How to Optimize Insurance Workflows for Higher Efficiency

Jayanarayana Bhat Posted by Jayanarayana Bhat, March 13, 2021

Insurance is one of the most document-heavy sectors, processing huge volumes of physical customer forms, claims applications, and more. Insurance carriers know they need to digitize to keep up with the threat of insurtech start-ups but most feel hampered by the stringent regulations of the industry as well as the legacy systems they have built up over the years. The irony is that without modernization, it is a lose-lose situation.

When an insurance company implements a well-designed digitization program it can deliver up to 65 percent in cost reduction and a 90 percent reduction in turnaround time on key insurance processes.

Harvard Business Review

A 65% reduction in cost and 90% reduction in turnaround time are compelling reasons for digitization. Yet not all insurance companies that have migrated to digital Policy Administration and Servicing(PAS) systems are reaping these benefits. It comes down to the fact that all insurance workflows are not created equal.

One of the key challenges facing insurance companies is that their PAS platform might not be adapted to the modern customer journey. Most customers today prefer to access their insurance provider through their smartphone or an app. Outdated PAS systems might not be able to capture this information and fail to provide a unified experience to the customer. Another challenge is that insurtech platforms might not offer several critical features that can improve user experience for both end-customers as well as producers.

If you are in the process of replacing your legacy systems with a modern policy administrative system or suite, here are some of the key features to include for an optimized insurance workflow.

1. Design an intuitive experience

The less effort your workflow management system requires from the user, the more likely they are to utilize it. Typically, insurance companies adopt insurance workflow softwares and then spend valuable time and money training their employees on how to use it. However, a more efficient approach would be to work the other way around: understand what your users and employees are looking for and then customize the user interface of the workflow to cater to that.

An effective insurance workflow should be designed around the needs of your users and seamlessly merge with how they interact with it. For instance, if you notice that most insured users access their insurance dashboard through a mobile phone, you can design a mobile-first experience suited to smaller screens. This will result in an intuitive workflow that is simple to use and requires minimal training.

2. Improve customer experience

Onboarding and claims processing is when customer experience is truly tested. While the verification process is stringent, the onboarding process can be speeded up with lesser dependence on paperwork. Today’s digital savvy customer expects a smooth sign-up process be it a low ticket insurance purchase or a commercial insurance plan.

By automating manual business processes you can provide bespoke quotes; speed up customer onboarding, claims management and policy renewal process.

Insurance carriers spend almost 80% of their income on claims. To arrive at a settlement amount, there is a dependency on third-party data, most of which may be stored in disconnected systems. The inherent difficulty for claims specialists in getting a single view is proportionately equivalent to the time involved in processing a claim.

This scenario is all too common for most carriers. A typical auto claim file can extend to 20 pages. If the insurance carrier has seven regional offices with about 200 claim managers and over 10,000 documents received each day as forms or physical letters, sorting and assigning is not for the faint hearted. An automated insurance enterprise solution like SimpleINSPIRE brings all the information together, automatically bundling documents for a specific claim and also automatically assigns claims. The solution has helped double the number of claims processed..

3. Create user-specific access levels

Most insurance companies have an internal processing structure where specific team members are allocated specific responsibilities. This helps create an internal production line of sorts, where certain tasks are completed by a specific team member and then passed on to the next team member to complete the next steps. Doing this helps companies manage their employees’ time more efficiently and ensure greater accuracy in the work done.

Your insurance workflow optimization system needs to reflect this internal division of responsibility. Each user should have complete visibility into what steps need to be taken from their end to process claims effectively and then pass it on to the next team. They should not be granted more access than they require as this can cause confusion about what their specific responsibilities are.

4. Provide for efficiency tools

A study published by Insurance Networking News indicates that agents value carriers that have quick turn around time over commission rates.

Your workflow optimization system should have inbuilt efficiency tools that can reduce the Average Handling Time of each claim. Tools like Spell Check and autocorrect can help avoid inaccuracies in data entered and reduce the time required in proofreading entries. A voice-to-text feature can help users enter information much faster and offers greater convenience, especially when users are on the move. An integrated email feature is non-negotiable when it comes to workflow optimization.

The PAS platform should store your complete user email database and allow you to send email reminders and notifications through the dashboard without having to use a separate email tool. As a bonus, your workflow software can also include customizable email templates for specific purposes. This can help your employees send out emails that are in line with your brand language within a much faster timeframe. You should also take into account the total time it takes to send an email to an insured user. If there are too many steps involved, your Average Handling Time may actually increase. SimpleSolve offers seamless email integration which can send out emails to your users in under 15 seconds.

5. Set up automated reminders

A significant portion of an insurance agent’s typical workday involves making calls - either cold calls to potential new users or reminder calls to existing ones. With the volume of calls an agent makes each day, it can become challenging to set up a schedule for follow-up calls or emails.

A workflow automation software can simplify the entire process and negate the need for agents to manually set up tasks. You can, for instance, automate workflows with a standard frequency for when follow-up calls or emails need to be sent out. This can be customized for each customer based on their past interaction with your agents or your website. A customer who has visited several pages on your website and has filled out an enquiry can be tagged as ‘high-interest’ and can have more frequent calls set up than a ‘low-interest’ user who has had very little past interaction.

Automated workflows can also create daily task lists for your employees based on pending tasks that are due. This will help employees manage their time more effectively and prevent missed deadlines.

6. Define categorization of leads

For most insurance companies, leads generated organically through the website are the most cost-effective and highest-intent. However, the journey from making an enquiry to becoming a customer can be long and it is up to your sales team to nurture them throughout this journey until they convert

A common challenge that sales teams face is sifting through the large volume of enquiries to separate the junk leads from qualified ones. An automated workflow process can effectively categorize leads to ensure that your sales team spends their time only on the ones that are most likely to convert

A workflow automation software can automatically disqualify leads with incomplete information or duplicate leads and assign scores to the remaining ones depending upon their levels of interaction. Workflow processes can then be set up with preset frequencies for calls or emails with leads. This can help sales teams connect with potential customers much faster and reduce the total lead cycle time.

An efficient insurance workflow process can translate into real monetary value for your company. By improving employee productivity, reducing lead cycle time and switching to lower-cost sales channels, an automated workflow management system can in fact lead to higher revenue.

Do you have questions about financial services solutions? Contact us and we will connect you with a product and services specialist who can address your specific challenges.
 

Topics: Workflow Management

  
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Jayanarayana Bhat

About The Author

Jayanarayana Bhat

JB has a rich and diverse IT industry experience with over 18 years of P & C Insurance domain experience. He heads the Implementation services department at SimpleSolve and is in charge of takes care of project deliveries, Program/Account management, Technology & Infrastructure Management & Business development support.