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Driving Change in Motor Claims

Kosta Biris LL.M, Head of Claims, HDI Global Specialty SE – Australia, New Zealand

Kosta Biris LL.M, Head of Claims, HDI Global Specialty SE – Australia, New Zealand

There have been huge advances in technology, but the insurance market is still largely playing catch up compared to many other business sectors. Manual processes and the double capture of information continue to persist resulting in often-clunky customer experiences. But change isnow coming to the motor insurance claims space and implementation of such changes arestarting to accelerate says Kosta Biris, Head of Claims, HDI Global Specialty SE – Australia, New Zealand

Insurers across the board have embraced technology when it comes to the sales process, with major advances in the customer experience when obtaining a quote, purchasing, or renewing policies. But it is in the area of claims, the moment of truth from a policyholder’s perspective, that digital investment is now being focused. And not before time.

A motor claim in Australia and New Zealand, in the main, is still very much a manual and multi-step experience either via telephone or an online form that generates a follow-up phone call and the need to travel to and from repairers for the purposes of obtaining quotes. This process is increasingly being exposed as antiquated and not fit for purpose, particularly in the wake of Covid-19 which has accelerated consumers’ comfort and familiarity with devices, apps, and QR codes in nearly all aspects of daily life. In fact, it is fair to say that online is now the preferred method of interaction for many, even for those from older generations.

HDI Global Specialty understands the ability for a policyholder to be able to notify a motor claim online - with an immediate notification to the broker – will vastly enhance the customer experience. It will enable the broker to quickly contact the policyholder and assist and support them instead of doing the notificationon behalf of the customer. Taking the experience, a step further, the policyholder should also be able to select a repairer of their choice via the online mobileclaims’ notification process including the uploading of digital images. These digital images are key to the process and should be captured immediately at time of the claim.Seamless integration with the repairer will then allow them to prepare the quote and estimate without having to take the vehicle in physically.

Looking further forwards digital technology and AI (artificial intelligence) could be used to predict and scope the estimated damage to a vehicle from a simple photograph. This technology is still finding its way in the Australian and New Zealand insurance markets, but it is already being applied in other parts of the world and is very much a reality and the future.

Networking

Insurers also need to have aclear repair network strategy in place and be able to matchthose repairers with the appropriate equipment and technical skills to the particular vehicle type involved, if they are to ensure the vehicle is restored to the standard and quality the customer would expect.

The aim is for the development of a seamless automated process between the claims department andrepairers including interaction with and updating of policyholders and brokers throughout, whilst at the same time taking out all unnecessary duplication. The end goal for HDI Global Specialtyis to reduce claims handling expense and claim cycle time, ultimately controlling the overall claims spend and customer satisfaction levels.

HDI Global Specialty’s outsourcing model for motor means that third party administrators (TPAs) are key to the advancement of digital claims processes,and they need to be agile in the development of their technology. However, perhaps one of the biggest challengesis that of integrating digital technology within insurers’ often legacy-ridden claims processes.

The main drivers assisting the move away from manual processes in motor claims are clearly digital technology and AI with smart use of digitisation helping to transform and greatly enhance the customer experience and enable insurers to accurately identify damage and allocate the most appropriate path for the repair as soon as the claim has been notified.

The human touch

Digitisation and automation are addressing many of the present shortcomings in the speed and accuracy of claims notification and evidence gathering, but HDI Global Specialty and our TPAs believe there will always be a need to physically inspect certain claims, meet and talk to people on-site, talk to the customer and ensure that a repairer is adequately equipped and capable to have the vehicle repaired correctly at the right price and in a timely manner.

The right balance

For HDI Global Specialty the key driver for digital improvements is to address the pain points for customers and brokers alike. The wish list for brokers is for a simple and clear way to notify claims on behalf of customers, and to be kept up to date and informed about the progress of the claims. For the policyholder, the list is similar; for the claims notification process to be as simple and stress free as possible, for support and advice on what they need to do after the claim has been made, and a desire to be kept informed on when they will get their repaired vehicle back.

To meet these needs, increasing efficiency and improving the overall customer experience, HDI Global Specialty together with our TPAs are looking to embrace change including online claims notification supported by automated communications throughout the lifecycle of the process. Insurers and TPAs also need to develop an integrated and automated vehicle repair management process and invest in digital technology to provide more accurate estimates of damage at the time of the claim.

Insurers that focus on a direct digital strategy with their policyholders with an integrated and automated link with their brokers, partners and administrators will be the insurer of the future.

Weekly Brief

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