Claim disputes can finally be resolved online

Claim disputes can finally be resolved online | Insurance Business Australia

Claim disputes can finally be resolved online

A new technology platform has been launched today which aims to drastically reduce the time and cost of claim disputes – by taking the resolution process out of the courtroom and into the cloud.

Dubbed ‘Immediation’, the offering is being described as a “world-first” by its founder Laura Keily (pictured), who has set out to create an alternative to what is seen as Australia’s costly and archaic court system.

“The premise of Immediation is to streamline the process that people go through when they are communicating a dispute with one another, and to make it less aggressive,” said Keily, who is also a barrister at the Victorian bar.

“It provides a safe space for parties to engage directly with one another online and it also brings in a very experienced, neutral third party to help resolve the dispute – either through mediation or by deciding the dispute for them.”

The panel assisting with resolutions – or making final rulings – includes a number of former judges, including chief justices of Victoria and WA, and several highly experienced arbitrators.

“It’s an alternative to waiting for the court system – and it all occurs in a much shorter timeframe,” says Keily. “Currently, you’ve got lawyers embedded at every step and, while that enables parties to get great advice, it also impedes early resolution.”

According to Keily, once both parties agree to reach a resolution using the platform, they can expect a final decision within 30 days – they can also expect cost savings of up to 98%, compared to traditional court-based dispute resolutions.

“The platform can be used right across the insurance value chain – it can be a disputed claim, it can be insurer to insurer in a subrogated case, it can be insurer to reinsurer, or it could be in case of a contribution dispute, where there are multiple insurers on a file and they’re debating the level of contribution between themselves – all of those applications are possible on the platform,” says Keily.

Interestingly, Keily says the platform will help push the insurance industry forward as claims disputes are one of the few areas which are yet to fully migrate to an online environment.

“At the moment, most insurers have the ability to lodge a claim online – but you can’t go that next step and as soon as the claim has questioned or declined, there’s an issue,” she says.

“Immediation provides a mechanism for the parties to continue that online journey by filing their disputed claim on the platform and taking it all the way to the end of resolution – all online. That is a significant step forward.”

While it’s a significant step forward right now, Keily says it’s a natural progression for the industry which has long been an early adopter of technology.

“There’s increased engagement with the concept of online dispute resolution, being driven out of Asia and Europe, and I personally think in the next 5-10 years it will be the first port of call, rather than the last,” she says.