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By Jay Sarzen, Senior Analyst at Aite Group 

Imagine a world where your insurance processes were streamlined to the point that your employees only focused on tasks that involved cognitive analysis and decision making only a human could do. Sounds impossible right? It’s not. It’s possible with Robotic Process Automation (RPA). Applying RPA in insurance makes carriers more efficient because of its infinite capabilities to automate insurance processes simply, which ultimately increases the overall customer experience.

Insurance company, Genworth Financial wanted to cut down on their labor-intensive manual processes to increase speed and productivity. Genworth slowly incorporated RPA into their processes and saw improvements right away.

Now they have 110 bots implemented for manual work processes which is saving:

Hours Annually

By the end of 2020, Genworth expects to run 1,000 bots with the goal to save:

Hours Annually

The Harsh Truth of Pre-Automation Systems

Before the digital era of automation, performing insurance tasks was arduous and painstaking. Carriers were stuck carrying out antiquated processes such as:

  • Filling out hard copy forms, resulting in tedious data collection
  • Using legacy systems with complex, disorganized data structures
  • Being people-dependent with the requirement to have intakes done over the phone or in person
  • Producing disorganized audit trails
  • Dealing with data privacy concerns

Today with the continuous rise of digital transformation and automation, the competitive landscape has shifted for insurance carriers. So much so, that carriers decline in competitiveness if they don’t utilize automation technology. 

Utilizing RPA in Insurance to Improve CX

Short for Robotic Process Automation, RPA is a robust, simple automation software that allows you to create software robots to automate any of your business processes. Competitive insurance carriers utilize RPA to increase process efficiencies and allow their employees to focus on the higher value tasks that ultimately provider their customers with exceptional service.

For the insurance industry, RPA is usually classified in three levels that range from simple to sophisticated tasks – all aimed with one goal in mind to increase customer experiences.

RPA Class One: Basics Tools and Processes 

The majority of insurance providers are at the Class One stage of automation. At the Class One level, insurance providers in this class have implemented some basic RPA like: 

  • Using chat bots on their website to help mitigate support requests
  • Sending confirmation emails to a customer telling them that their claim has been submitted correctly
  • Updating customer data to the underwriting system with the kind of car an applicant owns
  • Sending customer claims payout letters

It’s recommended that any carrier who is new to RPA always start at Class One. Some carriers see the value of Class Two and Three and jump right into them. However, when you start at Class One you’re allowing your team to become comfortable with the tools and capabilities that give you quick wins within your organization and more runway for advanced projects.

RPA Class Two: Adding Machine Learning

Like Class One, the Class Two level also utilizes bots, however these bots are machine-learning oriented with the capacity for artificial intelligence enablement. Class Two is where providers allow the RPA to make low complexity decisions based on historical trends. For example, how a carrier may assign a method of inspection. Or even approximate damage associated with a current claim.

We often see insurance providers using Class Two RPA for:

  • Underwriting – Triage to the Proper Underwriter
  • Underwriting – Collection of Broker / Agent / Customer Data Claims – First Notice of Loss Information Collection
  • Claims – Claims Submission Review (e.g. Eligibility for Coverage, Medical Bill Review)
  • Claims – Case Reserve Setting

RPA Class Three: Hyperautomation

When RPA bots are advanced enough to process unstructured data, capture intelligent data, and make intelligent decisions, you’ve reached Class 3, otherwise known as hyperautomation. This is the level of RPA that carriers will need to attain as consumers are beginning to demand an experience that is quicker, more accurate, and more personalized. Class Three can be applied through:

  • Capturing intelligent data through machine understanding
  • Providing business automation insights
  • Prioritizing tasks based on intelligent assessment
  • Making intelligent decisions based on predictive analysis

There are several examples of how Class Three processes can be applied to insurance. One being that unstructured data can be processed from a policyholder to make an underwriting decision. Another example is the ability to take data about an individual’s financial background to determine if a claim being made is the right fit, especially in terms of cost.

As policyholders and prospects require quicker decisions, the benefits of Robotic Process Automation in insurance is clear.

Benefits of RPA in Insurance

1. Efficient

Whether it’s from the insurance carrier side or the consumer side, RPA is a win-win. From the first interaction of chatbots to policy approval notification or payout, RPA makes operational processes easier and faster than ever before.

2. Scalable

With data and information constantly expanding, so do the processes that need to support it. RPA is able to process information an infinite number of times, so there’s no end to simplifying tasks.

3. Accurate

As RPA becomes more widely used and intelligent, real-time data and decisions are improved upon resulting in better accuracy over time.

4. Enhanced Experience

With RPA, your processes are faster which in turn improves consumer experiences and helps drive retention.

Case in Point: Applying RPA to Claims Processing

How nice would it be if insurance claims could be handled instantaneously and smoothly? A major advantage of RPA in the insurance sector is the ability to apply its principles to insurance claims such as:

Claim Triage

RPA simplifies the claim process when conducting First Notice of Loss (FNOL) — particularly when assigning a claims adjuster. With RPA, an individual can submit their claim and then RPA will Intelligently assign the claim to the appropriate adjuster.

Damage Assessment

Individuals can upload photos and videos of damage, which can be recognize and analyzed by a bot to determine if the image is sufficient. If not, directions will be given to produce a better photo for a claim, and damage can then be assessed for claim payouts. This can also apply with medical data as well in a similar process.

RPA can also perform fraud assessment. With fraud being a common issue for insurance carriers, data can be used to help forestall these issues.

Settlement & Restoration 

Payment can be evaluated according to a pattern or data set of past claims. Once this is determined, a directive can authorize repairs, which usually can be sent automatically via email or text. RPA also can authorize medical treatment for casualty claims as well.

Adopting RPA into Your Company

According to Deloitte, it’s expected that RPA will reach “near universal adoption” in the next five years. It’s never too early to start evaluating where you can apply RPA into your practice. At Pyramid Solutions, we’ll guide you on maximizing your efficiency with RPA with the right tools.

Want to learn more? See also:
5 Fundamentals of Robotic Process Automation
Robotic Process Automation Workshop