How COVID is Bringing ChangeTo InsuranceClaims Operations

The COVID-19 pandemic has caused shockwaves throughout the economy and insurance is no different. Under pressure from the COVID-19 outbreak, large and small carriers have announced staff reductions, office consolidation, redeployed staff in different roles, and instituted other measures that are affecting claims organizations. Carriers are looking for technology solutions to maintain high service levels for their policyholders while facing funding and personnel headwindsFormerly tried and tested ways of doing business have proven inflexible.

Claims workflows that were once considered only by futurists and planners on innovation and technology teams are now normal, fueling a boom in technology adoption and workforce changes not even considered eight months ago. How are carriers innovating, adapting, and derisking? Here are three trends we have seen. 

Limit Human Contact and Exposure 

Since the outbreak of COVID-19, insurance carriers have turned to touchless technology for inspections to reduce spreading the virus through human contact – keeping adjusters and policyholders safeUtilizing tools that allow insureds to document their own claims is accelerating.   Drones can quickly and easily access difficult-to-reach areas and provide easy and safe inspections without physically touching a property. Inspection services that utilize drones, such as IMGING On Demand, add an additional layer of safety for an adjustor by leveraging a local FAA-licensed inspector to collect the data, thus negating the need for travel, lessening the risk of exposure, and helping adjusters get more done.   

Variabilizing Loss Adjustment Expense 

In recent years, Silicon Valley companies have demonstrated how to be the largest taxi service or hotel chain without owning a single car or hotel. Without the overhead of owning assets and employing full-time employees, they have created resiliency through cost variabilizationCould the largest claims department not employ any in-house adjusters? 

Claims departments now can restructure following Uber and Airbnb’s template. With on-demand inspections services available nationwide, carriers can respond to claims as they come without incurring overhead costs when volume is low. Imagine how much value every carrier could unlock by embracing cost variabilization in claims. But on-demand inspection and claims services aren’t new. Receiving hand or CAD drawn homes is old hat and the problems with consistency are well known. What’s different now that makes this a powerful path to pursue? 

Consolidating Vendors and Claim Data 

Claims organizations are looking for solutions that can replace several vendors with one product. This allows them to negotiate better prices for services based on volume consolidation and simplify workflows by centralizing data.  For example, a carrier may use a solution for independent adjusting services, homeowner tools for onsite data capture, a different vendor for measurements, and an inspection documentation platform for their field team. IMGING is the leading property inspection platform and provides these services in one ecosystem. 

Claims and inspection services have historically provided a hand-drawn report converted to a PDF file of their inspection back to the carrier. In 2020, that’s passéOn-demand services built on top of a technology platform can provide a preliminary inspection with inspection grade 3D property models, ultra high-res images, AI-powered damage detection, and geotagged photos available in the cloud to dozens of people across the organization simultaneously. Centralizing inspection data in one platform allows for simpler integrations with claims management systems, spreads data availability across an organization, and ensures consistent quality. 

Summary 

The only thing consistent about 2020 is change. From where we work to how claims are adjusted, the world is quickly changing around us. Thankfully, technology can make smooth the shock of change and unlock previously hidden value. Untethering operations from fixed costs while consolidating vendors and centralizing data is no longer just an idea. It‘s now a real and proven option with IMGING.  

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