I recently presented at Insurance Post’s Claims Club Summit in London where I was joined by stakeholders from across the claims function. At the event, I spoke about the impact of technology, regulations and data on insurance in the context of the current climate of political uncertainty. I also addressed the need for insurers to embrace digital transformation to revolutionise claims handling. Here are the highlights from my presentation:

(1) New EU regulations impacting insurers

Changes in regulations, such as Europe’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), as well as the upcoming IFRS 17, which is the updated International Financial Reporting Standard for accounting on insurance contracts, are also changing the way insurance companies do business and impacting insurers’ systems, processes and controls.

(2) Technology-enabled digital disruption forcing insurers to improve customer experiences

Perhaps more significant than all of this is the effect of digitisation on insurance and the shift in customer expectations this is bringing with it. In insurance today, embracing digital channels to engage with customers is not an option, it’s a must.

In a recent study by PwC, more than 82 percent of insurance CEOs recognised that technology will disrupt their sectors in the next five years. Of the survey respondents, almost half showed an understanding of how automation could help improve the customer experience.

Customers’ expectations are ever-changing and increasing. They expect insurers to have a good understanding of their problem, to settle their claims quickly and to provide them with impeccable service. What’s more, new and innovative “digital-only” entrants to the market are compounding this pressure on incumbents and driving them to embark on their own digital transformation journeys. The problem is that many organisations are still relying on large and complex legacy technology to implement systems that are not ready for the digital world.

(3) Using data to transform claims management is a key to improving customer experiences

From my conversations with insurance claims professionals, these issues are manifesting themselves as four common challenges, which are:

  1. The need to reduce cost and increase operational efficiency in claims handling to improve customer experience
  2. The need to improve customer management and have a comprehensive single customer view across the entire value chain
  3. The need to provide better reporting to improve business decision-making capabilities
  4. The need to access and operationalise 100 percent of the business’ data

Before looking for a solution, insurers must first understand the problem. Once determined, the focus needs to be on prioritising those issues that will deliver the most business value. At MarkLogic, we believe it all starts with data. When it comes to data specifically, using legacy technology can exclusively lead to poor data-integration processes. The result is that IT staff will spend significant time ingesting and integrating data whilst also attempting to adapt to changing data models and structures. Not only does this delay the delivery of useful data to downstream applications, it also inevitably results in the reduced and delayed delivery of business value.

(4) A better approach to data management is core to becoming more customer-centric

So what’s the answer? In order to keep up with today’s digital demands and customers’ needs for a better experience, an agile and effective data integration strategy, paired with a customer-centric approach is imperative. Insurers need solutions that can integrate valuable data from a wide variety of silos, legacy systems and even old paper records in a quick and cost-efficient way. This will allow them to ultimately draw it into a single system that is capable of interrogating it in many different ways.

(5) An enterprise NoSQL solution from MarkLogic enables insurers to easily and rapidly access all data required to improve claims management and customer experiences

By leveraging a robust NoSQL platform like MarkLogic’s Operational Data Hub for Insurance, insurers can integrate, harmonise and serve data quickly and efficiently. MarkLogic® is a modern, flexible database that can provide a unified, actionable, 360-degree view of all of a business’ data. It makes it easy to bring data together and add context to it so that actionable insights can be quickly derived. This is also done in a very agile way, allowing insurers to integrate data in seconds not years. What’s more, with the importance and sensitivity of handling personal data today, MarkLogic also allows businesses to govern and secure their data. Once in one place, it can be re-used and continuously enriched to solve other business problems and use cases across all functions and throughout the value chain.

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