Insurance Technology Upends Insurance Staffing Demands
Getting the work done is getting much easier thanks to insurance technology
Before the COVID-19 pandemic hit, many people were wary of the coming wave of automation. That’s because no matter how exciting the idea is that a robot can do the repetitive work humans may hate, there has always been a nagging thought that maybe these same robots could, in fact, replace a human employee. How could a mere human compete against a “workforce” that is not prone to fatigue, emotion, or distraction? The idea was too threatening to consider.
Currently, we are seeing an almost unrecognizable landscape. Instead of robots replacing human workers we find, instead, nervous insurance executives scrambling to find the talent they need to continue to grow their companies.
Ironically, the pandemic brought into greater focus the need for insurance technology automation. With the inevitable layoffs, many companies were forced to finally face the automation challenge. More significantly, many furloughed workers saw new opportunities unfolding for them, leaving insurance executives with a growing need for a competent workforce.
In a recent poll conducted by West Munroe, executives cited the inability to find talent with the right skillset as the number one challenge for the C-Suite. In an effort to meet both staffing goals and improve employee retention, insurance industry leaders are turning to insurance technology. Pairing business intelligence with automated processes not only makes sense but also makes money by eliminating errors and expediting processes.
Understanding Insurance Technology
Also known as insurtech, insurance technology is a comprehensive term that describes the full array of digital technologies employed in the industry. The addition of artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) means insurance technology will grow and evolve in tandem with the new tech tools that come into play for insurance organizations.
There will never be an end to the new developments that insurance technology can adapt that will better serve their customers while boosting bottom-line performance. However, the two core processes that form the foundation of insurance technology will not likely change as insurance companies continue streamlining their operations. We are talking about intelligent automation (IA) and robotics process automation (RPA), both of which noticeably boost efficiency, slash expenses and lighten workloads, making the human workforce of higher value and more productive. With help from digital consulting companies, such benefits obviously lead to a razor-sharp edge that leaves competitors vying for similar results along with a respectful standing in the industry.
How IA and RPA Propels Insurance Technology
When it comes to the daily operations that drive most insurance businesses, it is typically IA and RPA in the midst of both front- and back-end processes such as:
From the moment a prospect converts to a customer, care and attention to that individual should go above and beyond the usual call for customer support. Insurance policies are never simple and offer a lot of options—both of which can overwhelm customers, particularly newcomers just learning the ropes of an unfamiliar (to them) insurance company. Managing the mountain of data that accompanies a new policy is a snap for RPA, as it compiles and consolidates all the pertinent information and delivers the data to the central system. Equally valuable is its ability to structure a profile that new policyholders can readily access and easily understand.
The reason policyholders pay out those precious premiums is the security of both mind and wallet so that when the unforeseen occurs, the company steps in quickly and competently to resolve concerns, assess damages, and provide proper compensation. All of those factors make it absolutely essential that the entire claims process is streamlined from the moment a claim has been filed until settlement has been finalized. By deploying IA and RPA, the majority of claims are processed without a blip on the screen. Those unusual or exceptional situations that demand the skills of a trained professional are also identified faster and resolved quicker.
Policy Administration and Servicing
This is an area where IA and RPA can show their strengths through engaging and compelling experiences with policyholders using the magic of analytics, intelligent Optical Character Recognition (OCR), machine learning, and natural language processing. Insurance companies have learned firsthand that customers want results—and when RPA can deliver them faster and more accurately, they’re satisfied. That’s because customers feel their needs and desires have been anticipated and delivered with minimal delay or modifications. RPA can even read and interpret most customer emails and forward them to the appropriate departments, all while collecting and analyzing disparate data from a variety of sources and compiling and delivering actionable information to the proper parties.
Even though policyholders have automated dates defined for their premium payments, there are often policy modifications made in the middle of a period that can adjust future payments. Of course, with IA at the forefront, new premium calculations are produced on the spot, giving the curious customer the opportunity to test various scenarios and determine which policy will best meet their own particular needs. Cancellations are just as easily managed, with the customer receiving a clear and detailed accounting of final adjustments. Such a gracious and competent farewell leaves a positive impression and creates the stage for an easy return at a later date.
Report automation can also be used to improve on internal processes.
The onus is on underwriters to accurately assess risks for each application received. By employing RPA bots, the challenging job of collecting data from various sources and conglomerating the information into a cohesive and comprehensive analysis is quickly and accurately performed. Once completed, different sets of information are delivered to relevant departments for human review and the final decision-making process. Finally, IA can tailor rates for each policy and customize it to better suit the needs and wants of the policyholder. The best part is, the bots can be scaled to further reduce the time taken to complete tasks. One bot works fast, but multiply that by two and the process can be completed in double the time. Multiply it by three…so on and so forth.
Establishing Your Insurance Technology
Thanks to the swift and broad advances made in both IA and RPA within the insurance industry over the past decade, establishing and growing your insurance technology is easier than ever. There are plenty of resources and many thought leaders able to guide underdeveloped companies, so the proper foundation for a robust and evolving insurance technology emerges before you know it.