Part 1 - 3.5 things you need to know about your claims process and systems
What is the most important task of a life insurance company? There are many variations of how you might answer this question. It all depends on your role and the mission of the company. When you break it down, I believe there is one task that is most important within a life insurance company – to pay claims. Think about it. If that is the most important task, shouldn’t processing claims efficiently and effectively be a top priority?
In a recent article in A.M. Best’s Journal, they shared a survey that indicated the top two claims areas that need technology improvement are:
1. Improving the customer (and agent) experience
2. Legacy administration and claims systems
Let’s discuss number one first. If you have never read the book “Delivering Happiness” by Tony Hsieh, I recommend it to everyone in your organization. Stop reading this article, and go buy the book or audio version. The key takeaway is, if you focus your attention on your customers and their experiences, the business will thrive. Of course, you have to start with a strong culture and hire the right people. You have to give them the atmosphere, tools, and freedom to tackle the days’ work. Happy employees will lead to happy customers!
We believe that 96 percent of carriers have decided that claims transformation and digitization is imperative. We believe that 85percent of carriers’ executive teams are dedicated to claims excellence and good customer experiences.
You must design your claims process with the customer in mind. Here are some questions to consider as you and your team evaluate the claims process:
- With your current process, will customers perceive that they are being made to “jump through hoops?”
- Do customers want to go to your website, download a PDF claim form that isn’t even fillable, print this form, fill it out, and then mail it in, only to receive a five to eight-page claim packet two weeks later that they feel they will need an attorney to complete?
- What kind of overall experience are you presenting with your claims process? Would you want to go through this experience?
- What does your current claims process do to your chance of selling this customer any of your products in the future (and earn referrals)?
- What is your customer acquisition cost if you could retain a client by providing a great customer experience?
The point is, you must be on a mission to create a better customer experience. Your customers demand it! Today’s consumer expects a simple, convenient experience. They expect multiple resources to enhance that experience. They want to be able to complete these processes when and how it works for them, not for the company. Updating and maintaining technologies are crucial to an insurer’s ability to capture and retain these increasingly technology-savvy customers.
In Part 2 of this series, I will discuss the other top item – legacy administration and claims systems – that needs technology improvement and share how you can reduce your claims expenses and improve the customer experience. Referenced A.M. Best’s Journal – Feb, 26th 2018 – Volume 5 Issue 2.
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