Insurance, along with banking, was among the first industries to adopt information technology, back in the 1970s and early 1980s. What was a bold move at the time, however, has burdened today's insurance industry with a legacy of inflexible, archaic, and unfriendly systems that are poorly suited to the demands of today's business.
The root of the problem stares every claim adjuster in the face when he logs onto the claim processing system each morning: a cryptic, text-based screen that can be navigated only by typing arcane key combinations into non-intuitive places on the screen. Twenty years after Apple commercialized the point-and-click interface, most adjusters still do their jobs without a mouse or, for that matter, a shift key, as their systems only use capital letters. More importantly, these aging systems have no impact on a claim's eventual outcome, serving simply as record-keeping devices.
Replacing a claim administration system, the system of record for basic claim data and financial transactions, can be a daunting prospect. It is one, however, that every company will have to address, sooner or later. With that in mind, here are our top six signs that your claim system is obsolete:
3. Your friend at another insurance company says that his new system has reduced claimant contact time by half, and lets agents get detailed claim information online.
Competition is an inescapable part of the insurance business, and the companies that can best serve their customers and agents will take business away from those who cannot. For years, companies have said that the claim experience is the most important determinant of customer satisfaction, but some of them are putting their money where their mouths are by finally investing in the tools the claim department needs. New systems can help claim departments streamline loss reporting, reduce cycle times, improve information availability, and provide better service to their customers. In today's highly competitive market, you cannot afford to let your claim organization fall behind.
More than Record Keeping
A modern claim system, one that runs on modern technology, can adapt to the requirements of individual claims, and enforces best practices, is critical to improving your claim organization. It goes beyond the traditional claim administration system, designed for data storage and financial transactions, to become a claim process management system, designed to control the way claims are handled. Freed from the limitations of paper files and scanned images, claims become fountains of information, the lifeblood of any successful insurance business.