By JOLT Experts on Dec 2, 2020 11:23:18 PM
The COVID19 pandemic has created an unprecedented crisis that has struck heavy blows to a wide array of industries across geographies.
The insurance industry in particular faces an increased challenge in managing risks due to higher mortality rates and a new normal in both social and economic factors in the daily lives of populations around the world.
Additionally, the global crisis has thrown stock markets around the world into instability, leading to crashes that have resulted in substantial losses and a paradigm shift that questions the viability of many insurance carriers because profit contribution between investment surplus and underwriting surplus is 5 to 1. It is now when automation can prove to be a strong ally for the insurance industry.
But where are the areas where RPA can create the most impact for the insurance industry? Let's start with handling the surge in claim submissions that the pandemic has brought upon insurance carriers.
Claims Processing Surge
COVID19 has severely impacted the elderly population, which has triggered a surge of death/disability claims for life, annuity, and benefits carriers. These elderly clients need to be able to track their claims quickly.
Furthermore, the travel disruptions caused by COVID19 have increased health-related trip cancellations. Overall, health-related claims have surged due to quarantine, testing delays, and the virus's long-term impact on a person's health.
With robots, insurers can handle the spikes in claims that clients submit through paper, email, and contact center channels. Insurance carriers can increase automation levels at contact centers, enabling higher throughput using digital robot advisors for attended automation for fast inquiring and processing.
Automation can empower insurers to enable self-service for their clients with chatbots and robots to perform inquiries and follow-ups. Chatbots can be deployed to the web to process claim submissions and users' inquiries fast, without delay, and with a high accuracy rate.
RPA can help insurance organizations deploy true end-to-end automation of simple claims. For example, insurers can automate claim submissions that comply with a previously set ruleset (i.e., when a claim's payment is less than "X" dollars).
Managing the Spikes in Customer Attrition
COVID19 has brought unemployment and underemployment, resulting in an economic slowdown that will trigger premium shopping in personal, auto, and home insurance, leading to a need for new pricing that meets the customers' new normal, resulting in a reduction of premium and revenue for insurance companies.
With RPA, insurers can proactively offer new payment and coverage options based on the client and risk profile analytics. Furthermore, with RPA insurance organizations empower their contact center agents with next-best-action with multi-line discounts based on customer analytics.
There is no doubt that COVID19 has changed the reality for insurers and their customers alike. Insurance companies must meet new demand for innovative products that are affordable and meet the standards of the new normal. Automation can help mitigate and rapidly respond to a crisis like the one caused by COVID19, assisting insurers to quickly scale to handle surges in claims volumes and reductions in premium revenue, all while maintaining a 100% accuracy and operational costs down.
Surge in Workers' Compensation and Benefits Claims Litigations.
Part of the new normal that the pandemic has created is the surge in need for remote work. While this way of working has reduced the personal and auto incidents and claims, it can create much more complex claims and litigations in Workers' Compensation and Benefits claims due to a lack of control and standards for the risks associated with remote work.
RPA can help insurance carriers process the high volumes of claim forms submitted by persons through paper, email, and contact centers, leveraging intelligent automation features like document understanding and NLP (Natural Language Processing).
Additionally, robots can validate coverage, analyze each case to detect fraud, and do deep-dives into analytics using Machine Learning (ML) to provide support to adjusters so they can make a decision. Furthermore, intelligent robots can help create a litigation package in case of legal action by the claimant.
Tackling the Shrinking of Premium Income
The social distancing guidelines and travel restrictions imposed by governments across the world and in the US have critically affected small businesses in the travel and hospitality industry, leading to shutdowns and job cuts, in turn leading to shrinking of premium and revenue for insurance companies.
Small businesses have started to look for a delayed renewal or payment plan change to reduce coverage/benefits or increase deductibles to adjust to the economic crisis.
Automation can help insurers proactively offer payment and coverage options to their clients based on their clients' business and the risk profile analytics the robots analyzes. Additionally, RPA can empower contact centers by helping determine the next-best-action based on customer and risk profile analytics.
Handling Large Commercial and Specialty Claims
The COVID19 crisis has triggered an increase in the volume of large commercial and specialty claims for insurers. Today's economic downdraught has caused factory shutdowns, job cuts, and export curbs, negatively impacting manufacturing and transportation revenue.
These large commercial and specialty claims need to be precisely analyzed by adjusters because these types of claims can be in specific areas of business disruption, third-party liability, perishable cargo, loss of usage, among others.
Robots can step in to handle the high volume of claims submitted using document understanding and NLP. Additionally, RPA can help validate coverage, analyze potential fraud, and produce decision analytics using Machine Learning (ML) to help adjusters make data-driven decisions for each case.
Manage the Spike in Withdrawal and Distributions
COVID19 has caused tremendous economic distress to people around the world. The crisis has triggered job losses in the unorganized sector and the gig economy, leading to an increase in hardship withdrawals and Required Minimum Distribution cash-outs from the retirement funds.
Furthermore, people under financial pressure prefer to get the withdrawal/distribution amount as soon as possible to make ends meet or alleviate their debts.
For this situation, RPA can help insurers process the spike in withdrawal/distribution option forms by leveraging NLP and document understanding. Also, insurance organizations can deploy chatbots and unattended automations to handle status and follow-up inquiries. Additionally, RPA can do straight-through processing of low threshold payments.
Helping Manage Reduced Financial Health and Liquidity
Investors worldwide and in the US have been struck too by the economic deceleration caused by the pandemic. Insurers have seen reductions in the portfolio valuation of clients and AUMs (Assets Under Management) due to market sell-offs, reductions in fee income from asset and wealth portfolios. Furthermore, clients have started to rush towards safer investments or liquidating assets to cash.
By adopting automation, insurance organizations can handle high volumes of portfolio restructuring and liquidation requests. Additionally, RPA can help analyze portfolios and generate customized reports to the clients.
Assisting with Acquisitions and Mergers in the Industry
The current economic crisis has caused premium shrinkage and loss of underwriting margin, reduced investment returns, and customer churn cost, leading to more acquisitions and mergers in the insurance industry.
With acquisitions and mergers taking place for insurance carriers and brokers alike, RPA can help speed up employee onboarding into new organizations. Additionally, automation can assist with consolidation systems across the enterprise, from core systems to finance and accounting to CRM to data warehousing.
Helping Boost Operational Efficiency and Drive Cost Savings
In addition to potential acquisitions and mergers, insurers also need to face revenue and margin pressures; this has prompted executives to divert their business imperatives from customer experience to operational efficiency as the top priority.
With the top priorities for executives being margin improvement and cutting operational costs, IT executives have changed their investment priority from long-cycle large-scale transformation to incremental low-cost automation programs to deliver faster results.
RPA can be critical for this change in priorities, enabling digital channels with chatbots and unattended and attended robots. Additionally, robots can carry out end-to-end automation of long-running processes with humans in the loop. Furthermore, RPA can enable citizen-led automation through the "A Robot for Every Person" vision.
Insurers can leverage task mining and process mining to identify key automation opportunities that can significantly boost efficiency and cost savings.
Take a deeper dive, download our white paper and learn about how RPA can help innovate the insurance industry by making end-to-end claims processing a reality, reduce TAT to settle claims, avoid undesired court rulings, and handle complex loss and product claims.
Visit our insurance specialty webpage and see the impact automation can have on processes like the submission of a new life insurance policy. Contact us or request a meeting if you're ready to chat with one of our experts and start your journey of digital transformation today.