No one is in a happy place when filing an insurance claim. When the time comes to report a loss to an insurer (known as First Notice of Loss, or FNOL), customers are likely to have higher expectations from their carrier—and less patience—than at other times in the insurance policy lifecycle.
Once your customer first makes contact to initiate a claim for benefits—whether it’s due to a car accident, storm damage to a home, the death of a loved one, or the loss or theft of an insured item—the clock starts on many regulatory responsibilities for you. As an insurer, you obviously want to avoid the hefty fines that can result from failure to comply with compliance regulations.
Claims also represent the largest single cost to insurers, with up to 80% of all premiums spent in the claims process. Finding ways to reduce paper-based workflows and better manage the volume and complexity of claims is critical; it is largely the manual workflow inefficiencies and the related errors that drive up costs and cause delays that alienate your current customers—and even your potential ones. Consider that, on average, your customers will tell 60% more people about a bad experience than a good one. Therefore, you want that first interaction between you and your customer to be positive.
Let’s take a look at five questions you should ask when evaluating the strength of your organization’s FNOL process:
1. Can your customers initiate a claim through their mobile device?
Customer expectations are more demanding today; they want to interact through their channel of choice, when and where they want, with the ability to change their channel throughout the process and receive status updates. In fact, one study reported that 82% of customers expect to interact via a combination of in-person and mobile when conducting business.
Gen-Y customers, in particular, have more interactions with their insurer across all communication channels, particularly digital ones. They also interact with insurers over two times more via mobile than other customers do. Chances are good these tech-savvy customers will expect this same level of mobile interaction when initiating a claim.
2. Can your customers provide information/data by taking a photo of a document?
Many of today’s customers already enjoy the convenience of interacting with a business using mobile capture capabilities; for example, many routinely capture images of a check to electronically deposit into a bank account. You will have a competitive advantage if you offer omnichannel capture services that streamline the submission of initial and follow-up claims documents. Paper-based claims documents can also be processed faster (and with fewer errors) by employing automated document classification, data extraction and validation capabilities.
3. Do your customers have multiple options when it comes to initiating a claim?
Today’s customers expect choice. Although many may opt for claim initiation via a mobile app, others will prefer a traditional call center or customer portal on the web. The traditional call center notification should allow a customer service representative to capture details and quickly search across multiple systems via a single interface to quickly determine claimant eligibility and validate the policy. Claims initiated via the mobile app are most efficiently processed when they are routed and approved using a rules-based matrix, with representative review initiated if needed.
4. Do your customers receive real-time feedback when initiating a claim?
Customer expectations for a seamless digital experience extend beyond the initiation of a claim. Your claims workflow should allow customers to interact digitally throughout the process to track claim submission status, as well as view communications such as acceptance verifications or missing information alerts.
5. Do your claims associates have easy access to the information they need to accept a new claim?
When processes and systems aren’t connected, customers may be forced to provide the same information at multiple steps, and processors may struggle to locate the data they need to service the customer effectively and efficiently. Your claims processing solution should streamline the collection, processing and sharing of disparate claims information. Ideally, you want a single system that handles every type of document— not only first notice of loss, but also claims worksheets, reports and everything in between. Your employees will be able to respond to claimants quickly, improve accuracy and productivity and drive down costs.
If you answered NO to any of these questions, it might be time to evaluate your FNOL process workflow. A less-than-adequate experience during the claims process may negatively influence customers’ renewal decisions – and even compromise your ability to gain new customers.
Learn more about the benefits of digital technology, including mobile capture, in the claims process, download the eBook How to Win with Mobile.
 Capgemini, Voice of the Customer Survey – World Insurance Report, 2016