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In the world of property and casualty insurance, it’s a universally accepted truth that anything that can go wrong at some point will. From fires and floods to vandalism and automobile accidents, P&C insurance adjusters have seen it all and have millions of claims to prove it.
In fact, according to a survey from the Association of Claims Professionals, independent adjusters handle as many as 3.5 million claims per year and distribute over $500 billion in claims payments. Given how much is at stake — not just financially, but also in terms of customers’ peace of mind — it’s vital that P&C adjusters and managers alike be able to do their jobs efficiently and effectively every time.
The secret to P&C claims department success? Having the right field service solution to support it.
Common Challenges Property & Casualty Insurers Face
To better illustrate the ways in which P&C insurers can benefit from investing in a field service solution, let’s first look at some of the challenges they face:
- The process for coordinating customer visits is error-prone. Scheduling an in-person claims inspection isn’t as easy as calling up the customer and booking an appointment. Depending on the type of incident, it can involve multiple moving pieces and people, including the customer, claims adjusters, engineers, site managers, building managers, and so on. It’s a process that’s prone to mistakes and multiple changes, so it’s essential that P&C insurers have everything they need in place before they schedule a visit.
- Manual routing and scheduling slow down the claims lifecycle. Many P&C insurers still depend on manual processes or outdated systems to plan routes and set schedules. Not only is this tedious and inefficient — it also leaves you vulnerable to things like last-minute cancellations or unexpected changes in traffic patterns, which can force you to restart the process and significantly slow down the claims lifecycle.
- Adjusters lack access to real-time information while in the field. Legacy systems and time-consuming manual processes make it challenging for claims adjusters to stay on top of their workload and deliver exceptional customer service on the job. Even worse, without mobile technology to support them, adjusters in the field are working at a delay. Without access to the latest developments in an open claim, adjusters are forced to work with outdated information and unable to respond appropriately.
- Claims department managers have poor visibility into adjusters’ performance and activity. Claims adjusting has a high turnover rate for a reason: The job requires long hours, often comes with a heavy workload, and typically involves dealing with unhappy or even angry customers. Poor performance can indicate that an adjuster is overworked, overwhelmed, and dangerously close to burnout, so it’s imperative that P&C insurers keep a close eye on adjuster performance and productivity and develop a plan of action to manage adjuster stress. This is challenging, if not impossible, to do without some sort of centralized dashboard that claims department managers can use to monitor adjuster activity.
Even if burnout isn’t a concern, poor adjuster productivity and process inefficiencies can gum up the claims lifecycle, so having access to some sort of centralized system that can help you identify and eliminate obstacles to success is essential.
- P&C insurers struggle to attract and retain adjuster talent. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, nearly half of the current insurance industry workforce is expected to retire within the next 15 years. Add to that high levels of burnout within the industry and the fact that only 4% of millennials are interested in an insurance career, and you have a veritable talent crisis on your hands — one that has led some insurers to poach talent from other companies. In order to overcome this challenge, P&C insurers need to make every effort to attract new and qualified talent to join their ranks.
- Training new adjusters takes a substantial amount of time. Adjuster training has gained a reputation for being tedious, time-consuming, and frustrating, due in no small part to the fact that many risk managers are forced to train new adjusters using antiquated technology. P&C insurers can’t afford to keep training new adjusters this way — they need to invest in new technology not only to expedite the onboarding and training process, but also to leverage their existing workforce more efficiently.
- Claims departments struggle to manage multiple, disparate systems. Without seamless system integrations, business-critical data can end up spread out across various different systems, making it all the more challenging for claims department managers and adjusters alike to locate the exact information they need.
The Benefits of Investing in a Field Service Solution
Now that we know the challenges at hand, let’s take a look at how a truly innovative field service solution can help resolve them:
- Mobile-optimized solutions provide claims adjusters with accurate, up-to-the-minute information, so that they can make more effective judgment calls when out in the field.
- Rather than handle things manually, a truly advanced field service solution enables P&C insurers to automate the routing and scheduling process by drawing relevant data — such as the details of a claim and an adjuster’s workload and location — to make informed, optimized decisions.
- With a centralized dashboard, claims department managers can closely monitor and analyze adjuster activity, identify performance issues, and resolve outstanding issues. In cases where poor performance is the product of adjuster burnout, managers can balance adjuster workloads, as well as take other preventative measures to reduce stress and drive retention.
- With a modern field service solution, it’s possible to create customized, contextual experiences and provide personalized work processes for managers and adjusters alike.
- Cutting edge tools and technology not only allow for optimized routing, scheduling, and other workflows — they also maximize efficiency, which can be a powerful selling point for P&C insurers working to attract new talent.
- Greater efficiency also equates to a streamlined claims lifecycle, which has a direct positive effect on customer satisfaction.
- With more advanced systems in place, P&C insurers can optimize new employee onboarding and training, enabling them to send new talent out into the field that much sooner.
8 Features to Look for in a Modern Field Service Solution
We’ve talked about the challenges and the benefits, but the question remains: What features and capabilities should P&C insurers look for in a field service solution?
Best practice dictates that a truly modern solution should include the following:
- A centralized dashboard, so you can easily review all relevant performance data and monitor adjuster activity at a glance.
- A mobile adjuster application, so claims adjusters out in the field can access up-to-date information from any device, regardless of their location.
- Automated communications, so that customers can receive updates about the status of their claim and other notifications in real time.
- Geolocation services, so that adjusters can easily find their way to appointments and customers can electronically monitor the adjuster’s live location.
- An automated scheduling engine, so that claims department managers can assign open claims to the closest adjusters in the area, thereby increasing productivity.
- Remote assist capabilities, so that adjusters can get professional insights from internal experts and senior talent located anywhere in the world, thereby expediting claims resolution and improving the customer experience.
- Artificial intelligence and augmented reality, so that claims departments can accommodate customers’ remote service requests.
- Claims system integrations to extend functionality, further improving claims processing speed and efficiency.
One More Claim per Day
To get a sense of how a field service solution can help you enhance adjuster productivity and expedite the claims lifecycle, let’s take a look at how Hitachi Solutions helped one P&C carrier using Microsoft Dynamics 365 (D365) Field Service and our own IP, Engage for Insurance.
The client, a major auto insurance company, approached us with goal of increasing its average number of claims per adjuster per day. The Hitachi Solutions team quickly set to work implementing D365 Field Service and Engage for Insurance, with special attention to automated communications, smart routing, and claims system integrations. During the pilot version of this program, Hitachi Solutions was able to help each of the client’s adjusters see one more severe auto claim per day, thereby increasing the claims department’s business impact.
Hitachi Solutions: Reimagining Insurance
In an industry known for being traditional, Hitachi Solution is helping insurance companies reimagine the way they do business by leveraging the latest trends and technologies. Our deep industry expertise, proficiency with the entire Microsoft suite, and our own industry IP make us uniquely qualified to help insurers like you embrace digital transformation and evolve for the future.
Find out what Hitachi Solutions can help you achieve — contact us today to get started.