A recent KPMG survey found that 80% of insurance executives believe their organization’s future success is closely tied to their ability to innovate ahead of their competitors. The insurance industry is fast moving, with technology causing changes in consumer behavior and expectations, the way employees work, and overall business processes. Innovation in these areas can improve your ability to stay ahead of the competition.

Changing Consumer Behavior

Consumer behavior has rapidly changed over the past few years. Today, consumers expect to be able to access information online, anytime, using the platforms they choose. Claimants expect to be able to create a claim quickly and get it processed as soon as possible while monitoring the claim status.

So how can insurers offer this service to their consumers? Mobile applications, web portals, and an integrated claims system can all improve the efficiency of claim processing. Currently, claimants are still more likely to call in to create a claim. Technology has made the process more efficient for the claims administrators through automation and the use of reflexive questioning. Reflexive questioning ensures all necessary details are collected, prompting further information based on the inputted information. Integrating all claim data into one system improves efficiency, allowing an administrator to access all details through one system, rather than switching screens to gather all information.

It has been predicted that the use of forms, letters, phone calls and emails in the claims process will decline in the future, and mobile applications and web portals will take over. These online channels combined with reflexive questioning ensure that claims administrators receive all necessary information to begin processing claims. When all systems are integrated, the information in the portal is updated as the claim record is updated, providing the claimant with real-time claim information.

Your Workforce

There is no prescriptive college course that prepares claims administrators for their career. They tend to learn as they progress, gathering knowledge on the journey. The passage of knowledge from retiring employees to the younger workforce is vital, particularly if the retiree has been employed at the firm for a long time.

Employees are valuable resources for any company, so employee retention is key. With an impending talent gap in the insurance industry, retention is even more important. To improve retention, business managers should ask employees about areas for improvement. The younger generation is more tech savvy than past generations of employees, and a recent survey has shown that technology can improve employee job satisfaction as Generation X like to work in a technologically advanced environment.

Advanced Technology

This is the most commonly discussed issue in the insurance industry, but legacy systems and manual processes still affect overall claims processing efficiency. The lack of data integration, silos of information and multiple systems for claims processing negatively affect overall business operations.

Dealing with these issues to improve claim processing initially can pave the way for future technology solutions. With connected devices, social media, mobile applications, big data and analytics all on the cards for the insurer of the future, dealing with this first step is essential. Enhancing current processes is a daunting step, but developing a strategic plan for overall improvement can help break a project up into smaller more manageable steps.

It is difficult to find out what your competitors are doing, but the best thing you can do to ensure you survive in this competitive industry is to evaluate your current situation. If performance has decreased over time or if there is a hurdle preventing new technology implementation, evaluate the reasons why. This can help you develop a strategic plan to bring your business to being the best in class. And surely that’s what we all want.