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How to Build a Modern Claims Experience

Claims have become the next battleground for winning and retaining customers, and insurers are exploring new ways to apply people, process and technology to create a superior customer experience.

The Agent Alliance

Chubb's policyholders expect a high degree of coordination between agent and carrier, a reality that has shaped the company's investment in and creation of applications that provide agents with real-time claim information, according to Chubb's Williams. The insurer has provided claim reporting and inquiry capabilities for several years but introduced "game changing" improvements in 2010 with ClaimAlerts, he says.

Built on an existing personal lines application called MyAlerts, ClaimAlerts provides agents with real-time alerts on events affecting the status of a claim, Williams explains. The capability also provides quick-link access to Chubb's ClaimView, which provides detailed information on claim status, including adjuster notes. Chubb also provides download services for agency management systems.

In 2011, Williams adds, Chubb launched Upload, a service that allows agents and insureds to directly attach important claim documents, such as photographs, estimates or invoices, directly to the claim file. In the past, these attachments needed to be sent to email inboxes, fax machines or via traditional mail. While Chubb still accepts documents through those channels, he notes, they require human intervention to review, sort and post the documents to the correct claim file.

"This was a huge win for us," he says. "It cuts out significant time from the process and enables us to adjudicate claims in a much faster and more efficient manner."

During 2012, Chubb will revamp its E-Loss claim reporting application for increased agent ease of use, Williams reports. The carrier also will begin extending ClaimAlerts to personal lines policyholders and commercial lines, beginning with agent access.

Williams places all of the enhancements to Chubb's claims service within a set of six imperatives required to deliver a superior claim experience in today's world: simplify claim reporting, clearly set expectations, improve bilateral information sharing, keep all parties informed (insured, agent, etc.), provide options (e.g., method of communication, service provider, etc.), and issue payment promptly. While some of the items on Williams' list reflect perennial features of a superior claim experience, today's insureds want the flexibility to choose the level and types of interaction that make the most sense to them, he stresses.

"The mass consumer adoption of mobile technology," Williams continues, "is driving the need for a claim experience across multiple platforms in any context, and the same degree of intimacy needs to prevail across all channels in a consistent manner."

Other technologies also are driving key enhancements to Chubb's customer claim experience, according to Williams. "We're currently exploring the potential impact of big data, mobile platforms and the management of the legacy systems burden," Williams says.

[For more on how insurance companies are leveraging analytics in the age of Big Data, see related article.]

Chubb's efforts are calculated to maintain a service-excellence lead between the carrier and its competitors, Williams says, asserting that Chubb has enjoyed "phenomenal" results. "In 2011, 97 percent of insureds responding to our property claim survey were 'highly satisfied' with their overall claim experience — our highest score to date," he says.

Anthony O'Donnell has covered technology in the insurance industry since 2000, when he joined the editorial staff of Insurance & Technology. As an editor and reporter for I&T and the InformationWeek Financial Services of TechWeb he has written on all areas of information ... View Full Bio

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