Making Payouts Faster and Easier
How an insurance company handles claims can make or break its reputation. From a consumer point of view, what good are low car insurance premiums if it takes weeks to get the money for your car repair?
Speed is one of the reasons more companies are choosing to automate their processes for handling common claims. And it’s not just related to fast payouts. A consumer can now get the details of their rental-car agreement or be contacted by a damage-restoration company within minutes after a covered event involving their car or home.
In addition, automated claims processing can save staff time because a human touch is not needed every step of the way. For example, if a necessary document is missing from a file, the automated bot in charge of that file can request it from the consumer instead of a staff member having to do so. Add up lots of small time savers like this, and it can mean a substantial difference over a longer period.
The automated claims process can help circumvent human error, too. A person might enter $1,000 one place and accidentally type $10,000 somewhere else. With an automated process, the same information autopopulates wherever it appears in a claim.
Automating claims can also help detect fraud. Using past and current claims, a computer program can see patterns in data that a human might not. For example, if one area of a city has lots of hail claims but another doesn’t, a claim in the section of town that was not hit by the storm could be flagged for further review.
In order to automate claims processing, a few different technologies are often used:
Robotic Processing Automation
Robotic processing automation (RPA) is the technology that enables software to perform specific tasks quickly and accurately. The software is programmed with a set of rules and directions—if this happens, do that. So, for example, if a consumer with rental-car coverage gets into an accident and fills out a claims form online, the claims software could be programmed to find the closest rental-car location, automatically set up a reservation and send that reservation information via text to the consumer.
RPA is especially useful for completing repetitive tasks that need to be done frequently and that don’t require judgment calls.
Optical Character Recognition (OCR)
This technology makes it possible to convert paper documents to electronic data by “reading” the typed or written text. That information is then digitized, which means it can be edited, searched and stored more easily.
OCR is widely used for everything from depositing checks to verifying ticketing information at airport security. For insurance purposes, OCR can turn paperwork like an auto-body estimate, a doctor’s notes or an adjuster’s damage assessment into electronic information that is much easier to share and disseminate than if it was buried in a file cabinet.
Natural Language Processing (NLP)
Have you ever called a business and had a conversation with a recorded voice that is able to move you through a series of steps to get you the help you need? That bot was likely making use of natural language processing.
NLP is a technology that translates the many varied way humans communicate into language that a machine can understand—also known as computational linguistics. So instead of needing to hear one exact phrase like “I need to file a claim,” NLP would also recognize “I want to file a claim” or “Make a claim” or even just “Claim.”
Automated claims processing still has some kinks to work out—anyone who’s been subjected to a poorly programmed bot knows the science still has a way to go. But with improved speed, accuracy, money savings, and fraud detection, insurance companies are likely to automate more and more of their processes going forward.
Hometown Quotes uses automation to find and prequalify active insurance shoppers, giving you fresh leads in under two minutes. Call us today at 800.820.2981 to learn more.