Filing a claim after being involved in an auto accident or after a natural disaster – fire, flood or wind damage impacting one’s home – can be stressful for consumers.
They’ve already been traumatized by an unforeseen negative event and must quickly engage with their insurance companies to provide detailed information, then wait for a claims adjuster to review their case and determine the level of coverage based on their policies.
At the same time, insurance companies are constantly challenged with fraudulent claims, and the costs associated with fraud and the detection and prosecution of fraud creates costs that impact the price of insurance and the profits of insurance companies.
While the claims management process is complex and painful for many insurers and policyholders, data generated from IoT connected devices in homes and vehicles are helping change the game and improve outcomes dramatically.
The model is quite simple. IoT sensors collect massive amounts of data, which is useful not only when losses are detected, but also useful in helping policyholders live more safely thus reducing the odds of unfortunate events.
Here are a few examples:
Sensors in automobiles detect crashes, and can even show specifically where damage is done;
The same sensors can alert authorities, sending police and medical assistance within seconds which reduces loss of life and other health consequences, while also providing immediate, trusted information for insurance claims;
These same sensors can also be used to improve driving awareness and habits (letting drivers know when they are speeding, when they are drifting into another lane, when they are otherwise engaging in unsafe practices;
These same sensors can also connect to automation systems (slowing, braking, disabling a driver who is intoxicated, etc.).
Sensors in smart homes can detect fires, fumes and other dangerous conditions, and can automatically alert homeowners, fire departments, police and others based on policies set by the consumer and their service providers, dramatically improving response times and reducing risk;
Sensors can also detect water leakage and drive immediate action to turn off faucets or have system issues repaired in real time;
Sensors can detect falls in the homes of older adults, can detect motion in the home, and doors opened and closed, which can impact healthcare insurance costs as well as home insurance costs.
The innovations are infinite, and they are changing the way not only insurance companies operate but how they deliver customer service.
“Customer satisfaction can be difficult to maintain in the high-stress claims management process,” said Felix Serrano, co-founder and CEO of Activus Connect said. “IoT devices can improve customer satisfaction by providing insurers with data in real time when a loss is detected, and can help expedite the claims process, benefitting both the insurance company and their customer.”
Activus Connect leverages cloud technologies to create a network of expert agents, or “ambassadors” who are highly skilled in different areas. “In the modern world,” Serrano said, “these ambassadors representing insurance companies now have much more data at their fingertips to be able to guide a customer through the process.”
Serrano envisions a world where the insurance company contact their customer first.
“Here’s an example. A smart car’s sensors detect a collision that causes airbags to deploy, and its GPS system sends the location of the collision to local authorities. Even as the police and first responders are on their way, the insurance company’s automated system is alerted, and a message goes to an ambassador who instantly sets up a claim for the customer. The expert claims ambassador has detailed and trusted data which they can review, and then can contact the policyholder given that customers’ preferred method of contact.”
Serrano says blending big data automation together with human compassion is the key to success. “Machine generated information is a blessing to advanced brands and their CX partners. But there is nothing more important at a stressful time than a competent professional with a friendly voice and genuine empathy.”
“AI enabled analytics is fundamentally changing the insurance industry by providing actionable information about things like customer journey experience and compliance,” Serrano also explained. “Where customer experience insights help to reduce customer effort and compliance helps ensure more effective sales efforts, resulting in better conversion, quote to call and revenue per call levels.”
According to a study by McKinsey & Company, data-driven technology in claims management can minimize the time for a filed claim to reach completion leading to a 30% reduction in processing costs.
“The information available as part of an enhanced claims processing solution reduces time – and cost – for the providers and the consumers. This can lead to more competitive pricing and greater profits, while improving coverage and service. This also provides a built-in rewards system for safe drivers and conscientious homeowners, which we’re seeing across a number of mobile applications and other programs coming out of the world’s top insurance companies,” Serrano continued.
Not all customers will buy into programs like this, with many concerned about privacy issues. Customers may feel that giving insurer access to the data from their connected devices puts their privacy at risk.
“Trust is becoming increasingly important when it comes to CX,” Serrano said. “We’re finding that customers need to understand the balance between the risk and the benefit of allowing insurers access to data generated by their devices. It’s important for insurers to be transparent about the use of IoT data, and insurance companies have a very positive opportunity to engage with their customers as new connected offers are rolled out. These innovations cannot be mandated, they must be provided as an option in order to be successful.”
Arti Loftus is an experienced Information Technology specialist with a demonstrated history of working in the research, writing, and editing industry with many published articles under her belt.
Edited by Ken Briodagh