Customer Experience in Insurance: Filing Claims

Howard Schulman

It’s always been pretty easy to distinguish between good and bad customer experience in insurance. Just ask those companies on the negative end of a bad customer situation. All customer-facing businesses—including insurance—face the same challenges of substandard customer interactions. Churn. Negative Reviews. Dissatisfaction. And when those negatives are amplified on social media, a company will have a challenging time of turning bad experiences into positive perceptions.

Raising the Bar in Customer Experience in Insurance Claims

In the insurance industry—even when claims are settled satisfactorily—41% of customers are still very likely to switch insurance companies in the following 12 months, according to Accenture research.

“While a customer who is dissatisfied with the way his or her claim was handled is almost certain to defect, a satisfied customer will not necessarily remain loyal,” said Michael Costonis, a managing director in Accenture’s Insurance Industry practice and global head of claims service. “The survey results clearly show that delivering average claims satisfaction levels is not enough. The bar has been raised and in order to clear it, insurers need to provide a differentiated claims experience that not only delivers on service but maintains the appropriate financial discipline as well.”

“The very act of filing a claim makes a customer much more likely to switch insurers, regardless of how satisfied they are with the experience,” said Costonis. “Insurers should look at how connected devices and other digital technologies can help customers better manage risks to reduce claims frequency.”

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Insurance Companies Lag Behind

Unfortunately, insurance companies lag behind other industries when it comes to digital transformation, making it sorely lacking when it comes to good CX. Even though the battle for market domination in the insurance industry continues, it is clear that CX will be the key component of differentiation. And that will depends on digitizing—something that insurance companies have been reluctant to complete.

Digitizing claims processes provide basic savings, plus prospects are 20% more likely to make life insurance decisions when the underwriting and application process is closer in real time. Applying process acceleration—digitization—to claims processing is the biggest CX opportunity available to insurance companies.

It All Starts with FNOL

The First Notice of Loss (FNOL) is usually the first touchpoint an insurance company has with a customer during the claims process. The speed and accuracy with which the claim is processed can make or break a customer experience, and sometimes a customer relationship. When the interaction meets or exceeds the customer’s expectations, it can have a lasting impression and can be a major competitive differentiator in the eyes of that customer.

Those insurance companies that are appropriately digitized are ahead of the FNOL curve. Modern technologies in the form of intuitive and automated tools are key. Legacy systems that require a customer to print and scan documents or visit a website to enter information set up barriers that are completely counter to great CX. The refinement of FNOL practices helps providers create a streamlined process that capitalizes on digital technology and advanced analytics.

Ideal CX Insurance Claims Processing

So, if digitizing is the answer, what would an ideal CX claims process look like? Instant, integrated processes enable claimants to complete claims on the first try (first call resolution). Insurers use simplified mobile-friendly claim forms and allow customers to attach supporting evidence with selfie-style pictures of damages. The mobile approach means that claimants in natural disasters or on the road can complete claim submissions on the spot. These solutions can be completed from any phone, anywhere—without downloading a clumsy dedicated application.

Thanks to client-friendly workflows, claim processing can move swiftly between the claimant, agent and assessors towards adjudication and payment. Removing manual overheads and digital document processing ensures documents are complete and correct—removing rework and costly time from processing. More than 5 days are saved on claim payouts alone.

The Last Mile of Insurance Claims

For most types of customer interactions, much of the customer journey happens independently, through the website, app, or chat channels. However, during a stressful time like filing an insurance claim, consumers still prefer to receive agent-assisted help when in need to complete a complex task or process.

Even with an agent helping them, this last leg of the journey, aka the Last Mile, is often times long, painful and full of friction. Customers who have never engaged with an insurance carrier before are being asked to complete critical forms, share images and prove they lost what they are claiming they lost. This experience is not like any other customer experiences they are typically used to. A bad experience in the Last Mile can completely diminish the great experiences that have led to it, leaving the customer frustrated and dissatisfied.

Insurance Carriers Are not Equipped for Today’s CX Expectations

Insurance carriers are not equipped to manage complex processes with today’s customers, and therefore, are failing to meet customers CX expectations.

Insurance representatives must be able to manage critical external work as well as the heavy documentation to ensure that policy and claims documentation are accurate. Mobile device optimized in-call solutions now take the place of old time-consuming back-office tasks to process, complete and sign claims and policy documents.

Reps can also capitalize on limited customer attention to easily gather all forms and documents necessary to process claims and use custom forms and signatures to customize and authorize processing. Processing is easier than ever before with the Lightico solution.

Remove Friction

The objective of any great customer experience is to remove friction—any process that slows or inhibits the intended action—and that quality is vital in the insurance industry. Filing a claim is a difficult situation for a customer due to the loss experienced and savvy businesses are always on the lookout to make that process as easy as possible.

Any process or attribute that an insurance company can bring to the table to make insurance situations easier to navigate will raise the positive perception of that company in the eyes of the customer. Digitization and mobile device ready solutions are critical in establishing fluid—and frictionless—experiences for customers, particularly in the last mile of the customer journey with an insurance brand – filing claims.

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