Have you ever thought that claims actually represent the single best opportunity that insurers have to interact with their customers and deliver on the insurance promise, at what is frequently referred to as “the moment of truth.” Let’s first look at how the claim process looks from the eyes of the driver that got in the accident.
Accident Event Customer Journey
From the very moment you and another vehicle get into a car accident, your experience is full of touch and human interaction. Today, this process is even more stressful for people as they navigate social distancing and are more aware of their personal safety when it comes to interacting with people outside their network.
Here are the probable steps that driver has to take after getting into a car accident
- Engagement with the other driver. When you get into a car accident, if you and the other driver are both physically okay, you are likely to get out of your respective vehicles and begin the process of calling the police, a tow truck, and exchanging information. This process requires a lot of interaction with other people and can feel scary and unsafe, even when we’re not in the middle of a covid-19.
- Take pictures at the scene. You need to take pictures of the damage to your car and/or the driver’s car so that there is proof of what occurred at the scene and to share with the insurance company to develop a loss estimate. You do it with your smartphone camera, then open your email, search for claim office contacts, you find it, you search for the photos you took. You are not sure if this is all the information you needed to provide or if there is anything else you forgot. Finally, you attach photos and send them to the claims department of your insurer. You are not sure if the email reached the right person and if your case gets to the process stage.
- Get roadside assistance. Getting roadside assistance can take time and hassle if the insurance provider’s network is out of reach. From the moment you are OK to call roadside assistance to the towing truck to come can take you from 30 mins to several hours. And then a similar time to arrange car replacement. That’s a lot of time of stress and waste.
The average time traditionally spent on managing a claim and finalizing the claims payment is about a month, but it could last several months given the specific scenario and damage. Today, utilizing new technology and virtual claims management system available for businesses and consumers, the payment of a claim may be issued within 24 hours of being filed.
Customers Want Fewer Touchpoints
Now as the consumers had already become enamoured by the allure and convenience of mobile, digital experiences delivered by the “FAANGs” (Facebook, Amazon, Apple, Netflix and Google/Alphabet) and others like them, customers naturally began to evaluate all other service levels by those standards.
Numerous studies over the last few years indicate that customers prefer fewer touches and expect fast cycle times, as they have become accustomed to the speed of digital service in other industries. And that spans not only through millennials, apparently, consumers of all ages are increasingly using digital channels insurance transactions as indicated in the World Insurance Report 2020.
One in five consumers prefer claim self-service optionsLexisNexis Risk Solutions insights 2019
Having this in mind for the insurance carrier this becomes a shift from measuring customer satisfaction to measuring customer experience because the ‘what I want, when I want, how I want it, and where I want it’ really doesn’t line up with old service models. Insurers have to evolve.
Automate the Simplest Claims Part
There are two different paths a claim could go — the touchless experience for smaller claims where digital tools can be leveraged by insurers and the personalized way that requires staff to engage and continue to play an active role in the claims process and claim settlement.
By going touchless for auto accident claims customer experience, claim handlers can prioritize simple claims and close them faster. Experienced resources can be reallocated to handle more complex claims, leaving the repetitive tasks for the solution to handle.
Nearly 50% of all claims reported are categorized as cosmetic, which then can be processed through an automated solutionSolera research insights.
In both of those scenarios, the most important thing is the customer and how he is being treated and what his expectations are.
The insurers that embrace technology are going to prosper because the tech enables them to meet customer expectations better. Also the important thing is that the insurance companies have to realize that the customer should be kept at the center and should not be mesmerized by all of the technologies that are surrounding it.
Control Fraud Attacks
Once entering remote claim management the fraudsters are emerging faster. But there is a way to control this.
It is vital that fraud is detected at the point of claim, and customer risk is assessed even earlier — at the point of policy inception, or even at the point of quote. This decreases risk and allows insurers to streamline their genuine customers through the touchless claims process with minimal risk and overall reduced operational costs.
Fraud detection technologies and big data with machine learning is fundamental in identifying fraud earlier and follow-up the change of trends over time.
Industry figures state that 10–20% of claims spend goes to fraudulent payments, with a significant amount of payments going undetected.
The solution insurance carrier is implementing should be able quickly to assess the authenticity of the claim by drawing comparisons with historical data and other available records. Its ability to process both structured and unstructured data means that all records are assessed, including claim handlers’ notes and supplemental images. Only the claims requiring further investigation are moved to investigators, the rest are approved for settlement within a much shorter period of time.
The first layer of fraud prevention is to unify FNOL process media submission, verify that all images or video are from the same vehicle, the images have not tampered with, and that the image quality is sufficient for damage detection. Also be able to verify if images were taken at the time and place of the First Notification of Loss.
Virtual Claims Processing Becomes a Reality
In the aftermath of COVID-19, virtual claims now seem like the most prudent way of adjudicating claims. Auto claims customer experience becomes the core of the customer management lifecycle. LexisNexis Risk Solutions insights 2019 report says that 79% of insurance leaders are looking to go touchless as compared to 49% just a year and a half ago. The same report indicates that claims executives who implemented some form of claims automation report faster claims service, increased customer satisfaction scores, and up to 50% reduction in loss adjustment expenses.
Claims optimization must be a strategic priority for insurance carriers
Now, the technologies that were driving towards digital transformation became critically important as the virtual and touchless claims concept became a reality almost overnight. Insurers’ use of customer self-service, photo estimating and artificial intelligence-supported claims expanded at a record pace, exceeding double-digit growth since just the beginning of the year, as auto insurers accelerated the use and adoption of digital tools in response to COVID-19.
Even though the concept of Touchless Claims is not yet fully adopted, it still provides insurance executives with a directional focus for future claims processing.