Overheard at PLRB 2019

Ryan Dowson on April 22, 2019

The first week of April, the Property & Liability Resource Bureau (PLRB) Claims Conference landed in Indianapolis, IN where over 2,000 industry professionals and 200 vendors converged at the Indiana Convention Center for four days of networking, education, and discussion. The theme this year was “Learning Has No Finish Line,” and, true to theme, there was a tremendous amount to learn with over 100 breakout and educational sessions planned.

Topics ranged from appraisal and mediation techniques, to the use of new drone technology and social media for claims processing, to leadership development and analytics. With the increasing impact of technology on the insurance industry, it’s no surprise that many of the conversations revolved around understanding how to use technology to create better policyholder experiences. Over my time at PLRB, I noticed three central themes to the conversations happening around the SPLICE Software booth:

1. Leveraging Voice Technology to Help Manage TPA & Adjuster Schedules

Several of the third-party administrators and claims adjusters talked about the constant challenge they face in creating a fluid claims experience for policyholders, as well as for their carrier clients. When dealing with a claim, policyholders are stressed and seeking resolution as quickly as possible. Delays resulting from missed appointments, lack of information, and lack of access to sites lead to estimates being inaccurate or incomplete and interrupt the ability to provide prompt repair and restoration. In many circumstances, the adjuster is busy on site—or multiple sites in one day—with no way to respond to emails, texts, or calls in real-time.

One solution revolves around automating certain portions of their day-to-day communications using text messaging and voice technology. By doing so, adjusters and TPA’s can send messages in real-time and proactively manage their day so clients know when to expect their arrival, or simply acknowledge receipt of communications.

2. Providing Consistent Messages to CAT Claims Before and After the Event

Another challenge frequently discussed was how to better manage the flood of calls received after a catastrophic event. Several claims managers discussed how call center staff are overwhelmed with processing the thousands of claims being filed post-CAT, creating unnecessary stress, disorganization, and chaos for the carrier.

A suggested solution is to leverage automated voice technology to send a notification prior to the expected CAT event to inform policyholders that the event is imminent, and provide tips on how to protect loved ones, pets, businesses, and property.

Another solution involved the same technology to reach out to affected clients post-CAT to proactively inform them that the event has passed and to find out if a claim needs to be filed, thus minimizing the flood of inbound calls. The insurance company could even include a time window in the message, during which the policyholder can expect the call from an agent or claim rep. Knowing that a plan is in place and having open communication goes a long way toward keeping stress levels in-check on both sides of the claim.

3. Making Communication Seamless

PLRB attendees often mentioned experiencing a communication disconnect in customer experience at some level. In an article published last summer in KNect365’s Finance knowledge base entitled “Is Voice Technology the Future of Insurance?”, author Theodora Lau wrote, For [the] insurance industry, adopting voice technology can be viewed as a competitive advantage and an important driver of customer satisfaction.”

The article went on to say, “We are entering a new digital era where conversations can take place via multiple modalities. And we have a chance to create a whole new experience, be truly embedded in a consumer’s daily lives, and be useful. While voice will not replace screens or other touchpoints, it will play an important role in the ecosystem, providing companies an additional way to engage with their customers in simple language and build brand loyalty. True conversational AI will give us a real shot at turning the tide and changing the customer’s journey, forever.”

Whether it’s aligning carriers and TPA’s, managing adjuster schedules, or keeping policyholders informed, communications is playing an increasingly important role in the claims process. To learn more about how to streamline your processes and close the communication loop, contact SPLICE at 1.855.777.5423 or click here.

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