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What the future world of claims will look like

By: Rowland Ramalingam, Head of Non-Motor Claims at Santam

Industry 4.0 is built on convenience and efficiency. Consumers look for this at every touch point when interacting with a business. The rapid advancement of next generation capabilities such as automation, artificial intelligence (AI) and advanced analytics are impacting most business functions and insurance companies are not immune to these changes. The future world of claims must start now. Insurers need to begin finessing claims processes to ensure round-the-clock service for clients. Here’s how this begins.

Rowland Ramalingam, Head of Non-Motor Claims at Santam, says “We live in a world of self-driving cars and information provided at a moment’s notice at our fingertips. If insurance is to keep up with this society, it needs to adapt the claims process. This begins with an optimised system that is efficient and always accessible for client needs.”

Below, he highlights how the future world of claims begins:

Keep it client centric:

These days, clients expect a seamless experience across all the touch points Santam currently offers. Insurers in general could use technology to improve the customer claims journey which could be a differentiator to their competitors. This can be done through the following:

  1. A mobile offering solution that can be accessed at any time from any location.
  2. Automated responses that occur in real time.
  3. An omni-channel presence with a seamless experience at every touch point.

Digitalise the claims value chain:

By implementing claims best practices identified through collaboration with *Guidewire’s global customer base, insurers can improve loss cost and cycle times. Additionally, by automating repetitive tasks, staff are freed up to focus on the highest-value claims management activities.

(*Santam is the first insurer in Africa to work with Guidewire. It’s an insurance platform that promotes optimised insurance operations, facilitates automated task tracking, real-time collaboration, seamless systems integration and more.)

Strengthen the focus on customers

Guidewire’s ClaimCenter offers an end-to-end claims management solution to improve customer service and experience across the claims lifecycle. Tools like this enable insurers to decrease cycle times and improve productivity.

Enable self-service on digital platforms:

This is particularly true for non-emergency claims. Setting up a dedicated website – like the Santam online portal – or app means clients can get quick and easy access to their entire insurance portfolios to view policy details and request adjustments, and to report and track claims.  Enabling self-service ensures 90% of claims are registered and tracked online, with client service consultants able to assist clients in emergency cases throughout every step of the journey. Additionally, AI can be used to settle 30% of claims, appointment of the most suitable supplier, customer sentiment analysis and assist with repetitive functions.

Use IOT proactively:

Prevention of damage is always the number one choice. What if you could avoid a fire or a geyser burst entirely? Today, digitalisation allows for sensory technology that can thwart damage by proactively detecting an issue (like a faulty geyser) and sending signals to insurers. This Internet of Things integration is the future of claims.

Enable adaptability:

It’s important for insurers to adapt fast as market conditions evolve. A claims system should be embraced as a strategic asset that can meet needs today and in the future. Claim Centre can assist through future-focused upgrades that protect technological investments.

“To remain relevant and competitive, it’s essential that insurers start building technology into every facet of the claims process, including a scientific pricing model and an improved understanding of client behaviour,” concludes Ramalingam.

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