Get exclusive insights from Hiscox, Kemper, Nationwide and VPay in our new “Digitalizing Claims: Think big, execute small” whitepaper

It’s rare that a major innovation or event comes upon the world slowly, incrementally. There is almost always some dramatic catalyst that thrusts societies, industries and governments into the future. Think dinosaurs and the asteroid. The COVID-19 pandemic was this generation’s asteroid.

Thankfully for the insurance industry, the only thing we can expect to see this time around is the extinction of outmoded practices. In their place will be the acceleration of many innovations that were already being explored, albeit somewhat tentatively, and the adoption of some new approaches revealed by the pandemic. With 2020 and the threat of COVID-19 retreating in the rear-view mirror thanks to the nascent global vaccination effort, we can start to look to the opportunities of the future.

But within all that optimism there has to be pragmatism. Lockdowns may have forced insurers to adapt in every way possible to their ‘new normal’, but to say that they will emerge fully-digital, technologically -sophisticated organizations is unrealistic. There is still much work to be done.

In an exclusive white paper from Reuters Events, Digitizing claims: Think big, execute small, sponsored by VPay, you will hear from industry experts across the insurance sector as they reveal how carriers can access digital innovation and customer experience gains while minimizing disruption to ‘business as usual’.

Hiscox’ chief claims officer, Grace Hanson, reveals why insurers shouldn’t be scared of investing in data and explains why it is vital organizations – and departments - take ownership of their own customer information: “Claims data is produced by claims people and they understand the relationship”.
Pete Frey, Director of Commercial Lines Telematics at Nationwide, notes that much of what insurers need to effect digital transformation may already be at their fingertips, making incremental gains easier and more profitable still: “When we talk about telematics, it’s typically related to driving behavior and discounts, but over the last few years it has been a bigger focus in claims. When we have vehicles that are connected, the ability to take data to fill in gaps during a claims event is very valuable.”

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That doesn’t mean insurers should be limited in the scope of their ambitions, just that to get buy-in during a time where balance sheets may still be tight, there are easy wins. Indeed, payments is considered one of the ripest areas for transformation, as well as the simplest to access for most insurers. “By outsourcing you don’t have to worry about keeping up with the pace of change. You can implement a digital payment strategy in a matter of months, if there’s a will to do it, and the ROI is immediate, along with enhanced customer engagement and retention,” states Jeffrey Brown, President of fintech and payments provider, VPay.

It is possible to challenge the organization and set out a plan for the future, without forcing the company to tackle the business of ‘eating the elephant’ all in one gulp. Kim Leggette, Chief Claims Officer, Kemper, advocates seeking out partners and working through the challenges in a measured and appropriate way. “When I came to Kemper, I challenged the team from a strategic standpoint to find out how we start writing estimates without ever going into the field. Could we get to a point where 100% of the estimates we write are virtual?” But, he warns against running ahead of the consumer: “Companies can get overly aggressive with digitization and never talking to humans.”

A human approach in a digital world will be the watchword for transformation going forward. The asteroid may have hit, but in its wake it has left a trail of opportunity. To find out more about what these esteemed insurance experts have to share on the subject of digital transformation in a post-COVID-19 insurance industry, download Digitizing claims: Think big, execute small, here.

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Joshua Lloyd-Braiden
Global Project Director
Reuters Events
Telephone: +44 (0)20 7536 7223