Digital Transformation: No Longer an Option, but a Critical Path
The growing demand for more streamlined processes and richer customer experiences has insurers prioritizing digital transformation as they seek to implement easier and faster ways to manage the hundreds of decisions that need to take place from the minute an auto accident occurs to the final resolution of a claim.
CCC’s VP of Product Marketing, Jason Verlen, offers the following insights on where customer experience fits within insurers’ innovation efforts, how insurers can appropriately leverage data to digitize the claims process, and how AI and a connected network can impact insurer workflows and improve policyholder satisfaction.
1. The Pace of Change
The pace of change is relative depending on how it’s perceived. In just the last few years, AI has made a serious impact on the claims process.
Not long ago, insurance carriers digitizing their claims process was mostly unheard of. Today, 27% of all repairable vehicle claims go through more automated steps, and that number increases greatly with additional considerations.
Many industries are experiencing transformative systemic change, from hospitality (e.g. short-term rentals in someone’s home versus a hotel) to banking (e.g. depositing checks or transferring funds directly from a phone). The insurance industry is just one example that further illustrates the world’s progressive adoption and implementation of new ideas and concepts that enable ease and freedom of choice.
2. Insurer Readiness
There is work to be done in the areas of technology, talent, process automation, and organizational structure before some insurers feel fully ready for digital transformation.
There are advantages to technology platform adoption versus taking an internal-only approach to digital transformation. COVID-19, for example, had an unexpected and immediate impact in that insurers had to quickly pivot to a more digitized, and in many cases, more mobile process. Those already integrated with an existing platform capable of connecting the dots across multiple steps within the claims process likely had an easier adjustment period, which is something that may have been challenging to an insurer working alone.
3. A Forward Look at Customer Experience
There are three aspects of customer experience that an insurer may want to consider before taking steps toward digital transformation. For starters, bringing ecosystem connections into their workflows can create more seamless policyholder journeys from start to finish. Another consideration is leveraging digitized processes to build trust with customers. Finally, and perhaps most important, is efficiency – a need underscored by recent labor shortages. The potential of the industry’s vision of straight-through processing can help bridge multiple entry points and pathways within the claims workflow, which addresses these and more customer experience considerations.
4. The Power of Data
Digital transformation is happening rapidly, and advanced analytics platforms can give insurers the insights needed to act on the wealth of available data in meaningful ways, such as allocating resources, identifying impediments, and reducing cycle times.
And when it comes to the cloud, many carriers are already interacting with it, but deeper integrations can help accelerate processing even further by improving point-to-point interactions – from payments to simplified communications and so much more. Imagine a potential scenario where an insurer connects with a bank in the event of a total loss to clear a lien faster or with a shop’s diagnostic tools for title processing. Insurers will likely want these connections, especially if they are offered through a single provider, as they can help streamline workflows and reduce back-and-forth communication as much as possible.
5. How Do Insurtech Partners Fit?
When working with insurtech providers, the most important benefit is scalability, and integrating multiple connections into the carrier’s workflow in a way that aligns to meet their needs is one way to enable their growth through widespread adoption.
There are many examples of this, but one that best illustrates the role insurtechs play is how an insurer, repairer, and OEM are linked within an ecosystem. Think of how easy it would be to share accident information digitally with a repairer after a policyholder selects a nearby shop and appointment time. The repairer could then run a diagnostic scan, and the insurer could view that information to help them confirm consistent pricing. Finally, an OEM can see that the scans took place to help confirm repairs meet their standards.
When ecosystem connections like these are made, insurers can start seeing more seamless, efficient experiences across the network.
The future of insurance comes with its challenges, some of which include climbing repair costs, vehicle complexity, and talent sourcing. Digitization shouldn’t be a carrier’s biggest struggle, especially when the opportunity to embrace technology and move towards a more connect future is within reach.
As we look to the future – from enhanced policyholder experiences to increased efficiency, improved decision making, and beyond – we’re seeing the insurance industry evolving and exploring how and where digitization can have the greatest impact.