By David Sexton, Vice President and Leader, Cognizant Insurance Practice for UK & Ireland
Video-technology is proving to be a game changer for the insurance industry, dramatically transforming the way claims are reported, received and handled.
As adoption rates increase, manually heavy management processes are prime targets for updating.
To get a clearer picture of the savings opportunities, a recent report by McKinsey indicates that claim management represents 28.5 percent of overall operating expenses for European P&C companies.
But is not all about costs. Video technology presents a unique opportunity to reimagine customer experience and streamline reports both for the policy holder and the carrier by reducing the response time and involvement of too many intermediaries.
As a result, some insurers have started adopting new video solutions to reduce the time taken to process a claim and improve customer satisfaction. With the potential to capture and transmit claims evidence in real time via smartphones, while meeting stringent standards of data integrity, the use of video is moving into the mainstream and achieving adoption at scale.
Transforming the video claims process
By using secure visual confirmation video technology for insurance claims, captured either by insurers’ own claims adjusters or directly by customers, assessment for claims can be undertaken more rapidly based on the captured photos and videos.
Property insurance is one area that has seen the greatest adoption of video solutions. The claims process typically involves site visits by a third-party loss adjuster, and subsequent back and forth between adjusters and processing teams if any unexpected developments arise. Therefore, in claims where visual inspection is a main factor, video technology can radically streamline the process, whether through remote assisted evaluation or a fully video-based report.
The technology also supports live two-way recorded secure visual confirmation site visits, so an insurance claims handler could guide the policyholder around a property. Early adopters have embedded the tool as part of their property claims adjusting process.
For commercial insurers, where international travel is often involved in adjusting a specialist claim, the opportunities extend beyond the obvious reduction in travel costs, as video can significantly reduce the time for customers to get appropriate staff to the site of the claim. A centralised expert adjusting team can instantaneously collaborate with a local adjustor and/or the claimant’s team using the shared video claims process, drastically reducing the time for reaching a conclusion on a claim, which is vital when a business is reliant on a payment to continue operations.
Steps to success
Adopting video inevitably entails a number of practical considerations for insurers, from reviewing existing talent requirements to reengineering current systems and processes to maximise the benefits. Here are a few key considerations for insurers before embarking on an implementation.
Customer engagement: ensuring customers are comfortable with a video-enabled process, especially during potentially stressful situations, is a critical step in winning customers over to the mutual business benefits of this new approach. Insurers should play an educational role and explain the benefits in using video tools for convenience and speed.
Cultural adoption: claims teams will need to be reassured that this technology can help them work more efficiently rather than replacing them. Traditional call handlers may need to be trained in initiating the revised claims process and interacting with clients over video, as will other third parties, such as repair contractors, involved in the new collaborative process. Likewise, insurers will need to develop skills and business rules to determine which claims to process using video, as this approach will not be suitable for all customers, or in all scenarios.
Process changes: to gain maximum advantage, video claims should not just be applied to old processes. The benefits will come from redefining how they work depending on the type of clients, claims being serviced and preferred deployment models. For example, the processes involved in a customer self-service model will differ from those needed when junior adjusters on-site interact with centrally located experts.
Integration: challenges integrating with older policy and claims systems should not prevent firms moving forward with proof of concepts. Initial transfer of data between the existing claims system and the new video platform can be implemented using manual data processing between systems while volumes are low. Once the benefits are proven, insurers should carefully consider the level of integration required with policy and claims systems alongside the changes to the processes to make the most of video platforms.
Storage: with the rise in the use of video as part of the claims process and the need to retain any information that becomes part of the claims record, insurers will also need to consider the ability to cost-effectively store, retrieve, manage and archive video footage ensuring compliance with the data protection laws in place. Some platforms already address this issue by using compression technology to reduce file sizes and improve data management processes.
Act now to remain competitive
With a range of new technologies poised to transform claims processes in the coming years, video, in conjunction with an effective and considerate user experience, has much to offer, both as a stand-alone solution and as part of a deeper, digitally enabled business transformation.