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Technology and automation are built with a purpose, to standardise the flow of claims. Picture: 123RF/NIKCOA
Technology and automation are built with a purpose, to standardise the flow of claims. Picture: 123RF/NIKCOA

There are many factors which inform a client’s decision to place their insurance with a specific insurer. But when it comes to client retention, the claims process, or claims payment is often a deciding factor. Improving efficiencies within your system and alleviating client frustrations is sure to aid retention.

Embracing technology in short-term insurance and claim management is one of the best ways to keep clients satisfied. While this can be daunting from the outset, it has many potential positives, particularly in the long term (for insurers, brokers and clients). 

Here are five reasons why ...

Time waits for no-one

With online presence growing so rapidly, especially as a result of the pandemic and lockdown, digital interactions have become more commonplace, and take place at a rapid pace. When finalising claims, the culture of immediate response and results is the new norm and what clients expect. Automation of claims shortens the life cycle of a claim as it accelerates the claim-settling process.

Exactly what is needed

Automation also helps reduce the risk in the claims process, as fewer touch points of human intervention should equate to a reduction in errors, many of which are human. Technology and automation are built to standardise the flow of claims, saving time and improving the experience for all involved. 

Cutting down future costs

Automation of claims processing improves how information is gathered, managed and integrated. The algorithms pertaining to future pricing modelling will be more accurate due to improved information, and will save time from an underwriting perspective. Decreasing the claims cost and management will lead to better pricing models. Premium reduction due to more accurate premium calculations is always a big factor when selecting insurance cover, and makes a company more attractive and competitive.

How to keep track, perfectly

Technology improves monitoring and ensures accurate tracking of the claims process and information. Being kept informed is also important: it’s not only the frequency of the information shared but also the accuracy, and with exact programmable touchpoints, the consistency and relevancy can be set as required. This is useful for service delivery and the overall duration of claims. It also aligns with the Treating Customers Fairly compliance and other legislative requirements in the financial services industry.

Automate to innovate

Automation for appointing preferred service providers associated with a specific claim type (such as geyser or motor claims) becomes a seamless process based on the set criteria. Points of automation that exist where no intervention is required have the added benefit of a reduction in possible fraud. The correct automation at the right points needs to be the innovating factor to distinguish the leader from the herd.

Western’s automated claims process

Western began its digital journey to streamline the facilitation of its claims processes. Digitising claim forms allows clients to complete the claim online, at their convenience. Once the digital claim is completed, it automatically triggers the internal registration process.

This initiative reduces the time and potential risk involved using the paper method of submitting and capturing claims. Online claims are the first step in a bigger digitisation plan. Western aims to provide the consumer with the best service and most cost-efficient claims solutions.        

Technology, and automation by extension, have always been the driving factors for progression, and adapting to this technology is the best way to progress into the future, remaining relevant to clients along the way.  

About the author: Tjaart Oosthuizen is head of claims and procurement at Western National Insurance.

This article was paid for by Western National Insurance.

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