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I’ve worked with the insurance industry in various guises for 22 years and in that time, I have seen it change from a face to face, analogue industry to what has become a largely digital experience for most customers.
But that digital experience is often limited to the sales process. When it comes to a claim, they are often faced with something that resembles the industry of old.
Of course, it is natural that, to date, the industry has focused most of its digital and transformational efforts on the front end – customer experience has long been identified as the key differentiator.
But by defining customer experience in terms of purchase, price and product, insurers have neglected the value of the claims experience in providing a good customer experience. A survey by Walker, a customer experience consulting firm, found that customer experience will overtake price and product as the key differentiator by 2020, so there is a risk that insurance has been focusing its transformational efforts in the wrong place.
We have witnessed the digitisation of some parts of the claims process – real time payment of claims, no-touch claims resolution – but it has not been the wholesale transformation the purchase process has witnessed where there is a consensus about the nature and the purpose of that transformation.
Speak to any number of insurers and they will tell you the digitisation of the sales process is all about UX, speed of completion, use of AI to filter and focus on the best risks and using data to tailor the products and services to individual clients.
Is there an equivalent consensus for claims? I’m not sure there is although there are plenty of questions. Are we seeing a transformation or an ongoing tweaking process? What does a more ‘hands off’ approach to settling claims mean for fraud checks? Are current digital processes designed to improve the customer or the insurer experience? Do insurers even know?
So, to try to address this, Research in Insurance is conducting a comprehensive study of the sector. The start point is to provide a ‘state of the market’ review of how the claims sector is positioned for the next five years.
But beyond that we want to understand how quickly the claims sector’s digital capabilities are developing, provide an analysis of the nature of the digital transformation to date and to understand how that compares to other sectors in the market.
Our suspicion is that digital development in the claims sector is lagging but to gain a true understanding, we want to speak to insurers, brokers, MGAs, loss adjusters, tech providers and lawyers (essentially anyone with a professional view of claims).
Output from the first year’s study will establish the benchmark to allow us to properly measure, for the first time, the pace and quality of digital change in claims on an annual basis.
But the starting point has to be an understanding of where we are today and where we want to end up and this requires the thoughtful input of those individuals who are tasked with plotting the future path of claims.
So, if that sounds like you and you want to be part of the effort to put claims front and centre of the digital transformation of insurance then please do contact me.
Phil Davison, Managing Director
Tel: 0207 104 2210