HOW INSURANCE CEOS CAN ADDRESS THE CHALLENGES OF A FRAGILE DIGITAL ECONOMY

The digital economy holds opportunities and challenges for insurersSince its inception, the Internet has been a catalyst for connection and growth. As insurers begin to explore new, innovative ways to connect with their customers and partners, they are more reliant on the digital economy and the Internet than ever before. Accenture s recently published report, Reinventing the Internet to Secure the Digital Economy, illustrates how central the Internet is for businesses around the world.

Spotlight

Meridian

Meridian's mission is to continuously improve the quality of care in a low-resource environment. Meridian currently offers plans in Michigan, Illinois, Indiana, and Ohio. In Illinois, Meridian is a Medicaid HMO providing health care to beneficiaries enrolled in the Family Health Plan and Integrated Care Program through a contract with the Illinois Department of Healthcare and Family Services.

OTHER ARTICLES
Core Insurance, Risk Management

Making the digital leap in underwriting

Article | September 22, 2022

Underwriting has historically been one of the most data-intensive areas of insurance. But when it comes to looking at investments and results, data and information handling for underwriting at most carriers is still disjointed and disconnected. This is underwriting’s version of the digital divide we’ve been discussing in this series, and it leads to inefficiencies and ineffective underwriting. The divide exists because today’s underwriting platforms have not evolved to meet the needs of a modern digital carrier. To see why, let’s take a quick look at the history of these platforms. The first generation of underwriting platforms was built to provide rating systems and core policy management needed to price and administer the underwriting of policies. The technology they run on has changed from mainframe to servers to the cloud, but the platforms themselves remain focused on managing the least information necessary to price and maintain the policy.

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Insurance Technology

Are motor claims in Europe about to rebound?

Article | July 13, 2022

The COVID-19 pandemic has caused unprecedented disruption to the insurance industry overall, dramatically curtailing business activity, upending the everyday lives of employees and customers, and more. However, companies that derive a substantial portion of their business from motor insurance have enjoyed stronger bottom-line results during the pandemic than in previous years. That’s because when sudden lockdowns kept drivers at home and off the road (see exhibit), claims plunged by 60 to 80 percent almost immediately. As restrictions began to lift, claim volumes subsequently bounced back, although they remain 20 to 30 percent lower than they were before the pandemic. The corresponding drop in payouts for claims was only partially offset by the refunds on premiums that insurers paid to customers to compensate them for traveling fewer miles. Are motor claims in Europe about to rebound? As of mid-2021, motor claims volume remains suppressed—at least for the time being. For insurers, this offers a short-term window to pursue or accelerate strategic initiatives aimed at establishing claims excellence, a key driver of profitability. These initiatives include transforming claims processes to improve customer experience, building digital capabilities, leveraging advanced analytics to improve decision-making, and reducing long-standing sources of leakage. Acting now will help insurers be prepared when vaccination rates across Europe accelerate, economies reopen, and both mobility and motor claims rebound. Even as the pandemic recedes and business returns, insurers are likely to confront three persistent challenges that can be addressed—at least in part—by transforming claims management to improve profitability. Top-line pressure will continue. Pandemic-related top-line pressure will likely continue for the foreseeable future. If history serves as a guide, commercial lines, which suffered from a temporary halt in business activity in the tourism, aviation, entertainment, and local business sectors, may be slow to recover. During the 2008 financial crisis, for instance, commercial lines took significantly longer to recover than personal lines. As for personal lines today, declines in everyday commuting have altered customers’ perceptions of the value of insurance: if they drive less, they expect to pay less. As noted above, some insurers have proactively offered their customers premium paybacks for reduced car usage—a change that could endure. Digital is here to stay. Because of the pandemic, people shifted many everyday activities to remote channels and adopted new digital tools. For example, across Europe, 60 to 70 percent of consumers moved some of their shopping online, and most intend to perpetuate the new habit after the pandemic ends. This shift in customer behavior extended to engagement with insurers. In the United Kingdom, claims notifications filed via digital channels doubled during the pandemic, and insurers received 30 percent more digital inquiries than in the past. However, customers’ growing expectations for an end-to-end digital experience—with 24/7 service, instant feedback, and a user-friendly interface—still place most insurers in the position of playing catch-up. The large majority of customers still prefer to place a call rather than use digital self-service; in Europe, for example, more than 50 percent of claims are initiated when a customer contacts an agent. This preference could indicate that insurers have yet to fully digitize the claims handling process. Inflation will affect claims costs. Insurers anticipate increased pressure on claims costs from multiple sources. First, car repair shops have suffered the knock-on effects of the COVID-19-induced drop in claims volume. Many received government help, but they also responded by increasing labor rates and margins on spare parts. The claims inflation rate currently sits at 4 to 5 percent. Ongoing cost pressure means repair shops are unlikely to reinstate their pre-COVID-19 price levels without some restructuring in the sector. In one scenario, insurers could step into the role of ecosystem orchestrators, significantly consolidating repair volumes and offering strong incentives—including extending insurance services to include maintenance and offering negotiated prices for parts and labor—to repair shops to participate. Meanwhile, insurers can analyze increased volumes of claims data to continually assess the performance of repair shops and then use those insights to guide customers to the best deals. Even before the pandemic, insurers had made strides in improving the bottom line by increasing productivity and optimizing technical excellence, particularly via pricing. Now is the time to tackle claims. Claims organizations can use this period of lower claims volume to plan their strategic investments in advanced analytics transformation, to devise new digital talent strategies, and to improve their understanding of customer needs and expectations. A complete suite of analytics and updated process automation—prerequisites for accurate, end-to-end automation—constitute the backbone of the new claims and customer experience model. The tools are evolving, driving automated decision-making along the entire claims handling process: routing, triaging, liability negotiation, cost estimating, deciding to repair or write off damaged vehicles, cash settlements, and fraud detection. All these areas will increasingly use digital and analytics as opposed to manual labor, changing the entire claims operating model. Responding to customer demands for a seamless claims experience is a top priority. The pandemic has proved that customers are eager for and accepting of new digital experiences. They expect full transparency throughout the claims journey; minimal effort on their part (for example, very little engagement back and forth with the agent to get the claim resolved and receive payment); faster resolution of claims, perhaps including automated payments; and the ability to move seamlessly between the digital and physical worlds. Furthermore, insurers can work to reduce leakage and improve the bottom line. Leakage takes many forms, including replacing rather than repairing a vehicle, offering a luxury replacement vehicle rather than a car that matches the customer’s vehicle class, and incurring costs for in-person loss assessments even in obvious cases for which pictures would suffice. Tackling leakage will entail enabling efficient detection of anomalies, selecting claims for detailed review, and empowering the claims organizations to efficiently close claims that cast no doubt. Accomplishing these critical objectives will entail a shift from a scattered and often siloed approach using unintegrated digital and analytics tools to end-to-end digital- and analytics-enabled claims processes. On the front end, insurers will need to establish tools on par with the top digital services their customers use every day (for example, ride-hailing apps, social media, and digital banks). On the back end, claims organization will need to invest in a suite of analytics engines to support automated decision-making to cut costs. The opportunity starts with claims prevention—using telematics and the Internet of Things to issue safety warnings and damage prevention tips—and continues throughout the claims processing journey, from providing customers with an easy digital first notice of loss interface and improving claims cost accuracy, to digital selection of a repair shop and automated payment processing and invoice checks. This relative lull in activity also gives insurers a good time to provide teams handling claims with the training they need to learn new processes and operate new digital tools. Claims are already rebounding, so the clock is ticking for insurers. Building end-to-end digital and analytics solutions requires significant investment and will take substantial time. For claims organizations, it is critical to act now or risk missing the opportunity to emerge from the pandemic stronger than competitors.

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Insurance Technology

3 Signs Your Policy Management Software is Not a Good Fit

Article | August 9, 2022

Policy management assists insurance companies in staying on track to meet their client objectives by selling more policies and collecting more premiums. However, organizations using inadequate or fractured policy management software may be leaving a lot on the table. According to a study by Accenture, automation could save the insurance industry a cumulative $5-7 billion. Are you facing hurdles in processing policies? Are some of the tasks like policy renewal, policy issuance, policy binding etc., that are supposedly automated still taking up time and resources away from the company? If so, it might be time to rethink your policy management. Here are three signs to look out for when this happens. There are Hiccups in Your Policy Processing Processes Being able to make universal changes and synergize different processes is a crucial aspect of policy management. If your insurance policy management tool isn’t able to keep up with the information or automate tasks like making updates and syncing information in real-time, it may be time to reconsider it and seek a solution that integrates Robotic Process Automation, or RPA. RPA tools enable organizations to reduce processing time for issuing, updating and cancelling a policy. The Underwriting Stage Takes Up a Lot of Time Underwriting can be a tedious, time-consuming process. With modern policy management solutions, it is possible to automate a number of tasks within underwriting. If your application is contributing to negligible or no reduction in the time it takes for underwriters to process everything. From the applicant’s credit history and scores to savings and loos-run reports, the underwriter needs to manually process this data. However, before that, the data needs to be reached in a streamlined manner. If your platform doesn’t support intelligent automation, digitalizing the underwriting process isn’t possible, in turn hampering the ability to access information when needed. It is Difficult to Keep Up with Claims Processing Claims management is an integral part of any insurance workflow, and its automation adds immense business value. If your claim settlement process is slow, filled with bottlenecks, and is impacting consumer experience, your existing platform isn’t doing any favours. Advanced claims processing solutions let you integrate features that align with the workflows of the insurer. Customer Experience Isn’t Up to the Mark Poor policy management processes are always reflected in the overall customer experience. Are you inundated with customer complaints, feedback about slow processing, and injured employee morale from poor performance and higher work load? The key is to take a good look at your current workflow and how it is affecting the end consumer. In a high-stress service like insurance, nothing less than an impeccable customer experience is a base expectation. The lack of responsiveness in your communication can result in a high customer churn rate. With a good policy management solution, your teams are able to stay on track and automate tasks when needed in order to keep customers updated. Final Word The insurance sector is a fast-paced business world and requires insurtech solutions that can handle the tremendous pressures and demands of customers. The four signs indicate that it might be time to introspect and, if needed, jumpstart your digital transformation journey.

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How technology will transform life insurance

Article | April 20, 2020

Do you know what the UK insurance industry is going through? A disruption that calls for complete metamorphosis. Not so different from what the whole world is going through at the moment. Crafting one-size-fits-all products and expecting them to sell like hotcakes is a huge misconception. Customers want products to be as personalised as possible. Pay per mile insurance or lower car insurance premiums for safe drivers are some examples. In the current global crisis, personalised life insurance would look like factoring in the unique health/ living conditions of the person and then providing insurance options.

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Spotlight

Meridian

Meridian's mission is to continuously improve the quality of care in a low-resource environment. Meridian currently offers plans in Michigan, Illinois, Indiana, and Ohio. In Illinois, Meridian is a Medicaid HMO providing health care to beneficiaries enrolled in the Family Health Plan and Integrated Care Program through a contract with the Illinois Department of Healthcare and Family Services.

Related News

Valued Policy Law and Total Loss

inredisputesblog | May 21, 2019

Typically, a fire insurance policy pays a policyholder for the actual cash value or the replacement value of the property destroyed. But in 20 states, if there is a total loss, the amount the insurer must pay is equal to the value of the property at the time the insurance policy was issued. What happens if the policy covers a multi-building complex and one of the buildings is destroyed? The Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals recently addressed this issue. In Norwood-Redfield Apartments Limited Partnership v. American Family Mutual Ins. Co., No. 18-2618 (8th Cir. May 16, 2019)(Unpublished), the appeals court affirmed a judgment in favour of the insurance company denying the policyholder’s claim to recover the full value listed on the policy of an entire complex of buildings when only one of the buildings was destroyed. The policyholder sued its insurance carrier after a fire destroyed one of the buildings out of 32 in the complex. The insurance carrier paid nearly $3 million for the loss, but the policyholder wanted the policy limits of over $31 million.

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Valued Policy Law and Total Loss

inredisputesblog | May 21, 2019

Typically, a fire insurance policy pays a policyholder for the actual cash value or the replacement value of the property destroyed. But in 20 states, if there is a total loss, the amount the insurer must pay is equal to the value of the property at the time the insurance policy was issued. What happens if the policy covers a multi-building complex and one of the buildings is destroyed? The Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals recently addressed this issue. In Norwood-Redfield Apartments Limited Partnership v. American Family Mutual Ins. Co., No. 18-2618 (8th Cir. May 16, 2019)(Unpublished), the appeals court affirmed a judgment in favour of the insurance company denying the policyholder’s claim to recover the full value listed on the policy of an entire complex of buildings when only one of the buildings was destroyed. The policyholder sued its insurance carrier after a fire destroyed one of the buildings out of 32 in the complex. The insurance carrier paid nearly $3 million for the loss, but the policyholder wanted the policy limits of over $31 million.

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