Digital transformation is a general term that refers to implementing technologies that can streamline just about any business process, whether internal or customer-facing. If you’ve spent any time in the insurance industry, you know it’s ripe with opportunity for digital transformation. Some of the most significant areas of impact are underwriting, claims management, and customer service. And the faster you can get your processes into a streamlined digital process, the more competitive you can be in the insurance industry.
In recent years, a few insurance companies have set themselves apart from others by offering an easier process for customers that removes the friction of going back and forth with someone to get a quote, file a claim or pay a bill. Let’s take a look at some of the most important benefits of investing in automation software and other technologies that will help you to become a leader in your field.
Digitally Transforming The Most Critical Insurance Processes
Activate Policies Instantly
Traditionally, the policy quote process and customer’s acceptance of the quote required documents to be signed, scanned and uploaded before it was activated. This process required more time and effort for you and your customer. That period of time also opened the door to allow the customer to question if they were choosing the right insurance company. A slower process also meant information took longer to get added into the system for customer service to access. This leaves room for customers to have a poor experience in the first few days or week of being your customer.
Digitally transforming the underwriting and new policy documentation from start to finish allows policies to be created quicker, the customer can accept it right away (reducing the time they’re likely to spend looking at other options), and the information becomes immediately accessible by the customer service team who can assist with any needs the new customer may have.
Check out our blog: How Does Automated Underwriting Work for Insurance?
Expedite the Claims Process
In the past, gathering data to process an insurance claim was a lengthy process that could become frustrating. And then, as information trickled in from various sources, the claims analysts had to manually enter or copy and paste information into the claims management system (or systems).
Thanks to automation, most of this manual work is no longer necessary, freeing up the claims managers to process more claims at a faster pace. In fact, insurance companies who have completed a digital transformation find that their staff can reduce existing workload by up to 30%.
Learn more about automating the insurance claims process in our blog: How to Use RPA for Automated Claims Processing.
Give Customers a Seamless Experience with Self Service Options
We’ve already mentioned that customer service plays a critical role. Before a digital transformation, the customer service team may have to use a few different systems to find the information they need to help a customer. Using automations, it’s possible to present a customer’s information from multiple internal systems on one screen. This empowers the customer service team by giving them all the information they need to help the customer.
It’s also important to offer self-service options to the customer. These have become especially popular since the pandemic. If the customer can get their answer without speaking to someone, that is often the interaction they’d prefer most. Bots can be used to offer helpful information and direct the customer to the right place where they can input the information they need for billing, claims, new policies, etc. Automations can be added that populate your internal systems immediately with the data collected.
There are a lot of other ways digital transformation can improve employee performance and increase profitability. However, there are some of the first places you may wish to start to see some big improvements. How do you get your insurance company’s digital transformation underway?
Top 5 Recommendations for a Successful Insurance Digital Transformation
1. Start by identifying which processes would have the most impact on your business.
We’ve talked about three areas. Which is most important to start with for your company? Where are your pain points and are there areas where you can improve profitability if you were to reduce data entry and human error?
2. Approach this digital transformation with fresh eyes.
Don’t allow past experiences at this company, or perhaps another company, dictate how you will move forward with a digital transformation. If you’ve tried this before and it wasn’t 100% successful, it may be good to evaluate why and learn from it, rather than fear future transformation. Sift out what wasn’t successful and hang onto things that may already be working well.
3. Create a 1-year, 3-year, and 5-year plan for digital transformation of your insurance company.
A 2021 report from Harvard Business Review Analytic Services shows that 26% of digital leaders believe one of their biggest organizational challenges is the lack of a clearly defined digital transformation strategy. You need a clear path that’s adjustable as time goes by to match your company’s goals and processes. Doing so helps you get up and running quickly with a focus on low-cost support. This will mean setting parameters. It is important to establish exactly what needs to happen for these goals to be reached. Once you have a vision of what you want from the processes, it is time to begin implementing. Once your automation has gone live, it will be important to make sure you're monitoring your progress and tracking towards your goals.
4. Consider how this is going to affect your current workforce.
Some of your employees may feel that this new technology will threaten their jobs. Discuss how their workflow and their daily lives in your company will change and what will stay the same. Some jobs within your company are likely going to change as responsibilities shift. Help your staff understand the reasons for the change and help them prepare with sufficient training and opportunities for feedback.
5. Plan for improvements by setting strategic review checkpoints.
This allows you to periodically assess what’s working, what’s not, and whether the plan you have in place is still the best one for you. It’s important to invite various stakeholders into these conversations including:
- The person or team who originally identified the problem that was automated to see if there is tangible performance improvement. If not, why not?
- The teams (or at least one representative) involved identifying the digital transformation technologies.
- Your IT team members involved in the assessment.
How to Get Started With Your Digital Transformation
We’ve outlined the steps recommended for a digital transformation. But sometimes it can be hard to know where to start with your analysis. A third-party assessment of what you have now and where you’d like to go can be helpful if you’re just starting your digital transformation. And if you’ve started on the path to digitally transforming your insurance company, we can help with your short and long-term planning, training and identifying future areas where automation may bring you even more benefit.
Request a free consultation with our insurance automation experts to see how we can assist you with reaching your goals.