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.

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