Acquiring or maintaining a strategic competitive advantage in the insurance market is faced with some serious challenges in the current socio-economic context:
Consumers’ raising standards and demands for price transparency and timely answers to questions;
Reliance on legacy systems that are no longer able to meet customers’ expectations;
The need to keep up with ever-changing regulatory jurisdictions that set the norms for capital requirements or customer interactions.
Meeting growth and profit targets from within the traditional environment where a high volume of monotonous, menial back-office tasks are manually performed, that are both time consuming and prone to errors, doesn’t look like a good option.
Therefore the appeal to robotic process automation in insurance, with its capacity for quick, accurate, and non-costly data manipulation, might provide the necessary impetus for upgrading this industry sector.
In line with our pragmatic approach to technologically-supported business, we have consistently recommended across our series of articles to mull over robotic process automation use cases as a form of valuable ‘learning by doing’. So let us look at some relevant factual information about RPA use cases in insurance.
Real world use cases of robotic process automation in insurance
1. Underwriting and pricing
This amounts to evaluating the risks associated with each prospective client, and, based on this, deciding the price that needs to be charged for insuring the risk. It is thus a core process for insurance companies; in fact, the accuracy of this category of decisions determines the financial success of your insurance company.
A thorough, comprehensive risk assessment requires data collection and analysis from a variety of sources, which can take up to three weeks of painstaking effort. Software robots automate data gathering from both internal and external systems, entry of relevant data to internal sites, or report generation.
The whole process is streamlined and becomes a lot less time consuming, producing quasi error free outcomes.
2. Claims processing
Bots’ ease in data gathering from multiple sources is what makes it such that claims too can be processed much faster than when manually performed, i.e., in only a quarter of the time.
With the steady increase in the number of clients, it becomes even more necessary to use RPA for claims processing. Automation ensures more appropriate handling of clients’ claims, and this improves your company’s reputation.
3. Business and process analytics
In insurance, there is a need for benchmarks in order to improve business processes. Because of offering the possibility to track and record all the actions undertaken, software robots can be rightly called experts at quantifying and appraising.
It allows your staff to have direct access to information-loaded details, such as processed transactions or encountered exceptions. This means significantly less workload on the employees’ shoulders, which allows them to focus more on the clients and better address their needs.
4. Putting legacy systems to good use
Many insurance companies depend on legacy applications for fulfilling their business functions. However, these systems are quite often behind the times, which is why there is a stringent need for upgrades.
As opposed to ERP or BPM solutions which are very difficult to integrate with legacy applications, robotic process automation is versatile and can be easily used with the existing systems.
RPA is certainly an upgrade, but, since it easily fits into the existing workflow, it allows to keep using the legacy applications. This is another reason why RPA deployment appears like the reasonable thing to do.
Below we have a case where a company, this time from the legal industry, had to upgrade their existing systems and used RPA to automate their database migration to the cloud.
5. Customer onboarding
Automating this process is a great example for how RPA promotes customer-centred business, by making people really matter. Customers are required to go through a lot of paperwork and fill in numerous forms before signing the contract, which is likely to be very boring.
You might even miss the more impulsive ones, who may well decide to look for other options. With the help of RPA, however, things become simpler and faster. Bots can gather data like company name, industry sector, contact persons, etc. from public listings, and fill in at least parts of the forms. The result? Less hassle for potential customers, higher likelihood of actual customers for your company.
6. Policy administration and client servicing
The need to live up to customers’ expectations is a permanent challenge that insurance companies must address in order to maintain their competitive advantage. Software robots’ capacity for quick and accurate data analysis can be leveraged to notify customers before they actually experience any losses.
These pre-loss warnings are also beneficial for preventive repair and maintenance. Moreover, by combining RPA with other AI technologies, e.g., natural language processing, you can have chatbots address customers’ questions in a 24/7 manner. (In fact, according to UiPath, you could view RPA in insurance as your onramp to AI.)
Policy status and payments or policy renewals will thus cease being a threatening mystery for your clients, and this is going to boost their satisfaction with the services that you offer them.
7. Regulation and compliance maintenance
No one would deny the necessity of regulatory compliance for protecting business operations, yet it is among the processes most dreaded by employees across the industry spectrum. In insurance, work documentation and building audit trails must follow rather strict protocols, which change frequently; hence the risk of regulatory breaches is even more of a stringent problem.
Constantly monitoring compliance through internal reviews can mitigate this risk, and this is easy for bots because all their actions are logged (see also point 3 above). Running logs also help insurance companies to fare better in case of external audits. Bots can self-generate reports, send clients account closure processing notifications, or validate the data from current clients, all of which ease the burden of compliance.
Accenture’s A Holistic Approach to Insurance Automation sums up the most important benefits of successful RPA implementation:
20-30% of capacity freed up at enterprise level;
Improved customer experience;
Minimisation of operational risks.
Our list of real world use cases of robotic process automation in insurance substantiates with concrete examples each of these points.
We end by mentioning once again that this is part of a series of articles about the particularities of RPA in different sectors like banking, the public sector, or hospitality, pragmatically oriented towards application areas. If you find the information useful, subscribe to the newsletter below to ensure that you stay updated with news about the fast-evolving intelligent automation services.