Optimizing document related processes in the Insurance industry – post panel discussion wrap-up
By Raymond Sabharwal | July 4, 2014
As any insurance sales rep would say – it is good to know you have the coverage but hope you never use it! This is so true. As much as any mishap can be painful and disturbing, the agony is compounded if the insurance claim becomes cumbersome.
To remove the pain (both within the provider’s workforce and externally for the consumer), it is imperative that processes are optimized. Let us for a minute document some of the pros of optimizing document related processes through automation and standardization:
- Reduced time spent by work force
- Reduced errors due to elimination or reduction of manual intervention
- Quick processing of information, leading to faster claims processes and enhanced customer experience
- Faster and accurate processing delivers a key differentiator and a key competitive advantage
- Enhanced customer experience means greater revenue or reduced losses
This also leads to the freeing up of resources, allowing them to focus on other mission critical jobs!
We see and understand the value of optimizing business processes. Let me share what I mean by all of this by running a hypothetical scenario:
Let’s say you had a flood in your basement. Once you call your insurance provider, you will need to provide pictures, a spreadsheet of expenses incurred, a document of what happened, what all was affected and possibly an architectural drawing of your basement among other documents including receipts of your valuables. Then the adjuster visits the location and probably takes the pictures, sends you an estimate and a report of damage and next steps.
This communication goes back and forth for some time. You will need to track all kinds of different file formats, coming from different sources such as fax, email attachment (scanned or un-scanned copies) and sometimes hard copy. You need to ensure that dates are in order, the copies are the current versions, they are at the proper stage of the process (viewed, assessed or approved etc.) and remember what was said and approved. All of this can be confusing, overwhelming and stressful.
How about this:
- clients can submit everything via mobile (electronically)
- all information is available in the Cloud
- all documents are assembled in 1 (yes ONE) document, let’s say a PDF
- content is time stamped so that everyone is aware of the latest version
- documents are page numbered to identify how many documents there are in total
- tables of contents exist for quick review
- documents are watermarked with remarks to understand what happened at each interaction or stage
- documents are archived and available for review even 100 years from the claim date
What can be done and how it can be achieved was debated by experts on the panel during this event.
I was amazed to hear how some insurance providers are already close to this utopian excellence in process efficiency and customer experience. A word of caution from them was – it was not an easy ride. They erred, they learned, re-tested and finessed as they progressed.
This was in line with the recommendations from Microsoft’s speaker Radu Vaduva who recommended doing a pilot before implementing a wider launch.
Harvey Spencer, an independent expert recommended looking at the bigger picture i.e. corporate goals and strategies before embarking on such projects so that they are in alignment.
I really liked what Jonathan Spinner from Aviva had to say on this. He emphasized robust and careful planning upstream. He suggested that organizations should be very clear on their overall approach and make some tough yet clear decisions on key long term critical items, such as:
- is this process going to be done in-house or outsourced
- will it be on-prem or in the Cloud
- will it be a shared service or departmentalized
- will the paper trail be retained or will all paperwork be destroyed, etc.
What really hit me was another statement from Jonathan that the end goal of all of this digitization is that it should be legally admissible! If none of the content is legally admissible then most of the automation and standardization loses much of its shine.
There were lots of other interesting stories and anecdotes that were shared by panelists on the theme of document capture, document to PDF conversion and archival! If you’d like to connect with any of these panelists, write to me and I will ensure you’re connected. Or visit Adlib’s events page frequently to check out a similar event near you or request one!
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