Top Use Cases for Automation in the Insurance Industry by WORKFUSION
During this time of emerging “born-in-tech” insurance providers that are fast to react to changes in the market and in customer behavior, increasing pressure to speed up cycle times, reduce expenses and improve customer experiences becomes the new normal for traditional insurers. Unfortunately, overflow of routine back-office operations, heavy reliance on manual work, and outdated methods and legacy systems make achieving these goals difficult. Adoption of intelligent process automation in the insurance industry is believed by many to be the solution to these challenges, and it is already transforming the industry. How automation will transform insurance The RPA market has been growing at breakneck speed and is expected to reach US$5 billion in 2020. While the banking and financial services domain embraced this trend long ago, the adoption of automation in the insurance industry has been much slower. Insurance companies are only starting to launch pilot automation programs, with both RPA and Intelligent Automation. However, the impact of these technologies on the sector is expected to be enormous, including:
Impact on employment in insurance. Automation will eliminate many jobs, while also creating new ones. Employees freed from tedious copy-paste and data-entry tasks will be able to deliver more personalized and higher-quality customer service.
Technological transformation. Automation tools will be built in the existing IT infrastructure, ensuring better integration between various systems. Improved and more personalized customer experience. For example, customer onboarding will change as bots can perform time-consuming activities such as anti-money laundering. This technology can help bridge the gap between employees and customers and allow more personalized service.
Intelligent process automation in insurance has the potential to help companies transform their business, become more profitable, and better adjust to market changes. However, that can only be achieved when the most valuable automation use cases are selected.
Best use cases for automation in the insurance industry One of the critical factors for the success of automation in the insurance industry (and any other industry, for that matter) is selecting the correct use cases. There are several common insurance use cases where the implementation of intelligent automation can provide tangible results quickly and offer room to scale in the future. Let’s review some of these use cases and intelligent solutions available.
Benefits of intelligent process automation in insurance
When compared to automation solutions using only the power of RPA, applying Intelligent Automation and AI in insurance operations helps achieve a faster ROI and see benefits that are unattainable with pure RPA.
1. Unstructured data processing
Every day, insurers have to deal with massive volumes of data in various paper and electronic formats. To process a claim, an agent must gather data from multiple sources and enter it into a database. The process is manual and time-consuming. Repetition of the same routine tasks over and over again hinders human concentration, resulting in errors and creating serious inconsistencies in company records. Robots, on the other hand, excel in this aspect.
AI combined with robotic process automation can process a wider variety of documents more precisely, and can automate insurance processes end-to-end:
download, classify, compile data from external sources
read, sort, analyze and route emails
extract and analyze similar data from different sources (email attachments, transcripts, scanned agreements, etc.)
2. Integration with legacy applications Insurance companies still rely heavily on legacy apps and various programs and systems for managing business operations. Implementation of new software, such as BPM or ERP systems, often requires replacement of the existing hardware and employee retraining — which are significant investments of time and money. Due to these difficulties, many insurance companies are forced to stick to the old systems, although they no longer provide the support required for company development. Automating operations in legacy applications are great RPA use cases in insurance. RPA bots can use existing user interfaces, which means there is minimal or no need to change current legacy systems. RPA bots can imitate human clicks and keystrokes, which makes them easy to implement in addition to the existing software and hardware. RPA bots create links between legacy and new systems without coding. They switch between various systems and applications and conduct claims processing, underwriting, customer service, onboarding, and other operations — all at the same time. Remember that utilizing solely RPA for automation will not have tangible results, as it only will allow you to automate separate tasks included in the process. On the other hand, using intelligent insurance automation solutions that combine RPA with powerful AI capabilities will allow automation of the process end-to-end. The cognitive part of the work will be automated, and also exception-handling capabilities will be provided through a human-in-the-loop approach (20–30% of automated processes require exception handling). 3. Additional benefits and scaling opportunities Successful implementation of an intelligent automation program can be incredibly beneficial for an insurance company, potentially allowing an enterprise to: . bring down the cost of automated job functions by 30–40%, while doubling their efficiency . achieve up to 80–90% accuracy improvement . save thousands of work hours annually . speed services delivery by up to 80% . free up to 30% capacity at the enterprise level . increase overall business productivity and profitability by up to 50% . reach up to 100% regulatory compliance
Regarding costs, a 100% return on investment can reasonably be expected within the first year of implementation, and that’s likely to multiply in the years to follow. One of the most significant benefits that Intelligent Automation can bring is creating a framework for enterprise-wide scaling of automation and digital transformation. Building a scalable automation program may seem easy in theory: You just need to add more bots over time. But this is challenging to achieve in practice. Most processes in insurance are unstructured, high-volume, and are ultimately too complicated for traditional RPA. Introducing intelligent bots provides a solution to these automation challenges, allowing you to not only scale the number of bots deployed, but also the quality and complexity of the work they perform. Overall, the potential for automation in the insurance industry is limitless. Across different geographies and sometimes even within the same company, various processes are in various stages of digitization and many can be at least partially automated. Automation is the lever that can help transform your operations, radically elevate your employee satisfaction, and improve your customer journey.