Claims is the largest and most expensive business function in the non-life insurance sector, and it’s a function that attracts a high level of investment. But in today’s challenging operating environment, it’s also a function that draws the attention of cost cutting efforts. An added complication is the growing customer expectation for personalized service over multiple channels.
In response, insurers have introduced significant process automation, embraced technology changes and reduced the headcount of the claims workforce. These moves have paid off in the short term with insurers gaining efficiencies through self-service, automated validation rules and straight-through processing. They also have the potential to enable innovative methods of settlement, more tailored interactions and new forms of collaboration across the organization.
However, insurers have, on the whole, failed to invest in the skills and capabilities of the claims workforce needed to support these digital solutions and to meet individual customer needs. While the “dash to digital” promises to disrupt the traditional claims handling model, I think it would be a mistake to overlook the importance of quality human interactions as well.
Accenture’s High Performance IT Research backs up this opinion—studies show that industry high performers have moved beyond internally focused objectives such as cost and productivity to target the customer experience as one of their top-three business objectives.
To truly differentiate themselves, insurers will have to unlock the potential of their human capital and build a digitally-enabled, next-generation claims workforce. They will have to become customer-centric businesses, with a laser sharp focus on offering an exceptional and enriched customer experience.
In my next post, I’ll talk about three key capabilities for the next-generation claims workforce.
To learn more, read our latest thinking on Claims Workforce.