June 20, 2024

P&C Insurers: Are You Tech Tourists or Tech Leaders?

During the pandemic, many insurance professionals focused almost exclusively on internal process improvement. Now, it is back to basics and focusing on the customer journey, like faster payment processing and improved communication in reporting and filing claims.

For these improvements to become a reality, insurers need to evaluate the gaps in their technology stack and determine if they need outside partners to boost their capabilities.

Jeanette Hernandez, CEO of Claim Connect IQ, works to improve relationships between insurance leaders and technology providers. Auriemma Roundtables sat down with Jeanette to discuss how Property Claims executives can avoid common tech-buying pitfalls.

Whether it’s to minimize costs or deliver a better customer experience, insurance leaders face a lot of pressure to implement the latest technology. How should they go about planning their next purchase?

Deciding on any specific technology buy should be part of a much broader process. Decision makers need to have an overarching strategy about what they are trying to accomplish and how the technology fits into that strategy.

During many conversations with claims leaders, I ask: “Are you a tech leader or a tech tourist?” What I mean by that is some companies devote a lot of resources to seeking out new technology that may improve how they do business. They review a lot of demos but rarely implement new technology. I consider them to be tech tourists.

Ideally, a tech leader in the claims space looks at their own ecosystem and creates a strategy that identifies their technology needs. They should also look at what type of technology will fit best in their existing tech stack. Maybe those shortfalls are related to SLAs, customer satisfaction, or ALAE. Before starting the buying process, leaders need to have a plan in place for how new tech will bridge the gap between where they are and where they need to be.

What are the common missteps when insurers evaluate new technologies?

Insurers first need to know what to look for and how it fits into their existing workflows. Technology is never the complete solution; it should enhance existing processes and help people to do their jobs better. The key question should be, “Is buying this technology helping to execute on our strategy or just a bolt-on to our current tech stack?”

For example, if you are automating a manual process, you must understand and document that process before you implement the technology, because there are always pros and cons with automation.

When evaluating your processes, ask what problem you are trying to solve. Super-imposing technology onto a fundamentally broken process will rarely fix the underlying issues – in fact, it often exacerbates them. Also, understanding what new data you will have to inform your problem-solving strategy is key.

The next biggest consideration is adoption by your claims team. Will it be disruptive? Will staff have to log into another portal to use the technology? Will you integrate with an API?

How is AI changing the technology landscape for the insurance industry?

First, it is changing how we think about customer interaction. For example, AI-powered virtual assistants can call customers and arrange calls and appointments.

We must understand AI from both a process improvement perspective and a people perspective. Not all AI is created equal. If we are striving for unbiased technology that helps in the decision-making process, then it must have minimal human intervention that can affect outcomes.

We are just starting to see AI being used on the defense side of litigation, while plaintiff attorneys are investing in technology to settle their cases. Large amounts of data are being gathered and new models for case evaluation are being created. It’s also important to have a healthy respect for how quickly AI is progressing and what role it may play in five or ten years.

About Auriemma Roundtables’ Property Claims Optimization Roundtable

The Property Claims Optimization Roundtable combines claims executive meetings, industry-leading operational benchmarking, and peer group surveys to help participants identify tools, technologies, and strategies to offer best-in-class customer experiences. It provides claims professionals the opportunity to innovate and improve the claims experience for insureds.

About Claim Connect IQ

Claim Connect IQ is a digital marketplace that helps insurance professionals and their service providers connect and work together. The industry is changing faster than ever and connecting decision-makers is even more challenging in our hybrid work environments. This comprehensive industry resource that helps companies search for a service provider and learn about their products and services and brand in the marketplace.

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