Welcome to the year 2017. While claims-inspection drones are still in the pilot phase, a mobile-empowered claims workforce is reality. Leading insurers have equipped their claims professionals with tablets; some have even adopted wearables, such as Google Glass. In short, each claims professional now has a single device that takes the place of the previous jumble of laptop, GPS, camera and clipboard.
Peek into the future
Meet Joe, a junior claims adjuster with XYZ Insurance. He begins his day by checking his tablet for that day’s schedule. Already, his tablet has synced with XYZ’s scheduling system, cross-referenced it with traffic patterns and provided Joe with list of appointments that minimizes driving time.
Joe arrives at his first appointment and initiates a call with Maria, a senior adjuster based at XYZ’s head office. Using video-streaming technology, she guides him through a seemingly routine fender-bender. She notices subtle evidence of rear-section damage that could cause added stress on the tires—and that unaddressed, could also increase repair costs. Joe takes photos and uploads them to the claim file, which validates and audits his entry to check for duplicate notes and transcription errors.
Maria signs off and takes another appointment, this time with a claims adjuster on her first solo inspection. Joe’s tablet chimes with a message from Elena, his supervisor—there has been a car accident five minutes away from him, and the vehicle’s on-board telematics system automatically opened a FNOL file. Elena assigns Joe to the inspection and XYZ’s scheduling system redistributes his previous appointment to another adjuster.
Next-generation workforce management tools
The above scenario isn’t so far off. Mobile workforce management tools can address many of the challenges faced by remote field workers, and some are already in use today. Capabilities include:
- Document storage, data capture and forms management
- Remote data access to enable adjusters to view schematics and engineering diagrams, or access central company systems (for example, billing)
- Scheduling, dispatch and tracking to enable dynamic routing and scheduling, as well as vehicle and inventory tracking
- Mobile communication between field workers, and between mobile workers and central offices
- Geographically based collaboration tools to help adjusters find nearby experts for help, or to coordinate break times with colleagues to improve employee morale and engagement
- Employee monitoring, management and reporting, including accurate time reporting and coding, and performance management
- Customer management, including access to customer data, preferences and history
What does this mean for insurers today? A host of benefits, including efficiency, better talent management and more satisfied customers. Join me next week as I look at these in more detail.