Transformation and innovation haven’t come easy to the insurance industry, especially when it comes to legacy carriers. Change forced its way into every industry in 2020, and while insurance benefitted from the push toward digital transformation with gains in efficiency, speed, lower expenses, and frictionless processes to the carrier and the customer, successfully untangling old processes and implementing new ones is no simple task.
How will carriers continue to navigate the long road to transformation? According to the experts, approach it just like every other journey— one step at a time.
This blog is based on “Claims & Fraud Transformation & Innovation,” a webinar presented by Carpe Data’s Senior Director of Product Management Ian McLeod, and Rob Thomas, responsible for all aspects of CNA’s Claim Analytics, Technology, and Operations, for SVIA’s webinar session on February 17th, 2021. You can view a recording of the full presentation free here.
Innovation vs. Transformation
For carriers, especially carriers that rely on legacy systems, the thought of transformation can be daunting. But, as Rob Thomas points out, it’s important for carriers to start the process of innovation, specifically by incrementally improving the customer experience and making the process more efficient and less expensive. “Trying to upgrade the entire system is like trying to untie the Gordian Knot,” he says wryly. Thomas does warn that how you attack the problems of innovation is directly tied to how many years the carrier has been in business and the type of insurance they sell.
Don’t Just Automate, Improve
We’ve all benefited from products and services that automate manual processes for us—from a food processor to a spreadsheet with formulas. But if you think about it, these didn’t just automate the process, they improved them. How does this apply to insurance? “Don’t just take the bad way of doing things and make it a little less painful,” explains Thomas. “Make it better.” Ian McLeod also encourages carriers to ensure the input and output is standardized, otherwise all the front end work on automation will have to be thrown out. “Leverage information from outside of the process to provide a layer of predictability, standardizing it for use by carriers in their models,” McLeod recommends.
Who, What, Where, Why
“Who are the end users, what process are we replacing, where is the opportunity?” McLeod asks. “We have a lot of questions for the carrier before we start.” He also emphasized that end users that will be affected by process change should be involved in automation planning, as their unique perspective can bring up pain points to solve before new processes roll out. “We see so much new technology coming out, but we have to stop and think: How can we make it work?” explains Thomas. “We have to take the time to see how these new innovations work for us. We have to connect the dots between a lot of systems before implementing them in the future.”