In my last blog, I outlined several benefits of Robotic Process Automation (RPA) and why insurance companies should consider including RPA in their back office. In this week’s installment of the series, I’ll discuss what types of tasks are ripe for an RPA makeover.

The insurance industry offers the ideal landscape for RPA because of the many repetitive tasks that form the basis of an insurance transaction. RPA can replace the arduous journey that data takes within an organization, eliminating any number of manual reviews, mouse clicks and external inputs with an automated process that makes logical decisions based on the data presented.

RPA can replace many manual tasks and processes, provided they conform to a few broad rules:

  • The process needs to be fixed – ie. the process is repetitive and follows a set of pre-defined process steps (if A then B) Exceptions are possible, but they need to be predefined.
  • The process has to work without any human voice activity, although standardized emails can be sent at any time.
  • The triggers and inputs to initiate the automation need to come in a standard pre-defined format (so do the outputs).
  • Decisions are based on reason and merit. Nothing is judgemental.
  • The process needs to be large enough to warrant the investment (the break-even point is usually about 1/3 of a FTE).
  • The process is stable and is not rethought/overhauled regularly.

Most insurance company back offices are replete with processes that conform to all of these rules, whether it is reviewing a new submission, paying approved claims or managing accounts payable. In almost every department, there will be opportunities to utilize RPA effectively.

In my next blog, I’ll discuss how insurers can get started with RPA, and why it doesn’t have to be a painful or expensive process.

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