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Claimless Insurance No Longer an Affordable Caviar

By Amit Bhandari, CTO, Magma HDI General Insurance Co. Ltd

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Amit Bhandari, CTO, Magma HDI General Insurance Co. Ltd

Magma HDI General Insurance Company Ltd in India offers online Motor insurance policy, Liability Insurance, Fire Insurance, Marine Insurance and more. Magma HDI General Insurance Company Limited is a joint venture between Magma Fincorp Limited and HDI Global SE Germany.

Claimless Insurance is no longer an ‘af­fordable caviar’ or ‘happily married’ hope anymore but a soon to be a re­ality!

Imagine this, two cars collide, upon impact, the onboard sensors and computers installed on the cars begin gathering critical information about the crash including throttle, breaking inputs, speed, points of impact, and many more. All this in­formation is blended together into a digital narrative of the event. The information is then shared with the insurer to initiate the claim. The virtual assistant insurance call center activates the whole insurance eco­system. At one end, emergency as­sistance services like hospital, police get intimated and on the other hand vehicle towing and repair service also get initiated. The insurer’s sys­tem uses the information gathered through the sensors coupled with photos, videos and advanced image processing technology, to estimate the repair cost and guide the appor­tionment of liability.

" In order to keep up with the pace of changing needs of customers in this age of customer centricity, the insurance companies have started to realize the significance of bringing in technological innovations and automation in the claims journey as well"

In the world of digital disrup­tion, introducing technological ad­vancements has become a strategic priority for any business, where the significant focus is put on digital in­novations, automation and embrac­ing leading technologies to enhance the customer experience. The insur­ance industry has also been lever­aging technology to its fullest po­tential. However, until recently, the focus of the industry was limited, primarily; to the customer acquisi­tion and various underlying stages namely, quote generation, product comparisons and buying assistance. Very little attention was really paid to the claims journey, which is the most critical service point for any insurance company.

In order to keep up with the pace of changing needs of customers in this age of customer centricity, the insurance companies have started to realize the significance of bring­ing in technological innovations and automation in the claims journey as well.

Insurers Need to Go the E-Com­merce Way
Many insurers have already begun to design claim workflows, which are more sophisticated, cost-effi­cient and more importantly, digitally driven. Such workflows not only of­fer cost efficiency, speed, and better fraud detection but also enhance the customer experience for sure. The end goal for insurers in this journey is Touchless Claims Handling, which is nothing but being able to handle a claim by defining an end-to-end automated claims process that takes care of intimation, identity and event verification through multi­ple sources, claim adjudication and communication with the customer electronically. The idea is to emulate e-com­merce firms’ experience, where there is a lot of trust on customer submissions and even to the extent that they offer advance money based on customer’s promise of ac­tion subsequently e.g. one e-commerce platform offers discount upfront in the billing if a customer promises to make payment through a particular bank’s net bank­ing facility. What if the customer does not pay through that bank subsequently? Yes, the last line is the current thinking of insurance professionals  be it underwriting or claims professionals!

Managing Customer Expectations
Today’s customers’ expectations are different. Custom­ers want transparency, consistent communication, em­pathetic and personalized service experience. However, when it comes to insurance and especially to claims, this demand is yet to be fully satisfied.

While the customer is grappling with the loss like hospitalization, property loss or car damage which caused the claim, he/she still need to file a claim with the insurer within the specified timelines, submit a plethora of documents in piecemeal as and when asked by insurer and has to answer vast number of questions in order to get that claim settled.

Touchless Claims handling can prove to be a boon in uplifting the customer experience and building an environment where the customers get the prompt and empathetic service that they desire. By integrating core systems with new data channels, building better data processing capabilities and leveraging emerging tech­nologies like AI, Blockchain to their fullest potential, the insurers can reduce touches in order to reduce costs and response times in the entire claims process. Customers also benefit immensely as the whole process becomes easier and they need to answer fewer questions through­out the journey.

Need for Collaboration
A fully automated claims process isn’t a distant dream. The insurance industry has already started working on this, however for this to become a reality, collaboration is critical - with data exchange partners, automakers, telematics service providers and the on-the-ground ven­dors that interact with customers alongside the claims adjuster. At the heart of these partnerships will be timely and reliable multisource data.

Touchless Claims a Win - Win
The Indian insurance industry has started witnessing ad­vancements in various areas like IoT devices under home insurance and marine cargo consignments, automated trip delay claim under travel insurance, wearables and health monitoring devices as a preventive health care measure.

Touchless claims handling will prove to be a win-win for the insurers as well as the customers. Where the fast­er and easier claims process will certainly entice the customers, the insurers will also benefit from the reduced cost of operations. Finally, insurance companies will also need to address increasing data privacy challenges as sensitive personal data will need to be shared amongst various stakeholders for such claim servicing.

The need of the hour for insurance professionals is broadened their horizons, think of limitless possibilities with emerging connected eco-system along with struc­tural changes in the identification systems and shed their traditional thinking of paying claims as a favor to the customers!

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