ESF, Catastrophe, and After-Hours Reporting in FNOL

Posted on

June 1st, 2021


catastrophic fnolHandling events that are challenging to anticipate lives at the heart of first notice of loss. Our philosophy is that any and all customer requirements take absolute precedence. In this vein, a variety of services are pertinent when it comes to covering FNOL and Absence Management needs. Through our proprietary intake solution, we have fewer constraints than a software/ASP vendor, and can implement customizations quickly.

In addition to the various essential first notice services, we cover electronic state filing as well as call center support for catastrophic events and after-hours developments. Our custom solutions leverage a variety of features including:

  • Customer set-up profiles provide flexibility in customizing workflows, including personalized greetings, lines of business, custom questions and report types, policy, carrier and claim office assignments, distributions, etc.
  • FROI and state specific questions maintenance system
  • Catastrophic escalation identification and tracking
  • Robust distribution module
  • To learn more about what services best suit your organization and discuss implementation strategies, contact us.

    Artificial Intelligence Is Improving Claim Processing and FNOL

    Posted on

    May 17th, 2021


    fnol aiMovies and television depict artificial Intelligence (AI) in a variety of ways, most of them sensational. In real life, artificial intelligence is a little less thrilling and a little more practical. The implications and uses of AI can prove every bit as fascinating, but we’re not likely to see sentient machines conversing with us or trying to take over the world any time soon.
    Instead, these intelligent machines are automating tedious tasks and improving efficiency across all industries. For insurance companies, this means improving claim management and automating time-consuming claim and FNOL processes.

    AI and First Notice of Loss

    Insurers can expect AI to affect every aspect of the claims process from first notice of loss (FNOL) to resolving the claim. Improvements to FNOL are of particular importance as it has the greatest effect on client satisfaction. The claims process is cumbersome and unwieldy to a client not familiar with the process. AI can help insurance agents streamline and expedite claims for faster settlements and happier clients.

    How AI Improves Claims Efficiency

    Several administrative tasks within the claims process consume much of an insurance agent’s time. AI can take over these responsibilities, allowing agents to focus on investigating, appraising, and mediating the claim. For example, if a client wishes to review the history of their claim, an AI chatbot can assist them while the agent continues to work the claim. AI can also recognize common red flags for fraudulent claims or unnecessary repairs. An adjuster will need to make a final review, but it saves the time and expense associated with a human performing the legwork of these tasks.
    The primary benefit of AI is its ability to help insurers recruit and retain customers. It does so by improving claims proficiency and reducing labor expenses. If your insurance company is struggling to acquire or maintain its clients, Actec can help. To learn more about enhancing your claims process, contact us today.

    Elements of Effective Digital Claims Management and FNOL

    Posted on

    March 16th, 2021


    Insurance companies rely on key performance indicators (KPIs) to evaluate the effectiveness of their processes. Insurers can generate more value for the customer while reducing their expenses by focusing on the following foundational KPIs:

    • Customer experience
    • Claims efficiency
    • Claims accuracy

    The most direct means to boost these KPIs is by digitizing the claims process. Digital claims simplify the process for customers by allowing them to electronically initiate first notice of loss (FNOL), upload images, and receive updates about their claims. Digital processes are also more efficient than manual claims management, as they allow agents to process more claims in less time. Digital systems can identify errors and red flag potential problems as well, which helps avoid clerical delays.

    It can be challenging for insurance providers to make the leap as technology is constantly evolving. However, the most successful digital transformations share several elements:

    1. Digitizing claims prevention efforts. Insurance companies have a trove of data available to them to identify customer trends. By issuing data-based safety notifications, insurance companies can provide simple tips to help customers avoid a loss. For example, if the weather forecasts a winter storm, insurance providers can send automated texts to their customers with tips for driving during winter weather. Reminding drivers to slow down, put chains on their tires, or stay home unless it’s necessary to go out can help prevent claims.
    2. Digital FNOL. Customers expect fast and simple solutions to all their problems, but their urgency increases exponentially following a loss. Providing a digital, easy-to-use option for FNOL gives customers agency over their claim while expediting the process. Implementing text or chat FNOL services provides customers with another channel of communication. This service allows them to obtain answers to common questions about their claim, which eliminates confusion and anxiety.
    3. Automating claims management processes. Automating fraud detection, progress updates, and other administrative processes drastically improves claims efficiency. Digital software can identify the type of claim, route it to an appropriate agent, check it for fraud, and more within minutes compared to the lengthy process of checking it all by hand.
    4. Electronic appraisals and repairs. For simple claims, customers can submit details and pictures that allow appraisers to assess the damage or loss. Insurers already have a list of their preferred repair shops. Digitizing the process can identify which provider is closest to the customer. They can even schedule the appointment electronically, so the customer doesn’t have to do any heavy lifting during the claim cycle.
    5. Automatic settlements. One of the biggest pain points for customers is when a repair vendor is out of sync with their insurer. They may have to pay for the expense out of pocket and seek reimbursement from their insurance provider. However, the insurer may have already sent the payment to the vendor, which worsens the customer’s confusion and frustration as they try to get their money back. Automating the process eliminates this bottleneck. Insurers can automate several types of settlements, such as paying for a repair service, replacing the damaged item, or offering a cash settlement.

    Digitizing claims processes can generate value by boosting KPI performance. While every step of the claim should be custom-centric, FNOL is the single greatest opportunity insurers have to secure customer satisfaction. Contact the experts at Actec to learn how text and chat FNOL services can improve claims management.

    Reducing Claim Adjuster Stress to Improve Productivity and Customer Satisfaction

    Posted on

    January 28th, 2021


    shutterstock_174875483Claims adjusters deal with the brunt of the customer’s ire during the claims process. While the hope is for a smooth claim and rapid resolution, this is not always possible. When dealing with multiple parties, adjusters are at the mercy of the client and any third parties. They cannot move forward with a claim until all involved individuals submit the necessary information. Unfortunately, this can result in angry clients as well as stressed out adjusters. Adjusters do not often receive the recognition they deserve. Not only do they help resolve claims, they also detect fraud, find ways to reduce claim costs, and more.

    Make the Work Meaningful

    Nobody wants to perform a job that has no perceived impact, and claims adjusters are no exception. They want to perform tasks that engage their minds and provide tangible results. Some examples include improving claim efficiency or helping individuals affected by a claim. If an adjuster spends most of his or her day stamping and filing paperwork, they are unlikely to feel fulfilled by their work. Insurers that treat their adjusters like problem solvers instead of paper pushers will see improvements in claims costs, fraud detection, and customer service.

    Promoting Work-Life Balance

    Many employers interpret the term work-life balance as a means for employees to goof off instead of buckling down and completing their work. However, that is a callous view of workplace morale. Adjusters can burn out if they do not mind their work-life balance. When this happens, their work and productivity suffer. Insurance providers need to make certain that their adjusters are getting adequate rest and downtime. Otherwise, they may begin making costly mistakes. Technology can help by taking on the most tedious jobs and allowing adjusters to focus on their most meaningful tasks. This is especially important in an increasingly remote workforce where it can prove difficult to separate personal and professional time.

    Create and Support a Strong Workforce

    Many insurance professionals have recently retired or will so do so. Insurance companies need to retain their current workforce in order to train the next generation of adjusters. In their final years of employment, adjusters will want predictable schedules and value-driven tasks. However, not just seasoned workers want a good work-life balance. Millennials also value work-life balance in addition to meaningful work. If insurance providers don’t address what rising and existing adjusters want from their job, they will struggle more than their competition to attract and retain talent.

    Skilled adjusters are vital to an efficient claims management cycle. If your company is grappling with inefficiencies and angry customers, Actec can help. Our full cycle claim and incident reporting solutions can improve the claims process from first notice of loss (FNOL) to claims resolution. Contact us to learn more.

    4 Ways to Improve Call Center Communication

    Posted on

    October 26th, 2020


    Investing in a call center can save companies hours of time while boosting productivity. However, how businesses communicate with their call centers will determine the effectiveness of this service. Business leaders should use the following strategies to reduce miscommunications with call center employees:

    1. Look for communication breakdowns or miscommunication bottlenecks. According to the Harvard Business Review, more than half of employees indicate the directions they receive at work are unclear or too vague. If half of the call center employees aren’t sure what their employer wants from them or what the business’ top priorities are, they may struggle to provide high-quality service.
    2. Keep emails to a minimum. Employees waste hours of their day clearing out their inbox of unnecessary emails. Most employees report that excessive emails take up too much time and affect their ability to focus on their top priority tasks. It’s also possible for important emails to get lost among the dozens of other emails vying for employees’ attention. Seeing a massive list of unread emails can tank employee motivation and morale as well. While email communication is sometimes necessary, businesses should limit the overall number of emails they send to employees.
    3. Encourage open communication within teams. Many businesses have a hierarchy of responsibility, which can make call center employees feel incapable of speaking up to their team leaders when they notice an issue. Cultivating an environment where employees feel comfortable with two-way communication within their team can identify problems, improve morale, and foster innovative ideas.
    4. Schedule team-building exercises. Creating a sense of community within the workplace is more challenging than ever in a COVID-19 environment. With so many people working from home with limited opportunities for socializing, call center employees can rapidly feel disconnected from their team. Businesses should consider virtual or outdoor team building activities that can comply with social distancing recommendations to keep up team spirit. These exercises can also help combat feelings of loneliness and isolation.

    Improving communication has a direct effect on productivity, employee engagement, and workplace morale. Contact the experts at Actec to learn how our nearshore call centers can help your business.

    Artificial Intelligence Improves Customer Satisfaction

    Posted on

    May 25th, 2020


    As technology improved over the past several years, the concept of filing insurance claims online shifted from a bonus to an expectation. Customers want to be able to initiate a claim from wherever they happen to be with whatever device is at their disposal. While many insurance providers kept pace with this demand by offering client portals and online apps, customer expectations have shifted yet again.

    Insureds now require seamless communication with their carrier as well as services personalized to their lifestyles and needs. They also place a premium on rapid claims resolutions and settlements. Thanks to advances in artificial technology (AI) and machine learning, these goals are much easier to achieve.

    AI can improve customer satisfaction in the following ways:

    1. Create insurance options in line with needs. AI’s single most powerful capability is gathering data and parsing it for commonalities, red flags, trends, etc. Harnessing data from the natural workflow of the insurance industry can provide insights on customer preferences based on their habits as well as their stage in life (i.e. homeowners, growing families, travel-oriented customers, etc.). AI can even determine the best time and method to offer these products as some consumers may prefer email communication while others would rather communicate via text message.
    2. Improve communication regarding purchased products. AI can provide basic customer service as chatbots either online or over the phone. Many customers have routine questions regarding their coverage that the bot can answer quickly to free up insurance representatives’ time as well as reduce wait times for customers. These bots can also often provide basic counseling regarding existing products and potentially offer recommendations for additional products that may meet the customer’s needs better.
    3. Reduce fraud. Insurance fraud doesn’t just cost carriers money in misrepresented claims and settlements. Those claims also take up valuable time and drive up the costs of insurance for other customers as well. By utilizing AI during insurance claims, the technology can recognize voice patterns that indicate deception and flag the case for further review. AI can also analyze data and identify trends that are typical of fraudulent claims and flag those files as well.
    4. Settle claims faster. Most insurance claims require a lot of documentation, some of which many insurers still perform by hand. By digitizing typical forms and paperwork, AI can eliminate the manual filing of forms and documents. This allows insurance agents to close more claims in less time.

    By harnessing the power of data, insurance companies can enhance their workflow, boost efficiency, and improve customer satisfaction. To learn more about claim and document management technology, contact the experts at Actec.

    First Notice of Loss: Reducing Claim Severity

    Posted on

    May 11th, 2020



    First Notice of Loss (FNOL) is the single greatest opportunity an insurance provider has to establish good

    customer satisfaction. If the FNOL process is clunky, stressful, or in any way frustrating when the insured is already in an agitated state, it’s very difficult to regain their confidence. However, much of the problem lies with when an insured initiates FNOL. Few opt to report a loss at the scene of an accident often because the accident rattled them or they aren’t sure who’s at fault.

    Capturing On-the-Scene FNOL Data

    When an insured begins FNOL from the scene of the loss, it allows the insurance provider to take immediate steps to begin the repair process. They can dispatch a tow truck and coordinate a direct delivery to a repair facility. This reduces the overall time it takes to close the claim as well as reduces expenses related to retrieving inoperable vehicles on the insured’s behalf.

    Of course, this is reliant upon the insured initiating FNOL immediately after an accident. While insurance carriers can’t control the insured’s behavior, they can utilize FNOL automation technology and vehicle telematics from in-vehicle sensors to detect that an accident occurred before the insured places the call to their insurance provider. Whether through on-board diagnostic devices, data from connected vehicles, or relying on smartphone sensors, insurance carriers have a number of options for detecting accidents and getting ahead of a claim.

    Reducing Fraud During FNOL

    Telematics can be particularly helpful as the data can provide details the insured may not remember following an accident such as the exact time and location of the crash. Having these details within the hour of a loss is also an effective means of reducing fraud. Details can become sketchy or incomplete the longer an insured waits to report an accident and telematics eliminates several areas of ambiguity.

    FNOL is a critical moment during any claim for both the insured and their provider. When managed swiftly and efficiently, insurance providers can reduce claim costs while improving customer satisfaction and loyalty. To learn more about improving claim intake and management, contact the experts at Actec.

    4 Things Insurance Companies Struggle to Do Well

    Posted on

    March 23rd, 2020


    Insurance is one of those expenses that seem burdensome up until the policyholder needs to make a claim. Whether the individual is in a car accident, experiences a loss due to flood damage, or any other covered incident, insurance becomes indispensable. However, there are many pain points for customers when it comes to their insurance providers. If insurers don’t take steps to rectify these issues, they may find their customers leaving in search of better insurance options.

    The biggest areas where many insurance providers fall short include:

    1. Meeting young clients’ expectations. Millennials are more likely than other generations to shop around for a new insurance provider following a dissatisfying interaction. They expect emails or text updates about the status of their claims. They also expect to be able to access their claim information from the convenience of their phone on an app.
    2. Explaining insurance rates breakdown. Several factors affect insurance premiums. Insurance providers consider the type of car the customer drives as well as his or her age, gender, marital status, credit history, miles driven per year, and zip code before offering a rate. However, most insurers don’t explain how much weight they give to each category and this can make it difficult for insured customers to understand their premium or how to reduce it.
    3. Explaining coverage. Insurance providers know the terms of their policies inside and out. However, many insurance representatives struggle to present insurance products and packages in a way that is easy to digest for the average customer. Insurance jargon can confuse or mislead customers regarding their coverage.
    4. Processing claims correctly the first time around. Insurance companies want to resolve claims quickly just as much as the customer does, but several issues can trip them up in the process. Health insurance companies are notorious for claims processing errors. While claims processing has improved over the past decade, there are still a significant amount of denials. This leaves customers frustrated and drags out the settlement process.

    The competition among insurance providers is fierce, as millennials have shown they have no qualms switching companies. One sour claim experience can result in the loss of a customer as well as any potential referrals that customer may have provided. To learn more about improving claim management, contact the experts at Actec.

    How to Harness FNOL to Improve Customer Satisfaction

    Posted on

    February 24th, 2020


    It costs insurance providers a lot more money to obtain new customers than it does to retain existing ones. That’s why improving customer satisfaction is an ongoing process for most insurance companies. However, customers aren’t going to care about great rates if their experience filing a claim is a disastrous one. When the claims process is more arduous than the event that triggered the claim in the first place, insurance providers will quickly discover they have a retention problem on their hands.

    Whether a policyholder is calling to report the damage to their home, their vehicle, or some other covered item, first notice of loss (FNOL) represents the single greatest opportunity to influence customer satisfaction. Insurers that manage the stress of the claim right from the start can help customers feel at ease. Any claim that has a rocky start is unlikely to improve in the eyes of the customer so insurance providers need to make FNOL count.

    How to Help Put Customers at Ease During FNOL

    Customers filing a claim are likely to be in a turbulent frame of mind. Insurance representatives can help put customers at ease in the following ways:

    • Be empathetic to the customer’s situation
    • Answer all questions that customer may have
    • Provide a clear picture of the claims process
    • Be direct in how long the claim should take from FNOL to settlement
    • Provide information on the next steps to simplify the claims process for the customer

    If an insurance company fails to put a customer’s mind at ease about the outcome of the claim, they’re unlikely to secure that customer’s loyalty.

    One of the most challenging aspects is getting a handle on empathy. It’s easy to offer condolences following FNOL, but that does nothing to ease the situation for the customer. Reacting to the reality of poor customer satisfaction following claims, many insurers are overhauling their approach to FNOL. Some examples include helping arrange estimates or coordinating with contractors on the insured’s behalf.

    Building loyalty is challenging in the insurance industry and FNOL is the key to getting started. Helping the insured customer feel secure throughout the claim process starts when they first report the loss. To learn more about improving your claims process, contact the experts at Actec.

    4 Most Common Pain Points of Insurance Claims

    Posted on

    February 10th, 2020


    Payers and providers are often at odds when it comes to filing insurance claims. While payers want clean claims free of errors, providers want prompt payment. These aren’t always adversarial goals, but frustrations and errors can happen if a payer or provider is hasty while processing a claim. Errors can take a while to fix which costs both parties in resources and time as they rework the claim.

    Of all the challenges providers have to navigate while processing claims, the following are the most headache inducing:

    1. No or slow information from the payer. Following any service, providers code the claim and submit it to their payer. However, waiting for an update can be a long process that leaves many providers wondering when or if they’ll receive payment. As a result, many providers follow up frequently, which takes up valuable time.
    2. Claim denials. While a denial at least lets providers know where they stand in the claims process, it’s not the update they were hoping to receive. The denial process is often murky as payers aren’t always clear on the reason why they denied the claim.
    3. Vague feedback. Continuing with the above point, payers return claims unpaid for a variety of reasons, but they always include a code as to why. However, these codes can be vague and frustrating for providers such as claim/service lacks information. Without any specification as to what is missing, providers have to hunt and guess for the reason.
    4. Rules are different for every payer. Even if the services that providers offer never vary from person to person, the method of coding differs among payers. This makes it challenging to navigate the claims process as one payer may consider a submitted claim clean while another may reject that same claim. Compounding the problem, rules change often with little notice, which can muddle claims as well.

    Improving communication between payers and providers can help reduce rejected claims and expedite payment for services. However, submitting clean claims the first time around is also critical to saving time and reducing hassles. Implementing a full service claims management program can help achieve that goal. Contact the experts at Actec to learn more about improving claim management.