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Insurtech disrupting claim settlement – Where technology meets person centricity

With the evolution of the InsurTech landscape in India and its corresponding technology-led innovation, claims are now a lot less cumbersome than they used to be.

It is this interplay of superior technology and customer centricity that makes InsurTechs better poised to drive the change in Indian insurance.

Claim settlement is perhaps the most critical yardstick for any customer to choose an insurer. However, claims have forever been an agony for customers as claim settlement is always shrouded with opaqueness. Customers look forward to a claims experience which is simple and seamless. InsurTechs have been able to address this challenge, largely. With the evolution of the InsurTech landscape in India and its corresponding technology-led innovation, claims are now a lot less cumbersome than they used to be. 

With the effective usage of technology, InsurTechs have automated several processes of claim settlement, thereby resulting in faster turnaround and increased efficiency. Large volumes of claims are now processed at a much faster rate. For example, WhatsApp is now being used to share claim related documents and other information which has made the process efficient and reduced the initial document verification time.

Such is the impact of technology on the overall insurance industry and especially on claims that every day we are witnessing several use-cases of high precision and proficiency. This leads to an important question – in this technology led disruption brought about by the InsurTechs, is there a role of people centricity? 

We might be living in an automated world, but nothing can replace human touch. Technology undeniably remains significant too but when it comes to insurance, it wouldn’t be wrong to say that technology is the brain while customer service is the heart. It is this interplay of superior technology and customer centricity that makes InsurTechs better poised to drive the change in Indian insurance.

The next critical question is how to drive people centricity in the era of automation? According to Harvard research, the greatest obstruction to client centricity is the absence of a client-driven organisational culture. As the insurance business thrives, customers today are more aware, educated and demanding. In the new age, for insurance, it is essential to track client connections as much as meet business goals and objectives.

Adding the human touch

The major difference between a machine and a human is emotion. Technology falls flat if human intervention is completely wiped off. Having a sensitive side to it, insurance must include human touch to soothe a person in distress. During an emergency when emotions run high, you need human assistance to help you navigate through a crisis. In such life and death scenarios, human touch reigns supreme. In an article, Deloitte attributes insurance professionals in the US to state that while automation can reduce time and overall expenses, it doesn’t necessarily mean that companies should shut down customer interaction, which is an essential element to add to the overall experience, especially in case of an emergency.

How can InsurTechs strike a balance?

A study suggests that nearly 79% of clients lean toward talking with insurance specialists rather than bots. Furthermore, in insurance where trust and time are equally critical, people exhibit more sensitivity, compassion and empathy. InsurTechs should therefore invest in making customer service 24/7 to meet the human needs of their clients especially those in distress. Customer service personnel should remain in touch with the customers from the minute of hospitalization, in case of cashless claims and right up to the last mile when the cash is deposited in the bank for reimbursements. 

There is no replacement to a comforting human voice who could take the customers through the various nitty-gritties of claims such as network hospitals, exclusions etc. during anxious moments. A calm and composed human voice providing assurance is all that a customer asks for. 

Net Promoter Score

Net Promoter Score (NPS) measures customer experience and predicts business growth. It is a client satisfaction and service quality metric which is determined through a single question that is asked to customers – how likely they are to recommend a brand to their known circles. A low NPS signifies high detractors and high NPS indicates an increasing number of customers are promoters. Bain & Company, the creators of NPS, states that a good NPS score is 0 and above is categorized as excellent and above 80 is world class. 

One of the global giants in the insurance space, Allianz, has an overall NPS of 79, a unique feat in the insurance industry. Allianz’s success story is a perfect example of an interplay between technology and customer-centric culture which has ensured excellent customer service year on year. Taking a cue from the Allianz NPS case study, one can safely say a high NPS in claims journey cannot just be a factor of digital alone and it requires trust, intuition and a human touch. It is imperative for InsurTechs to introduce the NPS metric in claims and also for customer service teams to engage with their customers with empathy and compassion and support them during their claims journey equally through thick and thin.

Conclusion

InsurTechs have clearly demonstrated a better tech integration which has made insurance and claims settlement a lot simpler for many. By fusing client-centricity as a centerpiece of their business model, strategy, and company culture along with technology they can create a far superior impact on every aspect of insurance including claim settlement. It will help build a long term relationship with the customer.

(By Debankur Biswas, Head of Customer Success, Plum)

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