Digital disruption within the insurance industry has gone from being met with feelings of trepidation at board level, to being embraced with a refreshing sense of optimism. According to recent research from Accenture, 80% of CEOs believe that AI and related technologies will significantly change the way they do business over the next 5 years. Even insurance, a notoriously traditional industry has been feeling the effects of digital disruption for some time now. Products and services are being delivered in ever more innovative ways, reflecting changing customer expectations. Indeed, the types of insurance products being sold are also changing and becoming more diverse. The opportunities that are emerging from this disruption are enormous. Companies that move quickly to map and automate their customer journeys and produce an end to end digital strategy will flourish. Those that do not will find it increasingly difficult to generate attractive returns in the face of increasingly innovative competition. The question must be asked, how are established players going to compete with new Fintech and disruptive outside entrants to the market?
Robotic Process Automation (RPA) is the use of software with artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning capabilities to handle high-volume, repeatable tasks that typically require human execution. RPA takes the robot out of the human, freeing them up to do other tasks requiring human strengths such as emotional intelligence, reasoning, judgement, and interaction with customers. There are a several ways insurers are harnessing the power of RPA technology to remain competitive.
Regulatory compliance and credit checking are processes highly dependent on consolidating and analysing large quantities of data, varying in type and structure. Manual processing is slow and prone to human error. Using RPA, the potentially catastrophic risks associated with regulatory breach are significantly reduced.
During the resolution of a claim, a large amount of data from multiple sources/legacy systems needs to be analysed and reported on. Levels of customer interaction and effort while making a claim are high and lasting impressions of the provider are formed by customers during this process. Intelligent automation and RPA can help to speed up the process, which in turn improves customer loyalty and retention rates by reducing the amount of time spent by agents searching for relevant customer information and performing repetitive tasks (rekeying) during a claim’s resolution. It also eliminates human errors which can be costly in many ways, including reputationally, customer satisfaction scores, money and time. With its ability to pick up on trends and anomalies across data sets, RPA can also help to prevent and detect possible insurance fraud, which is another significant benefit.
Underwriting requires insurers to assess the risks and exposures of their clients. A considerable amount of analysis, combined with an underwriter’s general aversion to risk, can lead to this process taking weeks. RPA automates data collection from various external and internal sources and can populate multiple blank fields simultaneously within internal systems with relevant information. It can be used to produce a report or make recommendations when assessing loss runs, thus automating the essence of underwriting and risk pricing.
Deploying RPA in customer contact centres enables agents to gain a ‘single view’ and full visibility of customer and case data. This data can be fed into a meaningful, actionable and fully customised UI which is integrated into back end systems and is so much more powerful than the traditional disjointed, multi-screen and multi-system approach. The customer doesn’t have to wait for the agent to locate customer related/policy details, thus increasing first call resolution rates (FCR) and reducing average call durations. An agent augmented by RPA will use auto form filling and have improved data visibility so they can deliver an exceptional customer experience and offer more tailored products and services.
These processes involve matching the policy holder’s data whilst adhering to prescribed rules while processing the data itself. The work also comprises data processing and validation between various applications, combined with the extensive document management required for full compliance. Case management capability is key to performing this process, providing a 360-degree view of the customer and their policy information. Underpinning this is the integration into the legacy estate with use of RPA.
Insurance industry focused CEOs are accepting the urgent need for change in order to stay compliant, remain competitive and increase customer satisfaction.
Customer experience is a key driver of business and process change. We now see insurers slowly adapting to the disruption being caused by Fintech and other digital technologies and fully recognising the higher expectations customers now have for their interactions with providers.
We have seen that RPA can be applied in many areas and the tangible benefits are numerous:
One would be safe in saying that the widespread adoption of RPA within the insurance sector is absolutely required and inevitable.
For more information about RPA and its implementation, contact Tim Hatzis, on 07456 650350