Part Two: Improving the touchless environment
Wimpie van der Merwe, CEO of Global Choices
If I were a victim of crime, what could I do as an insurer in an insurance company to make that process a little bit easier?
You have the data and you know what type of things happen during different events, so the biggest form of empathy is to be intuitive. Responding to that, we created a product where we deliver a box when a person’s cell phone, wallet, car keys, home keys, ID, passport, and/or driver’s license are gone. They feel vulnerable and have been through a traumatic event. It makes a huge difference and doesn’t cost a lot of money to drop off this box at the client’s house with all the application forms for driver’s license, ID cards and Mastercard with cash loaded on it. Make it part of your insurance product. Cell phones have become very cheap; drop a cell phone with an app on which they can communicate directly with an agent that can help you get trauma counselling and app access to all the other services that form part of this proactive risk initiative when a person goes through this.
With geysers you can start before the claim by knowing the client’s geyser details. What type, how many on the property, which have warranties, how old the geysers are that no longer have a warranty, what maintenance is required, etc. If you start asking these questions, there are a lot of new initiatives, processes and innovation that can help. We are now looking at monitoring geysers with a more holistic approach. So, when we replace a geyser, we put in a monitoring system that tells us if something goes wrong. You can then be proactive in management. Simple things, like making sure everyone knows where the geyser is, what the condition of the drip tray is and where the shut-off valve is.
You can be proactive and show the client where to switch off the water to the geyser. Put a little label around that valve and say this is the main valve to the water shut-off to the geyser and here is the telephone number to call if there is a problem. Incorporate some risk management principles into your claims process because that is how you build relationships and loyalty, and create a culture of care. I’m your risk facilitator, I advise you, I inform you and then facilitate when the liability process happens on the claim. It is always about making it easier for the client.
So go and look at all the different touch points your customer or your policyholder can experience, as well as all the different types of claims. Yes, some of the claims are going to be more complicated, especially around businesses and commercial. But go and analyse them all because you are sitting with that knowledge, and you can start using your data to make that process better and you can be the best at what you do.
I have now spoken around the fact that we have to continuously improve that touchless environment to make it as smooth and easy as possible for the client. But at the same time, we can use that process to add the human touch and get closer to the client. Technology does not have to remove the person-to-person element from the process. That is why I think there is a fear of digital transformation and automation, but actually it will give humans more time. We only get so many orbits around the sun and the biggest currency available is time. So, saving time for a customer, client or policyholder, allows them to focus on more positive things.
Why must a simple windscreen claim go through seven hands? Go and analyse the process around the windscreen and use that to capture the necessary information and where the client can go to replace it, or automate it for the service provider to come and replace it at a convenient place for the client. Most of those types of claims can be automated and made much simpler.
Yes, there is a possibility of fraud, but if you use digital technology, it gives you an audit trail, geolocation and date stamps, and then it is in the cloud for seven years. That client may get away once with a fraudulent claim, but not a second time. AI will pick up that this particular policyholder is claiming again for a windscreen, based on the data that you have built up. You hear horror stories of one person taking an insurer, in a 12-month period, four or five times on a windscreen. Because it’s such a manual process, there is no data to do a point of reference on those specific claims; it just becomes a number in a process at a call centre, until someone says, “wait a minute, didn’t you just replace this windscreen the other day?”
Nobody really wants to claim. They just want the comfort of the insurance cover in place if the worst should happen. Nobody wants to go through the hassle of replacing geysers and letting people come in and work, fixing ceilings and floors and carpets, and repainting walls, because it can be prevented. If you just take a little bit of notice, there is always time to repair something and prevent an incident from happening. We need to start reimagining that process by saying, “I’m your risk facilitator and your guide around what to do in your house or your business.”
Don’t be reactive; be proactive. Tell you clients that if they take the necessary steps and we record it, it will help the process along and, long term, it will also save on premium because it prevents claims from that type of incident reoccurring.
At the moment we are talking about digital transformation. But in the insurance industry we also need to start focusing on claims transformation, because that’s one of the areas where you can see the changes happening.
The reality is that technology is helping to push us and get us there faster. From pre-inspection, using cell phone technology and platforms to capture vital visual information at a specific time and then using that information on a claim form to help the process and notify the necessary parties involved with that specific claim.
And this is not science fiction. It’s all available to us right now!