Client Experience: Insurance Automation
December 01, 2021
By Greg Fritsky
Insurance companies run many disparate systems and processes and it takes a lot of people to make everything work. Everything from claims management to policy management, investment accounting, even the core finance and operations functions require a great deal of manual (‘hands on keyboard’) work that needs to get done -- and now most of it, if not all, is being done remotely. We're always being squeezed to try to do more with less, and people are not necessarily able to use the same level of resource capacity that they've had in the past. They're trying to do more with less. So how do you find a way to automate and streamline to accommodate growth?
What Is RPA?
Robotics Process Automation (RPA) is a software technology that makes it easy to build, deploy, and manage software robots or ‘bots’ that emulate human actions interacting with business applications. RPA is a simple form of artificial intelligence that allows software to execute the ‘hands on keyboard’ tasks just as a human worker would.
How Are insurers applying RPA?
From an insurance operations perspective, there are countless activities that involve manual processing tasks. Functions such as running Microsoft Excel macros, managing email notifications, and performing common keyboard activities such as journal postings, account reconciliations and file data transfers are all part of every workflow process and are suitable candidates for automation. The major benefit of automating a full ‘end-to-end’ business process is that companies often realize a significant return on investment (ROI) within a relatively short period of time. For insurers, the collection of data from disparate actuarial, policy, and investment systems can be daunting but RPA ‘bots’ can handle the aggregation, validation and transformation of both structured and unstructured data. Insurers that have successfully implemented RPA have eliminated over 70% of manual activities.
For every insurance claim that is submitted, insurers get seven to ten customer inquiries just to check on the status. Technology can change the user experience into a positive encounter via automation. For example, when a customer sends an email, a bot can take care of that email request by automatically logging the claim request. In addition, the bot can post the transaction back into the insurer’s portal and then send an email to the customer. The customer can just go to the customer portal and check on the status. Additional enhancements are focused on allowing the customer to use self-service protocols. Automation can help insurers redirect customers calls into the contact center where representatives that are trained and focused on serving those customers with the more complex questions are waiting to respond and support the customer journey and ensure a positive client experience. The customer no longer needs to wait to get responses from the insurer and the settlement of claims can be completed in an expedited way.
How to Get Started
The first question to ask is: How much of your business process is manual? Technology is supposed to make your life easier; by deploying RPA technology, you can accomplish this. Manual process, not leveraging data out of your existing system, no real time information, inability to scale and grow… all of these are signs that you have found a good candidate for automation. However, if you are unsure of how to measure the inefficiencies and risks, then consider utilizing a partner (internal or external) who can investigate. Process discovery sessions as part of a current state assessment can help benchmark processes and measure time lost to manual workflow. RPA consultants can help you develop the business case, select the right use cases and design new processes.
Insurance is a dynamic industry and on the path to transformation. Are you ready to embark on this exciting journey? Your clients will certainly appreciate that you did.