Approximately 6 minutes reading time
Insurers are becoming increasingly mature digitally. This is evident from recent studies by Gartner and Accenture, among others. The time for just talking about digital transformation is over. The time has arrived when transformation processes are actually taking place.
Which concrete transformation processes are there then?
There is a particular trend going on. Even organizations that have been around for decades are able to undergo successful digital transformations, despite their IT legacy. In concrete terms, this means, according to Gartner, that insurers are busy automating and optimizing internal processes. A small minority of insurers, who are further along in their transformation process, apply only basic customer segmentation in their product offerings.
The fact that insurers mainly automate and optimize internal processes makes perfect sense. There are a number of reasons for this, namely cost and error reduction (or process optimization), compliance with regulatory obligations (DNB & AFM) and improving the customer experience. In light of this, digital transformation is essentially applied through extensive Straight-Through processing (STP), data management and improving audit trails. These three areas are, in a way, inextricably linked. On the one hand, a successful STP process requires good data and, on the other hand, the automatic STP actions must be properly recorded in order to be able to demonstrate, during an audit, why certain choices were made (for example, when accepting or settling a claim).
Shaping the transformation
To automate and optimize internal processes, many insurers are looking for new back office systems or digital insurance platforms. The choice for a particular system or platform is determined by its ability to seamlessly support operations, to apply automation where possible and to be scalable (i.e. to grow with the organization). Outdated systems that cannot meet these important conditions become a major constraint for the company. An absolute precondition is that systems or platforms must be closely connected in order to facilitate effective data exchange. The real winners are digital platforms that, in addition to supporting operational processes, also provide access to an advanced partner ecosystem.
According to Gartner, combining an agile platform with innovative external partners is crucial to digital transformation. A platform must be scalable and must be able to grow with an organization. At the same time, it is important that specialists are able to hook up in order to optimize internal processes. This is what Gartner calls Bimodal. In practice it means that certain parts of the automation are outsourced to an innovative and specialized external party.
Bimodal is essentially a specific part of 'ecosystem thinking'. In the claims settlement process, this may concern, for example, the delivery of all claims data via an App with the insurer's own look and feel. The damage is, as far as possible, processed by STP with an external partner. Upon completion of the process, the customer and claim are "transferred" to the commissioning insurance company. This simultaneously improves the customer experience.
The assessment of damage is also becoming increasingly automatic, resulting in a huge operating profit. The damage is verified (for example, on the basis of photographic evidence) and cross-checked with the policy to ascertain if it offers sufficient coverage. In addition, the necessary fraud checks are undertaken. The claims handler only needs look at those claims which cannot be processed automatically. In this way, customers are also able to be helped quickly and to know immediately where they stand.
In recent years, regulators have become increasingly stringent in checking whether insurers are taking adequate measures to adhere to compliance rules. For example, more stringent checks are made to ensure that the Ultimate Beneficial Owner (UBO) is named on the policy and to ascertain, prior to acceptance, that customers are not on sanctions or PEP lists. Retrieving this data takes a lot of time and effort. Requesting the data (UBO) directly from the customer doesn’t exactly enhance the customer experience. These checks have to take place continuously, which puts a certain amount of pressure on insurers.
Unfortunately, many standard back office systems do not facilitate this 'continuous compliance'. However, a digital insurance platform, such as that offered by CCS connects, is able to provide insurers with access to external parties that do facilitate this continuous compliance. It becomes no longer necessary for customers to provide the data themselves and the insurer is, then, fully compliant.
Compliancy often stands in the way of digital transformation. Legislation limits innovation rather than stimulates it. However, through continuous compliance with external partners, internal data is improved, and, most significantly, is able to guide digital transformation in the right direction.
There is still a long way to go, but the prospects are bright. By automating and optimizing internal processes, internal data capture is also improved. As a result, the way is opened up for insurers themselves to drive further innovation. The time for talking about digital transformation is over. Real transformation is taking place, here and now.