RPA and the Insurance Industry
Most insurance companies are overwhelmed with repetitive digital processes that prevent them from delivering timely customer service, meeting growth and profit expectations, and maintaining a competitive advantage in the marketplace. To adapt, insurance companies worldwide are turning to automation technologies to aid them in streamlining their operations. While partial automation is commonly used to speed up data entry or scan paper documents, greater automation capabilities are offered by Robotic Process Automation (RPA).
RPA can provide added support to help insurance companies automate entire workflows and streamline a greater number of their operational activities.
Challenges for the Insurance Industry
Insurance providers rely heavily on back-office processes. Some of the larger operational challenges faced by insurance companies include:
Manual input from various data sources: Insurance companies regularly deal with incoming data in a variety of formats This process is labor intensive and costly. Even more so, manual data entry is prone to errors and inconsistency.
Legacy applications and disparate systems: Many insurers are still reliant on legacy systems, applications, and softwares to manage their processes, and some are reliant upon multiple platforms that do not interface. Integrating new softwares can involve the entire or partial replacement of the existing setup.
Regulatory compliance issues: Insurers are required to comply with a host of compliance standards. Regulatory changes are common, often affecting the efficiency of an established business practice or process.
Lack of business and process analytics: Many Insurance companies do not have optimized data gathering methodologies. Without visible or tangible results, insurers struggle with process efficiency, reducing staff workloads, and improving customer satisfaction.
How RPA can help
RPA helps reduce these challenges by:
Non-invasive compatibility: RPA imitates human keystrokes and mouse clicks, interacting with the presentation layer of computer programs and applications. Additionally, RPA enables integration through seamless data transfer across multiple legacy platforms. As a result, RPA can be implemented in addition to existing programs, without the need for insurers to replace their existing IT setup.
Streamlining claims processing: RPA can reduce the amount of time spent on repetitive processes and significantly reduce, if not eliminate, human errors. This task can be accomplished by deploying digital workers to perform effort-intensive manual tasks that are both mundane and prone to inaccuracies. The result of this is that insurance claims can be processed in a much more efficient, accurate, and expedient manner.
Scaling with ease: Since the number of active RPA software robots can be increased or decreased in a matter of seconds, scalability is easy to achieve with RPA. Software robots can be scaled up or down during certain times of the day or year, to handle a larger number of claims.
Improved regulatory compliance: RPA ensures the accuracy of data and its software robots maintain a running log of their actions. As a result, compliance with regulations can be monitored on an ongoing basis through internal reviews. This allows insurance companies to keep an eye on compliance themselves, in addition to being better prepared in case of an external audit.
Process analytics: RPA tackles the lack of visible process analytics head-on by tracking and recording both processes and workflows at each step. Digital workers cover the entire spectrum of work, from data gathering to visualization, thus eliminating the burden on IT for logging, tagging, and visualizing data and, in turn, greatly reducing cost and time to value.
RPA in the Long-term
Especially within industries, like insurance, which are highly dependent on the efficiency of their back office, RPA is being adopted at increasing rates in order to used to automate burdensome, high volume, and time-consuming business activities. This automation technology is being used to fight some of the biggest challenges faced by insurance providers, in order to promote long-term success opportunities and a competitive marketplace.
RPA can help insurers achieve increased profits, permanent company growth, better compliance, and improved customer service, all at a lower cost than ever possible before. Because of the flexibility and improvements that RPA can deliver, its adoption by insurance companies is only expected to become more global and inevitable. Rather than remaining just a technology option to choose from, RPA will eventually become a necessary component for insurance providers to remain competitive industry leaders.