Lower Claim Volume Can Help Accelerate Innovation

Claims frequency is slowing dramatically for P/C carriers due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Fewer people are driving, fewer people are working, and there has been a dramatic reduction in open businesses. In normal times, claims organizations are firing on all cylinders to keep pace with volume and complexity. During this slowdown, claims departments have an opportunity to test innovations to be ready for the new normal of business operations.

Work Has Gone Virtual

The pandemic has made virtual business a new normal. Virtual inspection capabilities for property claims and telemedicine have been increasing in use. Now is a good time for insurers who haven’t experimented with virtual claims handling to train their adjusters to leverage video to connect with claimants.

There are virtual platforms in the marketplace that provide live video and photo capture in real-time to assist with damage estimation. Telemedicine, including virtual nurse case management, is gaining traction in cities and rural areas.

Digital Engagement Should Be Frictionless

I’ve heard from many insurers that the transition to remote work has been a great test for gaps in digital processes. Carriers who capitalize on the opportunity to remove friction from the claims handling process, even in small ways, will be ahead of the curve as business volume returns.

Digital claims payment processing hasn’t been a standard process for many carriers, but more consumers now expect it. Many digital claims payments solutions exist that provide payment flexibility to insureds, claimants, vendors, and other third parties. Now might be the opportune time to evaluate and pilot these capabilities while claim volume is reduced.

Insurers are also learning about the timeliness of the information available to claimants on claim portals. Information that is static or does not provide adequate information to claimants is becoming a point of frustration. Carriers who have real-time information about the actual claim status (i.e., not just open or closed), inspections, appointments, and payments and who have a way to connect with claims adjusters in real-time are leading the way in transforming claim service in the digital age.

Data Can Improve Outcomes

Many insurers have been working with machine learning and advanced analytic models to triage claims, identify severity, provide damage estimates, and detect fraud. One of the critical elements of successful model deployment is having adjusters provide feedback on the accuracy of the models, particularly in damage estimation.

Adjuster feedback helps to refine models and improve outcomes for all types of analytics. With lower frequency, carriers can have adjusters review model estimates and output for continuous refinement. Carriers who haven’t deployed models for key capabilities should consider exploring solutions to create a more data-driven claims process.

Carriers who take the opportunity to improve their claims processes during this pandemic will come out on the other side with more effective solutions that meet the expectations of individuals and businesses. Carriers who don’t will be even further behind the curve as the new normal economy and business models become based in digital business.

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