Robotic Process Automation in Insurance: 5 Ways It Will Impact the Industry

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All the general benefits of robotic process automation have their specific implementation in insurance. The use of software robots has led to significant reduction of processing time, sometimes even by over 70%. After all, robots have no problem being ‘vigilant’ 24/7. This benefit occurred without enlarging the team of employees, which, in turn, led to reductions in the overall costs of document processing.

With the advent of robotic process automation in insurance, large volume claims types can be carried out with only a third or half the people required when the process was manual.

This in turn has additional advantages to offer. For one, because it brings great relief for those working on customer focused tasks. Secondly, less people translates into less human error daunting the automated processes. And thirdly, releasing people, therefore headcount, into areas of the business that need people skills such as sales, new growth revenue streams, etc.

If RPA has served insurance so well in the incipient phase, chances are that its future in the industry is quite bright. Let us now see where exactly this ‘brightness’ sparkles from.

The productive impact of robotic process automation in insurance manifests itself with multiple facets. We introduce and briefly discuss five crucial ones.

Benefits of implementing robotic process automation in insurance

1. Streamlined data processes

Insurance firms need to handle large amounts of data. If human employees are the only available option for data processing, this may take a lot of time and just as much money. Moreover, it leaves space for error which may increase even more the amount of time and money expenditures. But automation is an alternative that can do away with such disadvantages.

RPA makes data processes run more smoothly, let alone faster and error proof. The end result is a much more efficient data processing. This also has a corollary which should not be neglected, namely less bored, and thus more productive employees working on non-repetitive, skillful tasks.

2. Integration of various systems and software

Innovation in the realm of insurance comes with a price, which may be quite costly. Yet no one can deny the necessity of IT improvement and technological development at all levels. Robotic process automation seems like the right solution to handle innovation properly.

According to CiGen founder Leigh Pullen, it is ‘a proven technology that brings tangible benefits to the companies that deploy it and provides a means for companies to remain cost competitive in their market sphere’. RPA can easily handle the challenges of system updates and makes integration of the new much easier because it is consistent with the so-called “legacy systems”. As a result, it may lower the costs as well as the human expenditures involved in system and software updates.

3. Increased compliance

Compliance with privacy regulations, and, relatedly, handling audits - both internal and external - are top requirements for insurance firms. The need to stay updated with the ever-changing laws that prescribe how privacy should be protected, increases the importance of the problem.

Robotic process automation can help a whole lot in this area as well. Because the software generates detailed logs of all transactions, it becomes much easier to track the processes and ensure that compliance with the regulations is in place. External audits thus become much less of an issue for insurance companies that make effective use of automation.

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4. Scalability

Robotic process automation may be seen as setting an insurance firm on an ascending path. Since software robots never get tired or bored, automated processes may be used 24/7, 365 days a year without fear of error interference. This means that RPA increases a company’s work capacity without any additional costs, neither financial nor with respect to quality.

Should new projects require additional skills and increased execution capacity, more robots can simply be “allowed into the field” without the hassle of training and re-training them every time. The equation seems to be very simple: robotic process automation in insurance equals more and better work for constant expenditure. And the best part comes when we acknowledge that this translates into maximally realising a firm’s potential for long-term growth.

5. Customer experience

The impact of robotic process automation on insurance customer experience is twofold. On the one hand, according to Bhupendra Gupta, Executive Vice President – Transformation & Product Engineering at Firstsource Solutions, “RPA is very likely to significantly improve the customer experience by expediting and simplifying the claim process and thus making the customer more satisfied with the services”.

Moreover, if RPA is used to handle the tedious, repetitive tasks like regulatory reporting, claims processing, document verification, or manual data tabulation, the human-specific capacity for creative, innovative work may be better used for customer experience, personalized and improved by human interaction.

Deloitte nicely points out this double-sided benefit of RPA in insurance: “Leveraging the plethora of capabilities offered by such tools, insurers can now design customer journeys from scratch rather than simply replicating existing journeys that are at best yesterday's stories with merely a bit more processing efficiency”. Not only does this improve customers’ experience with the insurance firm (which has a great potential for long-term growth), but it is also likely to bring about happier and more fulfilled human staff.

Conclusion

Robotic process automation in insurance has had a very positive outset. The initial outcomes of companies where it has been implemented no longer than two years before speak in its favor, and therefore call for subsequent expansion. The challenges faced by insurance firms receive a helping ‘automated hand’ from RPA: managing multiple data sources, maintaining an appropriate degree of data privacy, integrating various technological devices (software, applications, etc.), or customer service.

The prospects for further development are more than encouraging. In fact, according to UiPath, it seems like “RPA will eventually become a necessary component for insurance providers to remain competitive industry leaders”. So exploiting to the max the improvements it can bring in the insurance industry is a step that visionary business leaders must take.