Claiming the future

Claiming the future | Insurance Business Australia

Claiming the future

As technology advances, brokerages must keep pace to remain relevant in an ever-changing market. Brian Siemsen of Claim Central Consolidated tells IB how tech can better streamline day-to-day tasks and provide deep insights for brokers

What will claims look like a decade from now? How much of the claims process will be handled by humans, and how much will be technology-led, via robotics and digital workers? How smart will technology be in not only completing processes and tasks, but feeding information into data models to create a continuous loop of improvement?

It’s questions like these that give Brian Siemsen, global CEO at Claim Central Consolidated, pause for thought.

“As pioneers in the claim space, our focus isn’t on 2020 or 2021 – it’s on 2030,” Siemsen says. “We’re looking to the next horizon, and it’s a lot closer for insurers than many people realise.”

That means brokers need to start preparing a sound digital foundation and a smart workflow methodology, if they haven’t already, Siemsen says. He describes a future led by a ‘vision-first’ mentality – starting from the ground up to understand a brokerage’s vision and operational model, and then integrating the relevant technology to help achieve that vision.

“By contrast, we’re right now seeing a bit of a ‘bolt-on’ mentality,” he says. “There’s lots of disparate widgets and platforms, which may or may not be integrated with one another. It may be functional, but it’s not necessarily meeting the brokerage’s needs as effectively as it could be. It’s also going to mean that these brokerages get left behind by better-prepared competitors.”

Instead, Siemsen invites brokers to imagine a world where most – if not all – of the repetitive, low-complexity tasks in claims customer service and triage can be performed by digital workers to free brokerages up to add value elsewhere.

“Digital workers work 24/7; they don’t require lunch breaks; they have no HR issues – it’s a completely clean and efficient way of handling low-complexity, high-volume repeatable tasks,” he says.

The cost savings are the most obvious benefit, but there’s also the potential to improve the customer’s claims experience. Each claim stage, particularly triage, can be completed much more rapidly. Tasks are automated, but decisions can be made based on algorithms and data collected from historical results, which means the customer gets a fair – and fast – resolution to their claim.

It verges on science fiction, but the reality is that a 24/7 claims service that automates the time-consuming and repetitive tasks so often associated with claims management isn’t too far away.

“For a supposedly conservative industry, the last few years have been a wake-up call that the status quo is not going to cut it anymore," Siemsen says. “Technology is freeing up the broker to spend more quality time with their clients to build bespoke and relevant risk management programs and compete with direct-to-market SME players.”

A new reality

Siemsen points to a number of innovations in the works at Claim Central to better meet these needs. The company is using artificial intelligence to provide predictive analytics pre-event, as well as to reduce losses and cut cycle times post-event. Business process automation is minimising repetitive tasks, and digital workers are far outperforming their human counterparts. Meanwhile, Claim Central is using virtual reality for claims processing and also for training purposes.

Indeed, VR is one of the tools Siemsen sees as most exciting for the future of claims. VR still capture allows companies to create a still 3D capture of a site instantaneously.

“Virtual reality relates specifically to training and immersing claims people inside a 3D environment, which works particularly well with major-loss and commercial claims,” Siemsen says. “The 3D component is a virtual walk-through and capture that can be used many times after it’s been captured, from claims examiners to loss adjusters to the supply chain, for an accurate depiction of response remediation and mitigation, as well as claim validation and policy response.”

VR can eliminate much of the guesswork while also looping in the claim examiner immediately, Siemsen says.

“We’re starting to take this proactive approach in claims – and a big chunk of that is because we can take a 3D full internal/ external view of the home,” he adds. “It helps improve the speed of responsiveness, claim and customer service.”

Insurtech partnerships

In terms of how Claim Central has been able to achieve a vision-first approach internally, Siemsen points to the company’s partnership with Ingrity, which he says has enabled Claim Central to “liberate and integrate data in the organisation” to drive value both internally and externally.

“To be able to help brokers and insurers achieve their own goals on that front, we needed to be able to do it ourselves fi rst,” Siemsen says. “We needed a tailored operating model that executed in alignment with our broader strategy.” 

That operating model and subsequent technology were introduced into Claim Central’s TPA claims management business, Insurx, with immediate and profound results. The reliance on a sound technology platform and the ability to predictably forecast the resources required for surge events helped Insurx achieve a +52 Net Promoter Score for one major client and an 87% home insurance claims satisfaction rating for another – both way above the industry standard.

“We developed our data strategy in line with our broader business strategy,” Siemsen says. “That’s helped progress our data maturity roadmap from descriptive and diagnostic reporting – which retrospectively tells us what happened and why – to a more predictive and prescriptive model in the last six months, which has helped Insurx to provide these industry-leading results.”

Predictive analytics help better anticipate what will happen, while prescriptive analytics enable brokers and insurers alike to respond effectively to those likely events. In essence, this puts data into the hands of frontline, non-technical staff , who can use it to determine the best outcomes for customers and clients.

“By integrating our technology platforms into analytics platforms that intelligently make use of the data output, we are achieving amazing results for our clients and their customers,” Siemsen says. “Technology for technology’s sake doesn’t work – but when you can harness it to provide deeper prescriptive insights, the end result is happier brokers and therefore happier customers.” 

2030 and beyond

Having a clear vision for the coming decade is something Siemsen sees as essential for the success of both Claim Central and its clients. Because the company spans a broad range of insurance sectors, it’s always been important for it to have facilities that can expand with legislative changes and the development of new products.

“We always wanted to be able to seamlessly connect data from multiple sources, using a common data model,” Siemsen says. “It enables us to create a 360-degree view of a claim, while also considering its segments and assessing its key KPIs.”

Tools such as weather event monitoring solutions will help Claim Central prepare for, respond to and review catastrophic natural disasters, while also providing better tools for estimating premiums and claims. The company is looking to use predictive models to optimise customer, cost and life-cycle outcomes across each claim segment, in conjunction with early intervention to reduce the impact of ‘off -track’ claims.

“We’ve also implemented data insights measures across various functions of our business to create optimal financial, people, operations, compliance, customer and insurerrelated outcomes,” Siemsen says. “It’s a process that’s had its challenges, but we feel confident that we’ll be able to bring better service to brokers with these tools in place.”