A leading research and advisory services firm is encouraging U.S. property and casualty insurers and their claim adjusters to adopt a clear plan for implementing more mobile technology into the claim-adjustment process.

The report, “Mobile Solutions for U.S. Property & Casualty Claims: Life in the Fast Lane,” was published by HYPERLINK “http://www.towergroup.com/” TowerGroup and offers advice to insurer and independent claim staff on the kinds of technology that are most capable of enhancing operational techniques and improving customer service. Among those mentioned were “smart” phones, personal digital assistants, and personal communicators that can receive new claim assignments via a data push that contains contact and coverage information.

The report also notes that a device that combines voice with data will become a major component of the claim adjuster of the future, and that previous weaknesses in laptops and communication devices — such as low battery life, dimly lit screens, and document incompatibility with small viewing areas — are being addressed by technology companies.

Beyond those technical difficulties is the fact that even though some mobile communication adoption has occurred in the insurance realm, it hasn’t been a focused effort and therefore hasn’t achieved the optimal results yet, the report noted. TowerGroup Senior Insurance Analyst Karen Pauli, who authored the report, said that carriers should address this lack of focus by establishing plans for quick execution of mobile technology in order to keep from lagging behind their competitors in the claim marketplace.

She cites ways that claims management organizations can develop a plan that will maximize the potential of mobile devices for better claim handling, saying that mobile development initiatives have more positive economic results when implementation is guided by and directly impacts the following business drivers: business optimization, response to disasters, competitive advantage, demographic pressures, distribution management strategies, and regulation compliance.

“Today, few carriers leverage the breadth of available mobile technologies that could contribute to claim process efficiency,” said Pauli, in a release. “Instead, it’s more common to see stand-alone applications that have little-to-no integration with other claim applications or services. Stand-alones don’t scale well, usually lack extensibility, and cost too much. Carriers must develop a more holistic approach to claim mobility, one that arms the adjuster with the key devices and applications necessary to get the job done in the most efficient and effective way possible.”

For information on how to obtain the full report, go to www.towergroup.com.

Interested in more technology tools/software news and in-depth articles? Head over to Claims’ technology tools/software channel for more information.