Ahead of his presentation at Insurance 2025, Bertrand spoke to Scott McGee
What have you seen trending lately, what issues has zeb found itself consulting on within insurance?
Improving insurance processes today is inextricably linked with digitisation efforts, and most of our clients are working on the ‘enablers’ for digital transformation. For example, aligning IT change programmes with business strategy, and developing structured approaches to leverage data-driven opportunities along the insurance value chain.
In particular, however, digitisation is now stirring up an area that has long been devoid of major innovation: the claims process. The traditional trade-off in claims between efficiency, effectiveness, and customer satisfaction can be mitigated through technology, and the subsequent transformation of a claims organisation today promises significant benefits.
Our extensive client experiences have shown, for example, that the combination of chatbots and Artificial Intelligence (AI) driven claims triage can facilitate cost reductions of around 24% through an increase in straight-through processing, all the while enabling real-time customer service and better accessibility. Data-driven solutions for enhanced fraud detection, claims assessment, and supplier management opens up many opportunities to better control indemnity spend.
Against that backdrop, we have built an assessment tool that allows insurers to better understand their claims performance and identify improvement opportunities.
How can insurance keep up with the rapid digital transformation?
While digital levers for insurance transformation illustrate clear potentials to ameliorate both the qualitative and quantitative performance of insurers, they are highly dependent on sound data preparation and the flexibility to integrate new solutions into existing operations.
With many insurers facing obscure and complex IT and data landscapes as well as a lack of ‘digital’ skill sets, a strategic prioritisation of use cases is key: Many of the ‘pilots’ we have worked on, in claims, for example, triggered a process to continuously make data more readily available to business functions.
The immediate opportunities in claims can thus serve as a catalyst to enhance the organisation’s overall ability to transform.
Is there anything you predict could become more prominent in the future?
Artificial intelligence (AI) has been leading industry conversations for some time now, yet the first promising business cases and implementations in the industry are only just emerging.
Overall, the benefits of AI for insurers are obvious: AI-based processes can save costs, shorten cycle times and enhance customer satisfaction. The ways to deploy AI are manifold: Artificial intelligence can be established independently based on open-source libraries (e.g. Google’s TensorFlow), used from the cloud (e.g. Amazon Web Services), and sourced as “software as a service” from dedicated AI providers.
In most cases, however, these solutions aren’t yet ‘plug and play’, it takes time and effort to train them for high accuracy and integrate them into business processes. For that, insurers have to consolidate their data and make it available for AI applications, a fact, that poses a fundamental challenge to insurance companies in itself.
As the first successful providers will benefit from a competitive advantage that will be hard to catch up to, a sound data strategy is key.
In alignment with the data strategy, we believe that insurance companies need to carefully assess their current business processes for AI-based automation potentials and integrate them into their change programmes.
How can insurance fight off that reputation it has of being old-fashioned and very traditional?
By creating great customer experiences. More often than not, the customer experience through the insurance lifecycle – from purchase, renewal and claims – lags drastically behind other industries in terms of ease, speed, transparency and accessibility.
Indeed, we believe ‘digital’ has an enormous potential to overcome many of the traditional pain points in the insurance experience, namely feeling under-appreciated due to generic processes, being passed around multiple agents and being kept on hold for too long – just to name a few.
What is more, customer behaviour today is opening up countless digital touch points, and the visibility of insurers at those is yet extremely limited. Insurers need to extend and multiply their digital interactions with clients to build positive experiences and long-lasting loyalty.
What can the audience at Insurance 2025 expect from you?
A fresh view on the levers for better insurance performance in the digital era and insights on the transformational elements of our insurance assignments.
Moreover, we are looking forward to presenting our view on new opportunities for enhanced claims performance, namely our view on the 10 key claims levers, in the dedicated claims stream of the event.
For everybody who is interested, we highly recommend completing our claims ‘diagnosis tool’ prior to the discussion.
Why should people come to Insurance 2025?
Insightful discussions with industry experts on the most important topic: the way forward for the insurance industry.
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