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Talking Claims Innovation: Tom Clayton, HP

A competitive claims experience requires clear, accurate and timely customer communications - an elusive goal for insurers bound by aging legacy systems.

Given a business environment of rising consumer expectations, market consolidation and intensifying competition, the efficient production of clear, accurate and timely customer communications has become critical to competitive claims operations, according to Tom Clayton, HP insurance industry specialist. Tom shared the following thoughts with I&T on steps insurance companies can take to modernize their claims operations:

Insurance claims leaders will find that they are avoiding repeated manual data-entry tasks that lead to delays, costs, errors and risks; accelerating time-to-settlement by creating claim letters faster; replacing slow and extensive paper-based workflows with automated digital processes; delivering claims letters through customer preferred channels; and satisfying compliance requirements with ease.

Customers expect a quick and easy claims resolution, facilitated by clear communications from the delivery channel or format they prefer. A negative experience due to a delayed settlement or payment can lead to lost customers. Studies show that satisfying and retaining an existing customer costs insurance carries five to seven times less than capturing a new customer.

As customers increasingly demand intelligent, personalized communications, it remains vital that insurers create claims correspondence through new - and preferred channels - such as email, print, the web, and SMS. However, most legacy claims systems are tied to old processes and do not easily support these types of channels.

Insurance carriers seeking a competitive advantage via claims proficiency should upgrade from a legacy systems to easily streamline the claims communications process - from notification to settlement - and automate the creation of claims documents to save time, reduce labor costs and increase customer satisfaction. A claims resolution can be drawn out for days or weeks as adjusters request and wait for information, while using manual processes to create communication and track claim statuses.

User processes around claims correspondence are mired in inefficiencies. Adjusters spend approximately 10 to 15 minutes per document re-keying, copying, and pasting information, and then resolving formatting problems. At each point in this process, the user can expose carriers to both branding inconsistencies and regulatory compliance risks such as acknowledging, paying, or denying claims within specified time frames; adhering to advertising promises; using unapproved forms, unfilled rates, and providing required disclosures. Insurance agents need to quickly understand and respond to regulatory and legislative changes and as such they need to automate regulatory inclusions, improve brand consistency, and drive records retention, while eliminating manual paper processes.

Anthony O'Donnell has covered technology in the insurance industry since 2000, when he joined the editorial staff of Insurance & Technology. As an editor and reporter for I&T and the InformationWeek Financial Services of TechWeb he has written on all areas of information ... View Full Bio

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