November 23, 2022

Intelligent automation: The key to the future for your insurance firm.

By Shane Reid

How to leverage intelligent automation in insurance to reduce costs and mitigate risks

It’s no secret that insurance has lagged behind other industries in terms of automation adoption. The reason? With so much riding on the right decision being made, the idea of depending on machines to make nuanced decisions has been a significant barrier in the insurance industry.

However, rapidly advancing technology plus growing customer demand have changed the game. In a 2020 PWC survey, 41% of respondents said they would be likely to switch insurance providers due to a lack of digital capabilities - a wake-up call for every insurance company.

In addition, advanced technologies like intelligent automation (IA) have opened up new opportunities for the insurance sector. Now it’s possible to embrace automation without compromising data accuracy, compliance and decision-making.

What is intelligent automation?

Intelligent automation (IA) harnesses a range of automation technologies to streamline business processes. Also known as hyperautomation or cognitive automation, IA leverages artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning, robotic process automation (RPA), business process management (BPM) and low code no code to automate manual, time-consuming tasks.

For insurance companies, intelligent automation is a game changer. Unstructured data can now be extracted accurately from a range of documents, thanks to AI and machine learning. Claims that don’t pass inbuilt verification checks can be automatically escalated for further scrutiny. And, workflows can be created to guide documents through a quick and seamless process.

Activities that are ripe for intelligent automation in the insurance sector include:

  • Claims processing
  • Email management
  • Underwriting
  • Policy management
  • Fraud prevention
  • Regulatory compliance.

And, as technology advances further, there will be many more opportunities for insurers to save time, money and labour thanks to intelligent automation.

8 benefits of intelligent automation for insurance companies

The benefits of leveraging intelligent automation in the insurance sector are significant. Most importantly, they are backed up by multiple global case studies.

In one case, automation reduced the quote generation time for insurance agents in California from 14 days to 4 minutes, increasing sales by 70%. In another, a Switzerland-based insurer harnessed IA to streamline onboarding, resulting in an 80% reduction in turnaround time and labour savings of 25%.

Drawn from these and other case studies, here are 8 ways intelligent automation could benefit your insurance company.

Business boost - automating time-consuming processes delivers operational efficiencies, improves productivity, increases capacity and saves valuable time and money.

Staff satisfaction - automating manual tasks means that staff can be redeployed to higher-value activities, boosting morale, fully utilising skills and giving them a more fulfilling role.

Faster decisions - verification checks and document processing can be completed in minutes, allowing your staff to make decisions and respond to clients in record time.

Fewer errors - the ability to accurately extract data from any document eliminates the need for manual data entry and removes human error from the equation, for good.

Reduced exceptions - document processing runs more smoothly thanks to AI and machine learning, reducing the need for manual exception handling and time-consuming checks.

Improved data - unstructured data (including handwriting) can be accurately captured while AI algorithms provide context to ensure all relevant information is recorded correctly.

Increased acceptance - more accurate, timely and streamlined processes will meet the growing expectations of clients, making it more likely they will respond positively to quotes.

Enhanced compliance - fully automated processes simplify reporting and auditing activities, making it easier to demonstrate process assurance and meet regulatory requirements.

3 opportunities to leverage intelligent automation in insurance

Data validation

Quality data, free from errors and fraudulent activity, is key to effective decision-making for insurance companies. Data accuracy is also vital for ongoing compliance. Data validation, which is one of the more time-consuming and costly elements of insurance, is ripe for automation.

With more data being captured than ever before, insurance firms are heaving under the growing weight of client documentation. Legacy OCR systems can only do so much and manually logging, classifying and checking documents is no longer an effective option for companies.

IA leverages intelligent document processing to automatically capture, classify and action diverse documents in multiple formats. Automatically extracting critical information (including context), IA routes incomplete and suspect information for specialised exception handling.

Automating the data validation process reduces the chance of human error, makes it easier to accurately compare large amounts of data to existing datasets and improves the overall accuracy of the data collected and used by insurance companies.

Risk management

With costs rising on all sides, risk management is one way for insurance companies to control their outlay in uncertain times. Far from a precise science, making the decision to provide coverage is a complex process that relies on having the best possible information available.

When data is held in different systems and provided in multiple formats, it’s nearly impossible to achieve a big-picture view of the overall risk. This is complicated further when several teams are involved in the assessment process (verification, underwriting, claims management, etc.)

With a focus on risk minimisation, IA helps firms quickly validate data without compromising accuracy or compliance. By creating and evaluating attribute criteria, IA simplifies the process of calculating the risk posed by individual, business and commercial clients.

IA can also monitor certain triggers, such as website searches and portal activity, to anticipate customer activity. For instance, this might alert staff that a client may be considering cancelling their policy, giving them the opportunity to offer the client an incentive to stay.

Client service

Disruption is rife in the insurance industry. Most of the newer players are zeroing in on the client experience, offering instantaneous indicative quotes, responsive customer service and a digital-first approach that appeals to an increasingly digital-savvy audience.

Customer expectations are growing with the advent of the 24/7 economy. Traditionally slow processes like insurance quotes and claim applications need to be brought up to speed to meet these demands. Otherwise, insurers will increasingly be caught short.

IA speeds up complex processes to deliver a better service to clients. Streamlining time-consuming tasks and automating workflows saves staff from trying to identify a point of escalation, checking multiple systems and manually ensuring process compliance.

Freed from repetitive and manual tasks, staff can be redeployed for enhanced decision-making and more value-added customer activities. Not only do clients get a faster response they also enjoy a better experience, with insurance staff free to offer enhanced services.

Leverage intelligent automation with Hyperscience and Umlaut

Leaders in streamlining processes for insurance firms, Umlaut builds on your current technology stack, to deliver an integrated, automated solution. The result? Your business enjoys a range of time and cost savings plus a significant boost to profitability and growth.

Partnering with Hyperscience, we offer a full suite of intelligent document processing and automation solutions. Leveraging the power of AI, ML and deep learning, the Hyperscience platform connects the dots for your business, taking it to the next level.

Want to learn more about intelligent automation for your finance or insurance firm?

The experienced team at Umlaut is ready to lead the way. Contact us to find out more and see how our partnership with Hyperscience can streamline and transform the way you do business.

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