In this blog series I’ve already discussed how claims agility can help insurers deliver optimal customer service, and how technology and data can facilitate claims agility for more effective claims handling. Ultimately, both of those outcomes depend on people—the claims workforce.

With many claims adjusters nearing retirement and not enough junior adjusters in line to fill their shoes, insurers face a significant talent gap within the claims function. In an article for PropertyCasualty360, my colleague, Michael Costonis, wrote that the industry may face a talent shortfall of 400,000 people by 2020.

But filling those positions is not just a matter of placing a body in a chair. Insurers need to rethink the way that they recruit and train new talent, and motivate existing talent. A digitally enabled claims worker is equal parts service provider, problem solver, innovator and change driver. Insurers need to find employees with a very specific skill set: tech-savvy claims strategists who are focused on customers and customer service. In doing so, they can foster a claims workforce that is empowered with the tools and abilities to be agile—to facilitate claims agility from within the organization.

For the agile claims workforce, the nature of work is different—it is driven by technology and data. For example, data-driven segmentation can route claims to the most appropriate person so that adjusters can solve business problems rather than spend their time on low-value administrative tasks. Technology can also facilitate knowledge transfer between experienced and junior handlers, enable on-demand job training and help supervisors better manage their teams. It’s about giving the claims workforce the tools it needs to work efficiently and effectively. Insurers should also assess whether their performance metrics and KPIs are reflective of a claims workforce that is focused on customer service, innovation and agility.

It’s not just the workforce that is rapidly evolving—as we’ll see next week, the very nature of risk is changing as well.

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