Tjaart Oosthuizen, Head of Claims and Procurement at Western National Insurance
There are many factors that can lead a client to place their insurance with a specific insurer. However, when it comes to client retention, the claims process or claims payment, is often a deciding factor. Improving efficiencies within your system and trying to alleviate client stress and frustrations, is sure to aid retention.
Embracing technology in short-term insurance and claim management is the way forward, and one of the best ways to keep clients satisfied. This strategy is fast becoming the norm and as the adage goes, “adapt or die”. While this can be daunting from the outset, it has many potential positives, particularly over the long-term (for insurers, brokers and clients). Here are five reasons highlighting why.
Time waits for no one
With online presence growing so rapidly, especially off the back of the global pandemic and various levels of lockdown, digital interactions have become more commonplace, and they occur at a rapid pace. The culture of immediate response and results, as in finalising of claims, is the new norm and is what clients expect. Automation of claims will shorten the life cycle of a claim as at its very core, it aims to accelerate the claim settling process.
Exactly what is needed
Automation will also assist in reducing the risk within the claims process, as fewer touch points or human intervention should equate to a reduction in errors, many of which are human errors. Technology and automation are built with a purpose, to standardise the flow for claims, which in turn would lead to time saving and the improved experience for all involved.
Cutting down future costs
Automation of claims processing will improve how information is gathered, managed and integrated. The algorithms pertaining to future pricing modelling will be more accurate, due to improved information, and from an underwriting perspective it will also be a time saver. Decreasing the claims cost management and actual claims cost, will lead to better pricing models. Premium reduction due to more accurate premium calculations, is and will always be a key factor when selecting insurance cover, so any reduction in the premium will make a company more attractive and thereby more competitive.
How-to keep track, perfectly
Technology improves monitoring and ensures accurate tracking of the claims process, and information, and being kept informed is also a key factor that is attractive to clients in this day. It is not only the frequency of the information shared but also the accuracy thereof, and with exact programmable touchpoints, the consistency and relevancy can be set as required. This is beneficial from a service delivery perspective and for the overall duration of claims. This speaks directly to TCF compliance and many other legislative requirements involved in our industry.
Automate to innovate
Automation as in the appointing of 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, and lead to a seamless process. It’s important to ensure that the correct automation at the correct points is the innovating factor, as innovation is what distinguishes the leader from the herd.
Western’s automated claims process
Western embarked on the digital journey with the intention of streamlining the facilitation of its claims processes. Digitisation of the claim form allows clients to complete the claims online, at their convenience. Once the digital claim is completed it automatically triggers the internal registration process. This initiative has the benefit of reducing the time and potential risk involved in utilising the paper method of submitting and capturing claims. Online claims are the first step in a much bigger digitisation plan. Western’s ultimate aim is 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 all along the way.
Think insurance. Now think again.
Western National Insurance Company Ltd, affiliates of the PSG Konsult Group, are authorised financial services providers. (FAIS: Juristic Reps under FSP 9465)