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Loss adjuster involvement vs online shopping experience
31 August 2017
In spite of the benefits of remote loss adjusting, many customers still prefer a visit by the loss adjuster. A customer-friendly loss adjuster strengthens the ties with the policyholder. How can digital improve the customer journey related to notifying a claim and planning an appointment with a loss adjuster? We compare this part of the process with online shopping and again find that digital offers a host of opportunities in terms of efficiency gains and policyholder experience. 
by Gwenny Nales

Customer needs are very much defined from outside the insurance industry. With the likes of Amazon, Zappos and for instance CoolBlue in the Netherlands defining the baselines, insurers can expect to be compared to customers’ online shopping experiences. Customers increasingly expect self-service, engagement through their channel of choice and transparent information on outstanding claims accessible online. The process that we suggest covers all these expectations, while improving productivity and allowing claims staff, and the loss adjuster in particular, to fully focus on their expertise and customer contact.

The biggest issues from the policyholder’s point of view are the lack of transparency and communication, the time it takes to settle, but most of all: having to stay at home for a large part of a working day and having little control over the actual date of the appointment.


The process of claim notification and the visit by the loss adjuster can be compared to making online purchases. Having made the order and paid, the order gets processed and then we get to the delivery. Online retailers often excel in personalised push communication during the order process up to despatch. Unfortunately, that’s where some of these excellent shops seem to lose control or interest. Your track & trace delivery notification merely states the date and the given time frame from 9 am till 6 pm and no way to change this until after the first delivery attempt… Suddenly that fantastic customer journey comes to a grinding halt. Let’s compare this to the claim process.

Step 1: notification and intake
Notification of the claim could be compared to the purchasing process. The policyholder contacts the insurer to notify his claim. According to PWC’s 2014 survey the preferred form of engagement for notifying claims is digital at 62%, followed by phone 33% and email 25%. As this is the first moment of engagement when in actual need of the insurance policy, it is vital that customers can notify anytime, anywhere and using their channel of choice. But does this hold true for the majority of the insurance providers at present?

Social and mobile enhanced access to a self-service ‘MyInsurance’ account, linked to an online notification portal, could be the solution. With a 62% preference for digital notification, imagine the potential efficiency gains of a ‘MyInsurance’ account with all the policy details. Rather than having to call the insurance company for notification and progress updates, the customer can notify and check online. In addition, cover confirmation can easily be automated and sophisticated fraud indicators check for potentially fraudulent cases.

Step 2: planning and job allocation
In case of a claim, processing the order means planning and job allocation, followed by an on-site inspection, reporting and ultimately, settlement. The appointment still has to be made during office hours and if the first date offered by the insurer is not suitable, the planner has to look for other options, while on the phone. None of this is geared to the customer’s preferences and planning the appointment is a time consuming activity in itself. The planning process is the second potential dissatisfier that can be turned into a satisfier through customer engagement and ease of use. Instead of having to call for an appointment during office hours and hope for the least inconvenient time for an appointment, we suggest to give control to the customer while staying in control yourself.


The policyholder notifies the claim through the channel of choice. The planning tool generates an email to the policyholder, with the URL of the online planning environment. The policyholder accesses the planning platform when it suits her or him and selects one of the timeslots. This can be compared to an online shopper selecting delivery date preferences. Based on backoffice settings (which may vary per policy) determined by the insurer, the time slots may even include evenings and weekends. The system offers time slots on the basis of the expertise needed and route optimisation of the loss adjusters in question.

In the approach to the appointment, the policyholder regularly receives automatic updates through the channel of choice. The loss adjuster is introduced and the time slot is narrowed down as the adjuster’s route becomes more precise. It’s like having automated track & trace messages about the delivery time of your package. Suffice to say that all updates are also available in the policyholders’ MyInsurance environment. On the day of the appointment, the policyholder knows exactly whom to expect and at what time.

Efficiency gains and data analysis for profiling
Another major benefit of automating the intake, planning and communication processes is the efficiency gains of up to 80%, compared to manual planning. In addition, the more the claims process is digitised, the more data becomes available for analysis, offering interesting insights for risk management and even market segmentation. This is the subject on which we will focus in the final instalment of this series of blogs!

Are you interested in a customised digital planning and job allocation solution? Our animated explainer video of CheckMate shows you exactly how it works.  

Infographics by Marieke Buurman, Van Ameyde Waarderingen
Reference:
PWC (2014). Insurance 2020: The digital prize – taking customer connection to a new level
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