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Reversing the Headwind

How to combat the business challenges that slow insurance processes, profits and customer responsiveness

One of the largest challenges insurers currently face is reducing compliance risk resulting from regulatory pressures that followed the 2008 financial crisis, plus the global economic challenges of the current era. Consider the numerous new laws and regulations related to capital requirements, liquidity, transparency, reporting, and consumer protection—too many to list here.

Insurers are also dealing with increased competition. How do companies increase growth in a market where there’s an oversupply of choices? The use of online and mobile technology has helped insurers gain efficiency, but these technologies also decrease customer intimacy—creating a barrier that can block first-hand understanding of customer needs.

So how do they attract and retain customers by not only providing a great customer experience, but also obtaining the necessary feedback to help create new products and services? This lack of understanding can lead to the loss of a company’s competitive edge, ultimately impacting revenue and profitability.

Next, there are numerous business improvement concerns. Insurers want to improve processes, boost responsiveness, and gain agility. Often, their legacy systems need to be modernised and their technology refreshed after a long period of underinvestment. They need to take advantage of technologies like mobile and cloud/SaaS, improved online capabilities, and the “bring your own device” trend.

At the same time, the frequency of mergers and acquisitions results in silos of data proliferating within disparate systems. Core system replacement is often an expensive, disruptive, long-term project. Data security is also a concern, and the industry needs better analytics and business intelligence to improve customer profiling and enhance fraud detection.

Finally, add in big payouts in recent years due to several major natural catastrophes, and insurers are facing pressures on profit margins and the bottom line.

Many of these business challenges and everyday pain points stem from the extent of paper-intensive processes in the insurance industry. Such processes are costly, error-prone, and lead to delays in both underwriting and claims processing, particularly when you’re gathering forms and documents from various sources.

Supporting documents often have to be handled by different resources and might have to be compared with records generated via fax, email, paper or electronic files—all of which is not easy to tie together, audit or report without the right tools.

A distributed environment, where branches receive claims that are processed centrally, is even more complex, particularly when there are regulatory pressures to speed payments.

Process and content management solutions can help insurers address these challenges. Content management provides a set of tools focused on managing an organisation’s information. These tools allow insurance companies to electronically capture, manage, store, circulate, access and protect valuable content—regardless of format— throughout its entire lifecycle.

Process management tools help insurers align their organisation with their primary business goals in a structured way based on evidence, not guesswork. In insurance, core processes are supported by big enterprise applications, such as policy management, claims management and agency management. Business process management aligns daily workflows and provides a continuous cycle for improvement.

Ultimately, with these solutions, there is less need for manual entry, therefore reducing staffing and churn—as well as reduced costs, improved compliance, increased efficiency, fewer errors, better straight-through processing, and faster turnaround—all leading to happier customers.

Process and content management solutions can help organisations reverse the type of resistance that can be compared to flying or sailing into a headwind that slows everyone down in reaching their objectives.

 

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