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The future of claims Part 3 – technology

As we prepare to roll out our contribution to the future of claims – our new claim platform, Propel, it is also time to round out our 3 part series on the future of claims post Covid. In the first part we talked about the importance of purpose in our work and how personal development is increasingly important to acquiring and retaining talent. The second part we focussed more on where tech is leading us, how new disruptive businesses are succeeding and the tech they are using, as well as stressing the importance of people in any services model, even with new tech overlaid.  We also talked about the difficulties of adapting legacy systems, which still drive over half of insurance businesses in the world today. 

We concluded the future would seem to belong to those who have a modern claim platform that can be adapted, updated and connected to other apps and systems quickly and easily. I personally am convinced that models where specialists combine in an ecosystem to deliver superior services will be the sustainable model of the future. I expect the one stop shop – in claims speak, that is the all speaking, all dancing combined claim manager/ adjuster/ legal / risk and analytics model to go the way of the dodo. Why? Because unless you excel across all these areas you will be found out, and if excelling means being in top 3 in that discipline, the future will belong to those who specialise and stick to repeatable business models.     

I asked Chat GPT about the latest in claims systems and got this response:

“According to Solera, the best claim solutions make the claim workflows move along efficiently with accurate documentation, categorization, and decisioning assistance. They also feature AI-powered automation, increased reporting capabilities, and an easy-to-use claim submission process “.

According to Deloitte, the future of claims is likely to involve a combination of insurance claims process transformation, adoption of new technologies, a connected partner ecosystem, and a talent model that values technical claims handling and data science skills.   McKinsey research estimates that by 2030 more than half of current claims activities could be replaced by automationInsurers are aware they have to change their claims management as customer expectations have changed in the digital ageThey want to be served 24/7, they want to decide when to talk to humans and when to go virtual, and they want a simple, transparent (ideally real-time) process that allows them to collect what they feel they are owed.

Which brings us to Propel. Our new claims system.  Insurtech in style, but an enabler in substance.

We understand tech in insurance remains a little mystical, with insurtech largely a recent phenomenon not really embedded in the industry as yet but getting there. No doubt some of this is driven by tech innovations that are smart and look great but don’t necessarily advance problem solving or fit with required processes. In some cases they have been developed by tech people without the practical experience on the insurance side. It probably explains why most innovation is in motor and domestic – not only are they huge markets that can be B2C, but they are less complex than commercial insurance.

At Proclaim, we have done the lap on a complete digital transformation – building out an entire new claims system from scratch. So what have we learned, and what are the features of a built system that can be game changers in future?      

Learnings

Maybe we should have realised what an undertaking a new claim system would be when we had people experienced in software development looking at us strangely and questioning our decision to build a system. Yes, it has been very difficult, with literally thousands of hours of work across several areas:

  • We started with scoping what we needed, and did a build v buy exercise
  • Once we had decided to build, and selected a vendor to do the development, we spent the first six months scoping out all existing and then preferred processes and workflows – around 20 separate functional process documents that formed the basis for the software development
  • Testing – as the software was developed we needed to check it against functional requirements and test it. This also involved daily Q and A and feedback sessions with developers.
  • UAT – when the software appears ready it is time to test the full claim cycle. In our case the first UAT was abandoned due to bugs in reporting, and we resumed a while later, thoroughly testing the system, reporting and grading bugs, asking questions. As the developers are in India this meant afternoon sessions with developers with our system testing team.     

Once we had been through all this – almost 2 years of work – we needed to properly test the system with clients on the corporate and insurance side. We also needed to make sure we have covered off all security and risk questions that had been raised in our extensive load and pen testing. Fair to say we had a vast number of resources – consultants and developers –working simultaneously to get the whole package working.

 Then we arrive at our destination….going live. We understand that is an achievement in itself, and it will be great to see our teams adapt and use a new modern platform. But we also understand  that the journey of Propel has just started, and that we will need to keep iterating and reiterating as we work with users and clients, so ensuring you have the right team to support the model  – to maintain and improve the software – has occupied a lot of our time.

Propel

The reason we spent 6 months on developing the functional requirements for Propel is that we wanted to make  sure we were creating the features that are required to solve many of the problems we (and claimants) experience in the claim process. So what are some of the problems we are trying to solve, and what features have been incorporated to do that?

  • Friction in the claim process – largely caused by the challenges in streamlining processes that ought to be automated like registration, updates and payments. Communication of requirements to progress a claim – aka what’s next – also important.  
  • Outmoded workflows – lower level tasks need to be removed from the workloads of account managers so they can focus on key high value tasks.    User experience needs to be front and centre – automating and streamlining lower level tasks so focus of users can be on higher value activities. 
  • Streamline FNOL  – which is digitised and captured centrally with notifications of loss easily lodged via any device   
  • CRM – Client and Binder details need to be incorporated in the system and losses with a loss date need to be automatically assigned to the correct binder and/or policy.     
  • Funding and loss fund management needs to be streamlined and fund balances need to be easily monitored and followed up
  • Digital payments 
  • Complaint recording and management to meet timelines and reporting obligations
  • Diary /task management that is easy to use to enable proactive management whilst fulfilling audit trail requirements   
  • Reporting and data requirements including demands of Bordereaux and MI
  • An ability to track progress of claims through on-line updates
  • Data Analytics….clean, reliable data  providing powerful visuals on trends and key risk and claim  data
  • Client experience – dashboards that provide insights on trends, top claims, watch list claims, fund levels, complaints and  your key contact / relationship manager    
  • Security of data  – incorporates MFA for extra security 
  • Legacy platform and lack of data connection solved by enabling interaction with other apps and systems and easy data exchange via API integration 
  • Allow for easy additions of ML /AI apps  in areas like automated processing / First notice of loss “FNOL” / Fraud detection / predictive analytics    

The next phase of Propel will also incorporate document generation, increased automation, specialist features from other apps and providers integrated via API, and predictive analytics.    

Probably the biggest change – and advance – for us is incorporating what used to be several different pieces – Client CRM/ info – Document management – Diary – Complaints register – into one platform. From that workflows can be streamlined and automated.   

Stepping into the future

Building a system has been a huge undertaking, both in dollars and time, but we truly believe it sets the foundation for a very strong future for our business.  At the same time we understand this is just the beginning – we basically have just placed our toe in the water, and the possibilities ahead with artificial intelligence and machine learning have us excited.  But we have done a lot already, the next phase is bedding down the platform, getting the clients settled and connected, before we go from toe in the water to out in the surf. In the waves we will go….in time. But we will swim between the flags!     

About Propel

Propel was built in India in partnership with software developers Anblicks. It was built using dot Net and React, and will be Azure based.  It is being built across a number of phases, with Phase 1 being creating an elegant and functional platform, with enhancement across phases to ultimately incorporating AI and ML features.

Photo Credit : Future Man, Lath McGregor
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