other to deliver the best result for the customer.