Where is Claims Management headed?
Motor insurance stands on the cusp of a technology revolution – a revolution driven by mobile devices, telematics and data. We are headed for a fully integrated, machine-to-machine utopia, where drivers will be passengers, cars will not permit us to crash and claims just won’t happen.The intelligent in-vehicle-technology that we have seen so far will be nothing compared to what is to come. Passive and active safety systems are being introduced constantly – driverless cars and road trains are already a reality. Leading universities are showing us that it’s possible to create auto-drive on a smartphone.
A commercially viable driverless car is less than 8 years away but it could happen much sooner. Already, Google has a fleet of driverless cars on the roads in some cities in the US, demonstrating the power of the internet and connectivity to steer vehicles on the right path with near-absolute safety.
Meanwhile, several leading vehicle manufacturers are talking about ‘autopilot’ as their intermediate goal. So, for the foreseeable future, cars will still crash, lives will be changed, vehicles will require repair, and claims will need to be negotiated. But technology will increasingly influence the way in which we cover the claims journey.
Telematics and smartphones will become the new channel to market, offered in conjunction with consumer propositions like Waze (the Mobile Navigation App recently purchased by Google), or Quid Co (where word of mouth and recommendation are driving the consumer agenda as they look for value, savings and reward). Customers today are increasingly looking for solutions that are relevant, easy, convenient personal.
In Japan,Tokio Marine & Nichido are already marketing ‘One Day Auto Insurance’ that can be purchased anytime and anywhere via mobile phone so that a customer who only needs a few days cover can borrow a vehicle from a relative or friend. The advances in lifestyle and technology will have a profound effect on the way the insurance sector manages claims. The winners will be those that are able to underpin the sales cycle with continuity of service, which extends into the claims environment. This will be achieved by combining telematics with data and analytics to improve and automate the customer journey. And that brings us back to the other big trend that will impact the way claims are serviced.
Disruption is the Name of the Game
While telematics may be the most exciting development in insurance, the most disruptive trend in claims is the role of analytics. Organizations are automating the cerebral, intellectual processes, applying big data and analytics to make real-time decisions better, more consistent and more intuitive. And it is this ability that will have a profound impact on how we transform the motor claims journey and deliver the potential of telematics.
As more data is generated about the car user, data science will allow insurers to calculate risk more precisely. Analytics will enable insurance companies to streamline and automate claims processes with real-time alerts, thus cutting down expenses. Consumers will benefit too, as the data will enable companies to price their premiums more accurately, with positive behavior rewarded by rewards, incentives and discounts.
Working together, telematics and analytics will allow insurance companies to deliver a faster and more accurate service to consumers.
We will see the industry flexing historical data and more insightful data in combination with new data from telematics, M2M and digital imagery. Photos taken with a smartphone already come with GPS co-ordinates, time-day-date stamp, as well as direction and orientation. It is already possible to calculate a repair cost estimate simply by taking a photo of a damaged vehicle. Such data incorporated into the notification process will save huge amounts of time and dramatically improve accuracy.