Client bases and services offerings in the insurance industry are expanding, causing markets around the world to swell. According to research completed by Munich Re1, global primary insurance premiums are expected to increase by $400 billion before 2020. Relevant players must identify the opportunities to expand with the industry, or risk losing competitive advantage.
In an industry defined by risk however, many companies are reluctant to make investments when market growth is potentially unstable. Embracing bold changes may provide short term advantage, while driving future vulnerability. Experts advise a tempered approach. Deloitte2 recommends insurance companies “maintain their growth momentum by continuing to focus on improving operational efficiency, boosting productivity, and lowering costs with new technology and talent transformations, while customizing products and services to meet the evolving demands of the emerging digital economy.” This advice vaguely points to a path which ensures bets are hedged, and on which companies do not spend unnecessarily in their effort to capitalize on a growth market. Profound advice. Practically, this recommendation falls flat with its vagueness. Clearly, companies should focus on improving their core processes by increasing efficiency and productivity. Obviously, the target is to lower operational costs and increase revenue. Unfortunately, identifying specific technology and digital opportunities which appropriately balance risk and reward can still be challenging.
Robotic Process Automation (RPA) has proven an invaluable asset, as companies endeavor to achieve sustainable growth. Evaluating opportunities for digital innovation within core processes can drastically alter company outlook, and enable growth objectives. Examples of automation success in insurance are countless. In a Nividous case study3, a young life insurance company identified a path to steady growth through utilization of Robotic Process Automation and Business Process Management to update antiquated processes. Partnering with Nividous enabled the company to full automate a total of 30 business processes, resulting in improved user interfaces, enhanced functionality, faster user acceptance, and reduced internal training time. Simply, RPA allows realization of Deloitte’s sage advice, enabling stable growth without excess investment, by driving operational efficiency.
Opportunities to utilize the technology are abundant. Common processes improved by RPA in the insurance sector include:
Employees utilize valuable time assembling data from multiple sources in preparation of claims paperwork. RPA enables immediate and automated processing of client documents, increasing availability of skilled labor, reducing paper processes, and eliminating challenges associated with decentralized data.
RPA enables automation of processes such as application submission, risk assessment/evaluation, quote generation, contract issuance and acceptance. This capability creates faster response rates, enhancing customer experience, and significantly lowers the risk of inaccuracies.
Security and privacy are key components in the insurance industry. Confidential customer data, and quality control are paramount. RPA provides continuous traceability, creating full transparency and flawless audit trails, enabling higher security.
In patterns of growth, client onboarding can result in a crippling backlog of paperwork. RPA can be utilized to automate the process of systematically filing supporting documents and images. This automation is capable of operating 24/7, reducing excessive wait times for potential clients, and enhancing visibility and client communication.
1 https://www.munichre.com/topics-online/en/economy/insurance-markets/outlook-2019-2020.html2 https://www2.deloitte.com/us/en/pages/financial-services/articles/insurance-industry-outlook.html3 https://nividous.com/case-studies/insurer-migrates-30-processes-achieve-business-process-improvement/