Last week I shared a vision of how mobile devices can help insurers handle claims more efficiently and cost-effectively. But you don’t have to wait for the future to reap the benefits—here are some that can happen right now.

Device convergence and Bring Your Own Device (BYOD)

Today’s claim adjusters are juggling laptops, GPS units, cameras and maybe even clipboards, and spend a considerable amount of time downloading data from these devices back to the central claims system. Insurers can improve efficiency by focusing on one device—likely a tablet or smartphone—that has multiple uses and that can sync with the central claims system in real time.

With a lighter load, physically and figuratively, claims adjusters can streamline processing, improve productivity and process more claims. Insurers may even consider BYOD policies, enabling adjusters to use the devices they already have for personal use—with appropriate data security measures added.

Better data quality

Improved data quality is another benefit of enabling real-time updates between a claims adjuster’s tablet and the claims management system. Claims handlers benefit because they can input data in real time—no more manual data entry at the end of the day—and insurers can include validation capabilities to ensure the claim file contains accurate and up-to-date information. Once validated, the information in the file can also be pulled into advanced analytics engines and predictive models.

More responsive claims adjusters

With access to real-time information, adjusters can be more responsive and productive. For example, scheduling programs can advise adjusters of the best route to take, based on traffic patterns and time of day, and dynamically reroute adjusters based in the latest information. Or, if an urgent file needs attention, real-time alerts can enable adjusters to respond in a timely manner.

Today, tablets and smartphones are an obvious choice to enable insurers to achieve these benefits. In the future, advances in wearables, such as Google Glass, and natural user interfaces that understand gestures and voice commands may unlock further opportunities.

The benefits of a mobile-empowered workforce go beyond improved efficiency. Notably, mobile capabilities can play a critical role in bridging the looming talent gap between experienced claims handlers and new claims professionals. Tune in next week to learn more.

Learn more about Accenture Mobility.

Read Enabling a mobile-empowered claims workforce: Introduction (Part 1 of 5).

Read Enabling a mobile-empowered claims workforce: Peek into the future (Part 2 of 5).

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