Effectively managing information drives profitability and transforms customer experience.
Information is at the core of every insurance process, and for many years insurance companies have been focused solely on managing the data they need to make underwriting decisions. However, by concentrating only on data management, insurers have neglected to advance their business processes. Manual, labour-intensive processes persist, preventing insurers from making business decisions quickly – reducing their overall competitiveness.
Negative impact of manual processes on insurance organisations:
- Increase the costs of doing business
- Decrease staff productivity
- Extend processing times
- Make compliance with industry regulations tedious and inconsistent
How can your organisation improve processes
1. Improve access to information while optimising processes
Enterprise content management (ECM) solutions improve the way organisations manage both their data and their processes. With document and business process management technologies, ECM solutions integrate with core applications, such as an insurer’s claims or policy administration system, and utilise workflow and other collaboration tools to automate predictable, repetitive business processes. As a result, underwriters and assessors off-load low-value, time-intensive tasks like data entry and focus instead on more meaningful, high-value tasks such as evaluating new business. ECM provides a competitive differentiator to insurance companies, managed general agents and third-party administrators.
ECM automates insurance processes to:
- Reduce operating costs
- Improve productivity levels
- Diminish handling time
- Improve internal controls and decrease compliance risks
- Elevate customer service levels
For insurers, documents – paper or electronic – drive business processes. With manual, paper-based processes, information is stored in multiple places and difficult to locate. ECM digitally captures a variety of file formats and stores the information in a single, electronic repository. Multiple parties have instant and simultaneous access to a variety of information in one electronic customer record. ECM gives staff fingertip access to information, from insurance applications to supporting underwriting information, claims data or other documentation, which helps insurers increase their responsiveness.
You need to keep the lights on, and take on the exponentially growing needs of the business, but how?
So, if your IT department can’t cope with all the demands and says it is going to take months before they can even look at your request, then the business is drawn out to the sirens of “off the shelf” application providers. This new shadow IT function involves process owners going out to market directly to procure a ‘point’ solution. It all sounds so sensible until you end up with hundreds of disparate IT systems that are quickly handed back to IT to look after, integrate and manage. (But more on that in my next article.).
For now, let’s consider this simple question …
2. Improve customer service and underwrite better business faster
As customer service is often the primary differentiator in today’s competitive insurance market, responsiveness is essential. First call resolution for customer and agent issues provides an opportunity for insurers to deliver superior customer service. Because ECM integrates with an insurer’s line of-business applications, customer service representatives retrieve the information necessary to immediately address customer, agent and assessor requests with a single keystroke or mouse-click without leaving their screens.
Having access to information is crucial when generating profitable business for the company, as well. To make good decisions, underwriters often require information from multiple systems and diverse sources, and in a variety of document formats. With ECM, underwriters conveniently access diverse business critical information from a single interface. This increased efficiency allows underwriters to provide more accurate assessments and make faster decisions with less time and effort, while reducing risks associated with customer service level agreements. Insurers issue policies faster and with less error. And with productivity gains averaging 15 to 20 per cent, insurers also experience a significantly better return on their investment.
3. Expedite claims handling by automating repetitive tasks
Success in today’s claims handling requires instantaneous access to information for assessors, too, as well as the ability to extend information and communications easily to claimants and third-party service providers. Insurers who leverage ECM technologies tightly coupled to claims systems achieve a valuable combination of visibility, intelligence and customer care experiences to drive claims excellence. Better insights into claims operations, more productive assessors and improved communications to third-party relationships provide improved decision times, reduce loss adjustment expenses and increased customer satisfaction.
Beyond the advantages offered by its integration capabilities and its central electronic repository, ECM extends insurers a number of process management tools to automate processes. Streamlining predictable, repetitive tasks decreases operational costs by reducing bottlenecks and increasing efficiency. Workflow tools also increase internal controls to ensure staff members complete tasks according to compliance requirements, creating consistency across the company.
To find out more about how we have helped many customers in the Insurance industry and beyond achieve the business improvements detailed in the above content please feel free to send me an e-mail or get in touch via the phone. I would be happy to hear from you.
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Business Development Manager