Telematics-enabled driver coaching, connected cars that can self-initiate the claims process and driverless cars—for insurers, the future of cars points to safer roads and lower claims expenses. But what does it mean for the claims workforce?

Leading insurers are already using data and analytics to get the right claim to the right person, with the aim of optimizing claims routing so that more complex claims land with senior adjusters. The Internet of Things is poised to provide even more insight into each claim to enable more effective routing.

But there’s a looming problem on the horizon: senior adjusters are retiring, with fewer young adjusters stepping into their positions. Insurers have a window in which to transfer senior adjusters’ expertise to junior adjusters, or even to the claims processing system. For example, common damage scenarios can be incorporated into adjuster training and embedded into a rules engine.

Continued investment in the claims workforce is critical. Training and professional development budgets have taken a hit in recent years, but technology offers scalable options for just-in-time training. Another bonus: Technology-driven solutions appeal to younger workers and could help insurance shed its stodgy image.

Finally, as many insurers strive to shift from product-centricity to customer-centricity, they must be sure to re-align the way they evaluate workers. For the claims workforce, it is important to reward problem-solving capabilities and customer service. My colleague Michael Costonis has spoken about the three characteristics of the next-generation claims workforce; you can watch the video here.

In summary, a number of factors will result in inevitable changes to our industry. Telematics is already here. Connected cars, driverless cars and the Internet of Things offer insurers new ways to select, price and insure risk—in other words, the very core of what an insurer does. Smart investments in digital capabilities can enable insurers to harness these technologies and transform the way they do business. Most important, digital innovation can equip insurers with the agility and flexibility that is critical for competing in today’s market, and in the future.

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