The Top 3 Cutting-Edge Technologies Enabling Faster, Smarter Claims Processing in 2023

Speed, efficiency and accuracy. These should be the guiding principles for insurance claims in 2023. But too often, antiquated systems handicap insurers, leading to rising expenses and frustrated customers.

The good news? New automation technologies can transform claims processing from a costly drag into a strategic advantage. In this article, we‘ll explore the top 3 technologies making this possible:

  • Intelligent Automation
  • Chatbots
  • Blockchain

Deploying solutions based on these technologies will enable insurers to slash claims processing costs, boost customer satisfaction, and position themselves to thrive in the years ahead. Let‘s examine each one in closer detail:

Intelligent Automation – Software Robots Streamline Manual Work

Intelligent automation stands out for its ability to integrate robotic process automation (RPA) with cutting-edge AI capabilities. This allows software robots to automate repetitive, error-prone manual claims tasks rapidly and accurately.

Consider that claims processing accounts for a whopping 70% of insurers‘ costs. Manual workflows are a major contributor. Intelligent automation software can step in to shoulder the burden:

  • Extracting data from documents and forms using optical character recognition (OCR)
  • Classifying and processing claims documents using natural language processing (NLP)
  • Assessing claims and determining optimal routing
  • Detecting fraud by quickly integrating data with AI fraud systems

This frees overburdened agents from monotonous tasks so they can focus on higher-value customer service. It also builds efficiency, with one study showing RPA cut process handling times by 65% for some insurers.

Let‘s hear from an expert on where automation delivers the biggest impact:

“In my experience, intelligent automation shines when applied to high volume, repetitive tasks with clear rules – exactly the types of activities that bog down claims departments today. Insurers who embrace it will leapfrog the competition.”

On the customer side, accelerated claims resolution reduces frustration. This pays dividends in retention and referrals. Just look at Aon Italy‘s success. By automating underwriting with RPA, they cut costs and eased employees‘ workloads while improving client satisfaction.

For many insurers, intelligent automation presents the clearest path to modernizing claims. It can be deployed quickly and deliver rapid returns. Industry analysts predict widespread adoption by 2025. Insurers who haven‘t explored its potential should start now.

Chatbots – 24/7 Virtual Assistants Streamline Customer Interactions

For a more customer-facing claims solution, chatbots are surging in popularity. Chatbots allow policyholders to report claims, ask questions, and get status updates through conversational interfaces anytime.

Chatbots offer a cheaper, more consistent alternative to human agents. One study found they can resolve customer inquiries at 30% of the cost of call centers. They also appeal to digitally savvy customers – 41% of whom prefer chatbots over humans for quick questions.

Let‘s examine some valuable scenarios for insurance chatbots:

  • Claims intake – Chatbots can field first notice of loss details from customers easily through conversational interfaces. No more playing phone tag or waiting for an agent.
  • Status updates – Customers can inquire on claim status and get instant answers from the chatbot 24/7.
  • Notifications – Chatbots can proactively notify customers of changes in claim status or if additional information is needed.
  • Cross-selling – Based on claim details, chatbots can suggest relevant products to customers during the process.

Adding a chatbot to the claims process improves satisfaction by keeping customers informed. It also captures customer data insurers can analyze to refine products and services.

Some forward-thinking insurers are even experimenting with voice assistant integrations, allowing customers to report claims through platforms like Amazon Alexa.

While adding a virtual assistant requires upfront development, experts predict the long-term gains in efficiency and customer service will make chatbots indispensable:

“Chatbots are a clear opportunity for insurers to improve the claims experience for customers. Their low cost and convenience are an unbeatable combination.”

Blockchain – "Smart Contracts" Remove Friction from Claims Payouts

Perhaps the most revolutionary option, blockchain, could fundamentally remake claims processing from the ground up. Here‘s how:

Blockchain ledger technology records transactions in distributed, encrypted blocks across many computers. This decentralized, transparent structure also enables "smart contracts" – self-executing code triggered by predefined conditions.

For claims processing, smart contracts offer game-changing potential:

  • Automated payouts – Claims could pay automatically based on smart contract triggers, without human approval needed.
  • Real-time triggers – Internet of Things sensors could feed data to the blockchain to instantly trigger payouts for events like natural disasters.
  • Fraud reduction – The immutable ledger makes falsifying claims records impossible. All activity is validated across the network.
  • Full automation – Steps like first notice of loss and policy checking are handled automatically per the smart contract terms.

Take crop insurance as an example. A smart contract could be pre-programmed to pay out to farmers automatically based on IoT weather data confirming drought conditions occurred. The entire process from claim filing to payout could happen in minutes without any manual review.

While still emerging, blockchain could enable fully automated "straight-through claims processing" in the future. This represents a total re-invention of the operating model insurers rely on today.

“Blockchain is poised to upend claims processing as we know it. I think insurers who dismiss it do so at their own peril.”

Comparing the Top 3 Claims Automation Technologies

Intelligent AutomationChatbotsBlockchain
Key BenefitsIncreased efficiency, reduced errors, lower costs24/7 customer support, increased satisfaction, lower costsFully automated claims, reduced fraud, faster payouts
Implementation TimeRapid deployment possibleMedium development timeLonger term transition
CostLow to moderateLow to moderateHigher initial investment
Process ChangeOptimizes existing workflowsEnhances customer experienceRequires total process redesign

The Outlook for Claims Automation

Pressure is mounting for insurers to modernize stagnant claims processes. Customer expectations for speed and convenience continue rising. New competitors unconstrained by legacy systems are entering the market.

Thankfully, intelligent automation, chatbots and blockchain provide a clear path forward. Insurers able to reimagine claims workflows will gain an unbeatable competitive edge.

Adoption may start gradually, but the pace of automation will accelerate quickly. Forward-looking insurers recognize they must act decisively to retool claims for the digital age. Those who delay risk being left behind.

Are you ready to transform your claims operations? Reach out to discuss how these technologies can work for you or find an automation expert who can help chart your course. The future of insurance claims processing is bright. Let‘s talk about how you can start enabling it today.

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