This post is the second in a five-part series about Accenture’s most recent EALA Claims Survey.
Accenture’s Europe and Latin America (EALA) Claims survey for 2013 found that managing and reducing claims loss costs is a burning priority for most respondents (Figure 1). But that focus on cost goes hand in hand with the recognition that improving the customer claims experience is just about as important. To achieve both, one can only assume that insurers are going to have to make some fairly far-reaching investments in the coming year.
Accordingly, 75 percent of insurers believe their biggest challenge is rising customer expectations. The increase in the average settlement figure (67 percent), and growing fraud (65 percent), account for their preoccupation with rising loss costs. Two other challenges that rank high on the list are their IT legacy (64 percent) and the trust of their customers (62 percent).
This obsession with the customer experience coupled with the need to reduce costs points insurers to a digital future. To meet their customers’ demands over the next three years, they will need to invest in providing a 360-degree view of the customer across all contact points, and greater transparency not only on their products, prices and services but also of the claims process for customers.
Over the next three years, insurance customers are forecast to make greater use of insurers’ websites and their mobile and smartphone devices for first notice of loss and further claim handling. This has the potential to generate significant cost savings and create opportunities to build better customer relationships. This is off a low base, but consistent with consumer surveys from other industries which show a strong shift to digital and mobile channels.
This is great news for carriers because it offers the opportunity to improve customer service while potentially increasing reducing distribution efficiency and effectiveness. Leading insurers that integrate mobile, social and digital media into their business models will over time grow relevance, revenues and profits in a world where consumer expectations are demanding and changing the way to interact with them.
Read our recent article in the Digital Insurer series to understand the capabilities insurers will need to attain digital mastery.
*In my next blog post, I review the mismatch between aspiration and reality in the IT of many insurers’ claims functions.