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November 18, 2019

Future of Claims Intake for Insurance?

Summary:

The assumption has been that there’s no demand for major innovation in claims intake, that low cost is key. But this is no longer the case.

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The benefits of advanced claims intake for commercial insurance can seem obscure, cloaked in a mix of digital hype and theory. It’s not surprising that until recently it’s been hard to win buy-in from business leaders to move toward optimizing claims intake.

But consider this concrete idea: What if you could ask fewer but better questions during the claims intake process? What if you could continually reduce the number of questions, and achieve greater accuracy?

There is a way.

The problem plaguing claims intake

Backlash around contact center inefficiencies is not specific to one industry. Contact centers hear complaints about wasted time, repetitive questions and unhelpful service members regularly. The claims intake process is long and arduous, unnecessarily so.

Traditionally, the formula for insurance claims intake has been to spend as little as possible to get an adequate outcome. The assumption has been there’s no demand for major innovation in claims intake and that low cost is the key to success. But this is not the case any more.

See also: How Robotics Will Transform Claims  

Driven by digital transformation, 87% of insurance carriers and TPAs said there is an ever-increasing need to inject innovative and highly configurable services into the claims intake and dissemination process, according to a recent NetClaim survey, “Testing Basic Assumptions Claims Intake on the Cusp of Innovation.”

Why does it matter?

A large portion of carrier claims are outsourced – and that percentage is increasing. This means it is more important than ever to have a buttoned-up claims intake contact center to prove to clients that you are efficient and innovative.

Carriers know a more digitally focused claims intake is coming – and they desire it – according to the research. But they said efficiency, quality and innovation are key. They desire a vendor that can guide them through transformation.

Time is the key to excellent claims intake program management and profitability. Spending too much time asking questions that either don’t need to be asked or that don’t provide any useful information is a waste of time and money.

The most significant factors driving innovation are demand for greater quality, efficiency and reduced expenses, as 71% of respondents agreed that these factors were driving changes in the insurance claims intake process.

How to fix it?

The auto insurance industry is working to simplify large amounts of data using AI to calculate risks or determine liability after an accident. The commercial insurance claims process is following the lead of auto insurance and moving to address issues related to program management and profitability. Here are a few things to consider while making that transition:

1. Look at your call script critically

Are you asking questions and not getting relevant answers in return? Are two questions saying the same thing? Just because you have asked the same questions for the last 10 years does not mean that they shouldn’t be revised and rewritten. Eliminating frustrating questions can make clients happier.

2. Determine where time is being wasted

One NetClaim costumer said that its claim intake calls were taking too long. After creating a digital report, we determined that 17 questions were either unnecessary or redundant for this client. We were able to shorten the call by 30% – resulting in a happy customer.

3. Have a consultative intake partner that can run time waster reports

An intake partner should be able to run time waster reports, look at your program as a whole and recommend ways to continually optimize. If you are bringing ideas to your partner, but they are not bringing ways to streamline and deliver more value, they’re not the partner you need at the onset of the fast-changing era.

4. Look at your program as a whole

It can be easy to look at your program on a part-by-part basis, but real meaning comes from a sum of these parts. Understanding how effective your program is as a whole is a vital part of the process.

See also: Claims Advocacy’s Biggest Opportunity  

5. Tell your clients why you are doing what you are doing

Don’t assume it’s obvious that there should be fewer questions. Be prepared to show how scaling back on unanswered questions is a good solution and leads to a more productive and shorter call with better accuracy.

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About the Author

Haywood Marsh is general manager of NetClaim, which offers customizable insurance claims reporting and distribution management solutions. He leverages experience in operations, marketing, strategic planning, product management and sales to drive the execution of NetClaim’s strategy.

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