25. April 2024
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  • The Claims Handler Perspective: Transforming Customer Experience with Technology 

    The claims process in insurance plays a crucial role in determining the overall customer experience. By exploring this process from the handlers’ perspective, we can gain valuable insights into how to improve it across various insurance lines and regions.

    The Claims Handler Perspective: Transforming Customer Experience with Technology

    The claims process in insurance plays a crucial role in determining the overall customer experience. By exploring this process from the handlers’ perspective, we can gain valuable insights into how to improve it across various insurance lines and regions.

    Claims handlers are at the forefront, dealing with complex claims and engaging directly with customers. Their insights reveal a consensus on the need for streamlined processes and a significant demand for reducing manual and tedious tasks through automation. There’s a growing desire among claims handlers for technological skills development, indicating a workforce prepared to adapt to new tools that facilitate a more efficient and engaging claims process. 

    Contrary to some narratives, claims handlers are eager for technology solutions that take the drudgery out of their day-to-day tasks. They embrace the use of AI and digital tools to speed up claims and improve satisfaction for everyone involved. This perspective aligns with the broader industry’s shift towards digital transformation, where technology integration is seen not as a threat but as an opportunity to augment human expertise and deliver better outcomes.  

    A real challenge for claims handlers is that they play a pivotal role in both the operational and experiential sides of claims processing. Addressing customer expectations while managing procedural requirements is a constant balancing act. 

    The Role of Claims Handler in Enhancing Customer Experience 

    Claims handlers are the first point of contact for policyholders when they need to file a claim. They guide customers through the complex claims process, providing support, information, and solutions. This critical role involves managing expectations, resolving issues, and ensuring compliance with insurance regulations. To enhance customer experience, claims handlers need to focus on several key elements: 

    • Timeliness: Customers expect quick responses and efficient claims processing. Delays can lead to frustration and dissatisfaction, so claims handlers must prioritize speed without compromising accuracy. 
    • Transparency: Clear communication is vital to building trust with customers. Claims handlers should explain the claims process, coverage details, and expected timelines to keep customers informed. 
    • Empathy: Claims often arise from distressing events like accidents or property damage. Claims handlers must approach each claim with empathy, showing compassion and understanding. 
    • Problem-Solving: Claims can be complex, involving multiple stakeholders and regulatory requirements. Claims handlers need strong problem-solving skills to address these challenges and find equitable solutions. 

    Most of this could be achieved through automation. By automating some these elements, insurance companies can significantly impact the customer experience and build lasting relationships with policyholders. 

    The Most Tedious Tasks in Claims Handling 

    Claims handling involves a variety of tasks, some of which can be tedious and time-consuming. These tasks require meticulous attention to detail and can divert focus from customer interaction and problem-solving. The most tedious tasks in claims handling include: 

    • Collecting and Verifying Documents: Claims handlers must collect and review various documents, including policy details, proof of loss, and supporting evidence. This process can be repetitive and labor-intensive. 
    • Compliance and Reporting: Compliance with insurance regulations is a significant aspect of claims handling. Claims handlers must ensure that all claims meet regulatory requirements and report accordingly, which can be a complex and lengthy process. 
    • Data Entry and Updates: Manual data entry and updating claim records are prone to errors and can take significant time. Claims handlers must ensure that all information is accurate and up-to-date, which can be tedious. 
    • Coordination with Multiple Stakeholders: Claims handling often involves coordination with adjusters, repair shops, medical professionals, and legal experts. Managing these relationships can be challenging and time-consuming. 

    These tasks can lead to burnout among claims handlers and hinder their ability to focus on customer-centric activities. However, technology today is offering solutions to alleviate these burdens, allowing claims handlers to spend more time on customer interaction that requires empathy and human judgment.  

    Challenges and Opportunities Across Insurance 

    The insurance industry faces several challenges that impact claims handling and, consequently, customer experience. However, these challenges also create opportunities for innovation and improvement through technology.  

    As digital technology continues to evolve at an unprecedented pace, it is paramount for these sectors to adapt and reinvent their service paradigms to stay relevant and meet evolving consumer demands. This urgency is further underscored by the transformative potential of technologies like Artificial Intelligence (AI).  

    AI has positioned itself as the centrifugal force promising to reshape service paradigms. The capacity of AI to revolutionize operations, communications, and service delivery has made it indispensable.  

    Let’s explore some of the key challenges and the opportunities they present: 

    1. Rising Customer Expectations: Customers today expect faster and more personalized service. Claims handlers must meet these expectations while maintaining high-quality standards.  

    This challenge presents an opportunity for automation and AI solutions to streamline repetitive processes, like simple query resolution, data entry, claims validation, asking for missing information etc. that are labor-intensive, and delays claims processing which adversely affects the customer experience. 

    2. Increasing Operational Cost: There has been a year-on-year growth on the number of claims being processed. With the increasing count of claims, the cost of processing is also increasing. Insurance companies need to hire more qualified professionals to process these claims and need more infrastructure to manage this which results in increase in operational expenditure.  

    By using advanced AI solutions like claims processing powered by GPT technology, this cost can be easily reduced. Such tools have the capability to perform tasks like claims summarization, asking for missing documents, and recommending further actions which significantly reduces the time spent on a single claim. This allows claims handlers to do more cases in a day which means insurance companies can handle more claims without increasing its spend on hiring and training activities. 

    3. Regulatory Compliance: Compliance with insurance regulations can be complex and time-consuming. Claims handlers must navigate these regulations, which can lead to delays and error.  

    Technology offers opportunities to automate regulatory checks and ensure compliance, reducing the burden on claims handlers and increasing the overall accuracy of claims processing. 

    Automation and AI: A Beacon of Hope 

    Claims handlers play a pivotal role in the insurance industry, balancing operational and experiential aspects of claims processing. Their role requires a combination of efficiency, empathy, and problem-solving. Technology, particularly AI and automation, is helping claims handlers manage tedious tasks, streamline processes, and enhance customer interactions. 

    This demonstrates an industry-wide appetite for solutions that can streamline operations, reduce manual tasks, and improve response times. The technological advancements are transforming claims handling, allowing claims handlers to focus on higher-value tasks and providing a better customer experience. 

    As the insurance industry continues to embrace digital transformation, claims handlers are ready and willing to adopt new technologies that make their jobs more efficient and enjoyable. By leveraging technology, they can meet the evolving expectations of customers and deliver a seamless claims experience. Ultimately, this shift towards technology is not about replacing human expertise but enhancing it to create a better customer experience. 


    [1] Customer Experience: The Claim Handler’s Perspective – Sprout.ai 

    [2] AI in Banking and Insurance Survey Whitepaper | Simplifai