Leveraging technology, The Hartford (Hartford, $237.3 billion in assets) is demonstrating how carriers can improve the claims experience for their policyholders and independent agent business partners with online initiatives.
Claiming an industry first, The Hartford has launched the capability to accept electronically first notice of loss (FNOL) for commercial auto and property claims, with supporting attachments, from its independent agents. The capability is enabled by the carrier's use of the IVANS (Greenwich, Conn.) Transformation Station data exchange using Web services and ACORD (Pearl River, N.Y.) XML for real-time transactions between agency and carrier systems.
The Hartford has added the ability to accept FNOL to existing Transformation Station capability, which includes loss run and billing inquiry for commercial lines, as well as policy contract inquiry for both personal and commercial lines. Sean Faherty, assistant vice president, business account management in The Hartford's claim department, describes the new capability as an extension of the carrier's e-service capabilities. "It extends to the claim function the same benefits that agents and policyholders are seeing on the underwriting side - ease of doing business with The Hartford, and faster service for clients," he says.
Agents can file FNOL, pre-filled by their own systems, and send it with the appropriate attachments directly from their own agency management systems, says Faherty.
The Hartford is not the only carrier to accept FNOL electronically, but the ability to accept claim attachments in PDF, Excel and other formats is unique, says Faherty. "Since adjudication of the claim requires both the FNOL and the supporting information, The Hartford can quickly and easily get everything it needs to start work on a claim," he adds.
Through its use of some of the most up-to-date technology and standards available to the industry, The Hartford is improving its service, says Jamie Bisker, director, insurance practice, TowerGroup (Needham, Mass.). "Leveraging the ACORD XML standards and IVANS Transformation Station allows The Hartford to concentrate on providing value to its stakeholders instead of trying to create competitive advantage from creating such systems on its own," he says.
More Self Service
In response to its employer customers' need for more efficient access to standard status reports that help to monitor and manage group benefits plans, The Hartford has also added self-service reporting capability to its Employer View Web site. Group life and disability customers can now have more immediate access to medical underwriting status reports, as well as reports that detail short-term and long-term disability claim status, disability transaction details of claims payments, and long-term disability valuation, which provides reserve information for long-term disability claims.
"Customers can now obtain access in less than 30 minutes, [compared] to what used to take several calls and a couple of days," reports Brian Neary, vice president of customer relationship management, The Hartford. Before the self-service capability was available online, Neary explains, employer customers would have to contact either The Hartford's call center or their local representative in order to gain access to the reports.
The Hartford chose to post these particular reports because they are the most frequently requested by employer customers.