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Guest post by Norman Black, EMEA Insurance Industry Director, SAP

The next generation of claims processing promises better customer service, lower costs, integrated partners and less opportunity for fraudsters. Key to this will be integrating mobile, big data analytics and cloud collaboration into the claims process.

Cost of Claims

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Claims are the single biggest cost element in an insurer’s business model and a crucial touch-point for customers. If you’ve ever been unfortunate enough to have to make one, you’ll know you’re already feeling pretty down before you even pick up the phone to the insurer. There’s no denying that, despite some honorable exceptions, it’s not usually an enjoyable experience.

I don’t have to look far for an example. My daughter bought off-the-shelf backpackers’ insurance before she went traveling. It was tailor-made for her needs, easy to buy online and it came at a good price. But when she had to claim for paying out for health care while away, the claims process faltered. This company, which specifically targeted young people with its trendy front-end, suddenly needed her to fill out a six-page form for its archaic claims process.

Making a claim shouldn’t be a confrontational procedure but the complexity (including logistics and management) is hard for insurers to hide, and that often breaks down, becomes frustrating and protracted. Especially when the internet generation comes in contact with these processes: they don’t want discussion, they just want things paid.

Modern Systems

A modern system can radically impact savings and customer experience. Staff can consistently collect the correct information at the right point in time, so don’t need to bother customers. Plus when there is a hiccup, handlers have specific guidelines to follow, making them more efficient and on the ball, leading to a happier customer.

There are still many savings to be made from the ‘supply chain’ element of a claim – handling the builders, garages and doctors or replacing goods. Despite the value that flows through here, it simply does not receive the attention and discipline that other sectors, such as retail and manufacturing, employ. Best practice from them needs to become standard for insurers.

Building on all this, much of the upside could come from adding mobility to the process. Not just for policy holders making a claim on site, but also for field staff, helping them to deal with claims, giving engineers and loss-adjustors the tools they need to make decisions as efficiently and reliably as possible. Using our mobile platform, there’s huge potential for tablet-based apps that would quickly get claims sorted, builders engaged and so on, taking a few hours to do what would otherwise take weeks.

Role of Analytics

Finally, bringing real time analytics to the table, one application that emerges straight away is the prevention of fraud: 6% of all premium income is lost by insurers to fraudsters and it adds about £60 to a typical household’s insurance bill, yet only about 29% of fraud is detected. What can we do about the other 71%? With big data using our HANA platform, you can analyse the claim as it’s going through on the phone in real time. So even just a small piece of information is enough to help start alarm bells ringing and prevent fraudulent claims slipping through the net, to prevent new trends like ghost broking, protecting innocent people from being duped and making a more effective, cleaner service all round.

Next gen claims

Four ways next-gen claims are already changing the game:

  • SERVICE: Auto Club Group in the USA used SAP Claims to radically simplify their claims management process, improving customer service, reducing by 50% the time customers spent on the phone

  • COST REDUCTION: A top-10 motor and household insurer in the UK which implemented SAP claims reduced its claim ratio by nearly 10% in the first year of operation
  • EFFICIENCY: CFS Insurance in the USA recorded a 20% increase in claim handler capacity
  • INNOVATION: AOK, Germany’s largest health insurer, is using SAP’s HANA big data platform to analyze historical claims data and offer preventative care, preventing claims rather than paying claims.

To learn more about we can help you with your business challenges please look at SAP’s Solution Explorer for the Insurance Industry.

What trends are you seeing? Continue the conversation in the comments below and on Twitter @SAPForInsurance.

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