by Gijsbert Cox, Industry Leader, Insurance, Appian
Everyone is at a different place with respect to modernising their technology ecosystem and figuring out what “digital transformation” means for their organisation. Many insurers are still sorting through goals and evaluating their needs – often without a clear a sense of where they should start, how long the process will take, and how much it will cost. The issue today is that those needs are evolving so rapidly, an entirely new approach is needed.
What organisations need to realise is that the pace of change will only continue to increase, technology will continue to evolve, and that creating an insurance technology ecosystem that will be future-proof is a continuing process and never really quite finalised.
Intelligent Document Processing
Throughout the customer journey – whether it is quoting, onboarding, underwriting, policy endorsements, or claims – interactions between insurers, intermediaries, brokers and external experts are an exchange of information, which in many cases involves a paper document. And despite the progress that has been made in terms of the capabilities of modern policy and claims software, it seems that document handling and processing has fallen short when it comes to automation. There has certainly been a big shift with the distribution and storage of paper documents, but less so in the process of automating the intake and dissemination of the information on those documents.
Insurance organisations need a way to transform documents in real-time to actionable data. They need intelligent document processing (IDP) solutions that convert unstructured data locked in documents to structured data, combining machine learning and Artificial Intelligence (AI) capabilities that are augmented by humans when needed.
With customer satisfaction high on the list of insurer priorities, IDP is something that should be a must-have on their technology roadmap, and here are three reasons why:
Increased operational efficiency
Documents that insurers receive are all over the map – machine printed, handwritten – some with signatures. Manual document processing is slow, tedious, and error-prone, and cuts into time that can be used on higher-value tasks. IDP makes it possible to get these documents automatically processed by AI services. When the AI can’t recognise something, IDP makes it easy to get that document back in the hands of your workforce to reconcile the issue manually. And because IDP takes unstructured data from business forms and documents and converts it to structured data, you gain key insights into your business processes, driving further efficiencies down the road.
Enhanced customer experience
Customers expect real-time responses for their requests, meaning insurers need to quickly process them and make decisions – without compromising accuracy. With IDP, insurers can quickly automate and accelerate document processing, enabling high-volume processing of many different document types. Reducing the amount of processing time can give you the edge when trying to write new business – and good customer service is key to retaining the customers that you already have.
Improved governance and compliance
Compliance with industry rules and internal guidelines is something that insurance organisations cannot compromise on, but the ability of an insurer to maintain auditable records is often limited due to documents being stored in multiple systems. And while speed is a critical factor in improving customer service, intelligent automation is what sets IDP apart to deliver speed with accuracy, enabling insurance organisations to feel confident that the right decisions are being made for each document, and for the system to understand when human intervention is needed.
Bringing it all together
Insurers manage a massive number of documents for customers including marketing, policy, claims, and billing correspondence. These documents often end up in disparate systems, preventing an end-to-end view of the customer. IDP is one of the easiest and fastest ways companies can leverage AI to deliver tangible results to increase efficiency, deliver a superior customer experience, and maintain compliance.
Business disruption is here to stay, and organisations must change the way they innovate to keep up. It is not just technology, but it is the process. Business and IT shouldn’t work in silos - they need the insights that each group brings to the table in order for projects to succeed. Start small. Be collaborative. Multidisciplinary teams that are empowered with the proper tools to be agile can quickly complete projects that add incremental value to the business.