There’s an old proverb that reads, “Think before you speak.” I’d like to take it one step further and say, “Think before you act.” This is especially true for claims professionals this year. That’s because when it comes to achieving success in claims in 2014, insurers will need to think about four key areas that are critical to their future performance.

Last week, I shared the importance of thinking about the future in terms of technology, and thinking about your workforce. Today, I’ll conclude my two-part series by exploring the two other priorities for claims professionals in 2014:

  • Think about fraud. What the recent attacks on major retailers’ credit card networks prove is that highly sophisticated groups are engaging in computer fraud. These groups are also hard at work on the next phase of P&C insurance scams. It takes constant effort to keep up with fraudsters, and more effort to get ahead of them. Sophisticated analytics can reduce the manual effort needed to review and process data, and reduce the overall number of fraudulent claims that need to be managed.
  • Think about the customer. Although surveys show that most customers are satisfied with the way their claims are handled, expectations are rising and insurers are acutely aware of the need to provide even better service—but what does “better” actually mean? This year, customer involvement will be critical. Empowering your customers to monitor risks, to report on first notice of loss through their mobile devices, or to follow up on the status of claims directly by text or e-mail will be the first order of business. Customer involvement can speed up claims processing while bolstering customer satisfaction. It’s time to make the customer part of the solution.

Now that you’ve considered the four priority areas, it’s time—as the proverb says—to speak or act. It’s time to put the basics you’ve been focusing on in the past, such as automating processes, providing multichannel customer experiences and incorporating analytics, to work in technology, talent management, fraud and customer empowerment. The future belongs to the claims professionals who can navigate the rough roads and power full steam ahead.

To learn more, read my recent article in Property Casualty 360º:

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