Articles - Automation gains speed through data injection

Most insurance customers want simplicity, transparency and speed – from quote to claim. To achieve this, insurance providers are increasingly using automated processes, offering quicker ways of doing things with a greater degree of accuracy but without losing the human touch when it’s needed. Whether it’s proving No Claims Discount (NCD) entitlement or verifying an email address has no links to fraud, automation has become a firm feature of the insurance sector and a pre-requisite of the market’s ongoing digital transformation.

 By Martyn Mathews, VP, personal and commercial lines, LexisNexis Risk Solutions, Insurance, UK and Ireland

 Yet some functions benefit from a greater level of automation than others and in some respects, the sector still lags other markets in the type of end-to-end digital experience consumers increasingly expect.

 At the same time, consumer lifestyles and trends are driving demand for different types of policies, for example the growing need for short term and temporary cover, which often requires a more digitally focused or app-based journey.

 So where is automation working best? Shopping for and buying insurance has become much more streamlined, recognising that consumers don't want to spend a lot of time filling out forms and providing their details. They want to provide minimal information, so that they can have a speedier application process.

 Data injected direct into quoting systems from one platform rather than multiple sources, is helping to validate information swiftly, filling in important gaps in knowledge about the risk. From market wide policy and claims history to the value, mileage and ADAS features of the car, data enrichment is speeding up the journey for the customer. It is reducing the reliance on them to provide information they may think insurance providers should already know, or they might guess at. As well as simplifying the whole process for the customer, this can increase pricing accuracy and reduce fraud. In essence, data, analytics along with AI and ML techniques are making the unknown, known to support greater levels of automation and reduce post-sale queries or premium adjustments.

 The same is true at the point of claim, consumers want to be able to have that settled quickly, particularly if it has been a very distressing time for them. Yet it could be argued that the claims process still has room for improvement, particularly where automation is concerned.

 Apps, connected devices and cars are all providing new methods of supporting First Notification of Loss (FNOL). For example, electronic notification of loss (ENOL or eFNOL) enables incidents to be logged by customers via an app or website. However slick front-end offerings often lack integration with back-end systems, requiring re-keying of information. This is automation by degrees.

 It would make sense to consider the picture of risk insurance providers build at quote and use the same approach in claims using validated data to answer some of the questions usually put directly to the customer at FNOL. This could start with data on the person to confirm they are who they say they are, their prior claims and policy history, plus help identify any links to fraud since the policy was incepted.

 Automation in insurance relies very heavily on the right data injected into the customer journey at the right time. It also works best when insurance providers can access a single customer view based on all previous touchpoints with that individual customer. That can then become the foundation for offering a slicker, hyper personalised experience in a way that is efficient for the insurance provider and pays dividends at renewal.

 Linking and matching technology along with data enrichment at the point of both quote and claim is providing a solution for a growing number of insurance providers in building that single customer view. By assigning a unique ID, insurance providers can see a single version of the truth. Furthermore, by verifying the digital attributes of that individual, such as their email address, insurance providers can see if there's any historical links to fraud from that email address, and quickly put up your first line of defence.

 As well as speed, transparency and simplicity, customers want consistency and reliability from their insurance provider – when that is delivered trust is built. Data driven automation employing technology, AI and ML helps provide that consistency and reliability as the backbone of an insurance provider’s proposition, freeing insurance providers to offer the personal touch when it’s needed.

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