Matthew Lehman examines how customer expectations, technology, data and analytics will change the claims organization workforce.

As we’ve seen in previous posts—and most insurers agree—changing customer expectations, a proliferation of new technologies, and the deluge of data and corresponding analytics are transforming the insurance industry and the claims organization. 

Software and analytics will enable many underwriting and claims processes and decisions to be automated and processed without human intervention. Big data, supplied in real time, will supplement or take the place of historical data models when it comes to assessing risk. And video damage reports, submitted by policy owners, will eliminate the need for many of an appraiser’s site visits.

To thrive in this new environment, insurers will need a workforce that is lean, agile and willing to embrace change. Science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) skills will be critical to realizing the potential of digitized processes, big data, algorithms, real-time analytics and artificial intelligence (AI). Creativity and flexibility will be needed to navigate fast-changing policy frameworks and regulations. And softer skills—from problem-solving to communications—will be needed to boost sales, enable collaboration and deliver personalized customer experiences.

Technological advances will likely shrink the size of the traditional insurance workforce and change the nature of work for many existing employees, requiring then to develop enhanced or new skills. For example:

  • Underwriters will team with data scientists to leverage new and broader sets of data from both within and outside the company. They will also need to apply new tools and sophisticated analytics to not only visualize that data, but also to generate more meaningful insights that will enable them to carry out complex risk assessments.
  • Claims agents will become service advocates at the center of the customer experience. In addition to being equipped with the latest tools and real-time access to data, they will need to be empowered to serve as frontline problem solvers—applying sound judgment and new tools and data sources to resolve issues through multiple channels. Instead of following set processes to minimize costs, agents will focus on understanding, assessing and addressing customer needs with personalized solutions that will boost customer loyalty, Net Promoter Scores and long-term economic gains.
  • Product developers will become proposition designers, focused on developing and delivering outcomes that customers value. They might work with customer experience specialists and partnering organizations to develop new products and services, design engaging customer interactions and bring new business models to life.
  • Innovation advocates will develop a “fail fast” environment for new ideas and shift the traditional focus of innovation from internal products and processes to external opportunities. Specifically, advocates will be tasked with identifying, establishing and managing mechanisms and relationships to incubate ideas, experiment and pilot innovations that can become viable commercial interests for the business. Such innovation labs are already in place, for example at AXA and Allianz.
  • Ecosystem architects will also emerge as insurers join or form collaborative cross-industry partnerships that offer customers better outcomes and more relevant products and services. These architects will identify opportunities for insurers to team with other players and coordinate their participation in a market “beyond insurance.”

Attracting and reskilling employees with these new skills will become a strategic imperative. Only those claims organizations that redefine how they identify, source and develop their talent will thrive and be recognized as leaders in an industry transformed. 

For insurers wanting to take a more strategic approach to their claims workforce planning, read Strategic workforce planning finally gets strategic

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