Today’s insurers want to increase efficiency and lower claims costs. Meanwhile, mobility tools and devices are more available and prevalent. At the intersection of claims and mobility is a unique opportunity for claims leaders to rethink the function entirely—by empowering the workforce with mobile apps, technology and capabilities that can result in productivity gains, more effective talent management and better customer service.
In other industries with distributed workers (such as telecommunications and utilities), introducing mobility tools has led to productivity gains. Businesses are able to equip the right people with the right tools, and direct them to the right place at the right time.
For insurers, enabling claims adjusters with mobile capabilities can lead to faster claims resolution, reduced costs and more satisfied customers. Notably, insurers can also foster collaboration between experienced and new claims adjusters—which is critical as many claims adjusters near retirement. In addition, it can help insurers attract younger, tech-savvy workers to the claims function.
Many claims adjusters already use some combination of laptop, GPS device and digital camera. The key distinction of mobile is its constant connectivity, which enables real-time capabilities.
Instead of manually downloading photographs at the end of the day, adjusters can take, upload and attach photographs to the claim file in real time. GPS-connected, always-on mobile devices can also provide valuable insight about travel time—and with that insight, claims leaders can better understand workforce productivity. Finally, compared to laptops, mobile devices enable adjusters to more easily interact with customers, or collaborate with co-workers.
There is momentum across financial services in general—and insurance in particular—to use tablets and smart devices to enable workers to be more adaptable, responsive and efficient. Smartphones and tablets are common, and even if insurers aren’t currently using them as part of the claims workflow, their workers may already have them for personal use. Tablets are ideal for a mobile workforce: they can be outfitted with customized apps, they offer geo-location data and they have built-in cameras.
More than technology
In the strictest sense, incorporating mobile capabilities is a technology transformation. However, to achieve true transformation—and not piecemeal improvement—insurers must use mobility as an enabler of the next generation of claims. It means examining technology, business processes and operating models, as well as implementing programs to train and develop claims professionals.
Over the course of this five-part series, I’ll explore the ways in which insurers can invigorate the claims function through a mobile-empowered workforce.