Insurers have been grappling with external pressures from changing customer expectations, new developments in technology and data, and emerging types of risk. And within an insurer’s four walls, there’s a growing talent gap.

For claims leaders, the key to adapting to these pressures (and those to come) is through claims agility—that is, by embedding agility throughout the claims function. In this kick-off to a four-part blog series, I’ll look at how claims agility can help insurers manage changing customer expectations.

New standards for customer experience in insurance

Accenture research shows that customer experience is more important than ever in today’s “switching economy.” For example, our global claims survey found that while 93 percent of customers are satisfied with their insurance provider, 30 percent will likely switch within the next 12 months. And their experience is crucial—65 percent of customers who were dissatisfied with the claims process were likely to switch providers.

What contributes to a positive claims experience? Our research found that 94 percent of customers rank speed of settlement and transparency of the claims process as “important” or “extremely important.” Certainly, these should be core competencies of an insurer’s claims function—but it goes to show how critical they are to meeting and exceeding customer expectations.

This repositioning of claims experience means that adjusters are more than claims processors; they play a pivotal role in delivering top-notch customer service. Amazon and Google are setting the bar by offering tailored, relevant experiences. Are claims leaders able to provide their adjusters with the information and context that they need to make each customer feel like an individual, and not a policy number?

Claims leaders must keep pace with communication, channel and technology trends that are driving customer expectations and behavior. Whether that means developing mobile capabilities or apps to promote self-service, or establishing a more meaningful presence on social media, among other innovations, claims leaders must be acutely aware of what customers want—and how to meet that demand.

Agility is the key to anticipating and responding to customer changes in a timely manner. One key to delivering personalized, relevant customer experiences—at scale—is data and analytics. Join me next week as I examine technology and the data deluge.

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