Effective Ways to Drive Value for Policyholders

Posted on

April 20th, 2021


COVID-19 has long-reaching effects for many policyholders. While they may know their immediate pandemic-related concerns, insureds aren’t always aware of the smaller hazards that can affect their personal property. Insurance providers can seize this opportunity to drive value for their customers during these challenging times.

Insurance companies can use the following methods to deliver superior service to their customers:

Communicate more often. Customer confusion is high as they begin to question if their existing coverage meets their shifting needs. They may also have concerns about making payments if the pandemic impeded their ability to work. Increasing communication to address these concerns can ease the customers’ tensions. For example, insurance providers can update customers on new billing options, flexible payments, or changes to payment plans.

Be prepared for more claims. Customers that own rental properties may not realize it, but they’re likely to see more claims as the pandemic continues. Many people are working from home and leaving the house less. As a result, tenants are causing more wear and tear than usual. Insurers can give their customers simple tips to avoid some common pitfalls. Some examples include switching out old batteries in smoke detectors or making sure appliances are in good working order (i.e., replacing washing machine hoses to avoid water damage).

Take steps to prevent insurance fraud. Insurance companies often experience more instances of fraud during times of economic hardship. However, the financial fall out of fraud affects insurance providers and customers alike. Those losses often translate into higher premiums for customers. As a result, many insurers are turning to artificial intelligence to flag potentially fraudulent files for additional review.

Focus on digital innovation. Customers’ preference for technology isn’t a new trend, but COVID-19 has created more urgency than ever to provide digital services. Insurance providers should center their innovative efforts on digitizing services and solutions. Conducting business online allows customers to remain socially distanced while receiving the services most important to them. For example, providing additional channels of communication such as chat and text allows customers to find answers to their questions quickly without waiting on hold or for an email response.

COVID-19 has created uncertainty and confusion for many customers. Insurance providers can help alleviate those concerns and drive value by providing support where customers need it most. Contact the experts at Actec to learn more about improving the customer experience.

5 Ways Text Communication Improves Insurance Claims

Posted on

November 9th, 2020


Insurance providers know that first notice of loss (FNOL) plays a critical role in customer satisfaction for the duration of any given claim. However, any bottlenecks or frustrations can tank customer loyalty. Retaining existing customers costs much less than trying to secure new ones, so it behooves insurance providers to keep their existing client base happy. One of the easiest methods to achieve this is to enable text communication between claim adjusters and customers.

Claim adjusters can harness the usefulness of texting in the following ways:

  1. Reduce error-related delays. Insureds aren’t well-versed in insurance documentation. The effort involved is often cumbersome and frustrating. Their irritation intensifies over denials related to small clerical errors. Text message communication allows insurance adjusters to review documents and help customers make any necessary corrections before submitting the paperwork.
  2. Simplify sharing photos and videos. Following a loss, having a picture or video of the damage helps adjusters get a jumpstart on the claim. However, many images and video files are too large to attach to emails. Many insurers allow their customers to upload files via a mobile app, but this isn’t helpful if the insured doesn’t already have the app on their phone. Waiting for an app to download, creating a login, and figuring out where to upload photos will annoy the customer when texting is so much faster and easier.
  3. Eliminate lengthy voicemails and missed calls. Customers don’t like listening to long-winded voicemails, and many don’t check their inbox at all. According to a report by Adobe, email communication fares better with an open rate of 20-30%. However, text message communication blows both out of the water with a whopping 98% open rate. Texting often yields faster communication as well, as most people open texts within three seconds of receiving them.
  4. Enhanced accessibility. Most customers have a smartphone and know how to text with ease. This isn’t always the case when it comes to navigating a mobile app or attaching documents to an email. Texting is also beneficial for customers with hearing loss. Texting gives adjusters access to almost every customer, which allows them to deliver superior service.
  5. Streamline commonly asked questions. Insureds aren’t always familiar with their coverage, and the claims process can leave them with more questions than answers. Calling their insurance company, navigating a phone tree, and sitting on hold to get an answer for a basic question provides a subpar experience. Text communication allows customer support agents to field these questions while also producing a written record of the exchange. This frees up insurance adjusters’ time so they can focus on claim-related issues.

Text message communication provides benefits for both the customer and the insurance adjuster. It improves workflow while delivering superior customer support. Contact the experts at Actec to learn how text communication can improve FNOL and claims management for your insurance company.

4 Ways Chat Support Builds Trust in the Insurance Sector

Posted on

August 10th, 2020


Today’s customers have a significantly different approach to purchasing insurance than customers a decade ago did. They’re more likely to shop around online and they expect superior customer service and products. They also place a premium on transparency, which has forced many insurance carriers to overhaul their processes to remain competitive.

One of the simplest methods insurance providers can take to build a positive rapport with their customers is to implement chat support. Having the ability to receive customer support through text or chat programs can provide the following benefits:

  1. Provide faster solutions. Customers who need help understanding their policy or a claim don’t have the patience to navigate a confusing website or phone tree. They need to find the answers to their questions quickly to gain peace of mind or resolve an unpleasant situation. Having access to chat support can provide timely information and superior service.
  2. Improves transparency. Many phone trees inform customers that the insurance provider records calls to improve customer service. However, it’s not often clear how those calls help the customer, particularly if they have to repeat themselves every time they call in about a claim. With a chat service, the insurance provider has a text log of the conversation. Providing customers with this exchange via email or their customer portal enhances transparency efforts and improves trust.
  3. Decreases average handling time. Chat support programs often allow customers and insurance representatives to upload images or screen share. This cuts down on confusion and can allow chat support to resolve a customer’s questions faster as visual aids are usually easier to understand than verbal instructions.
  4. Suggest relevant or complementary products. The average customer has a basic understanding of their insurance needs, but they may not be aware of risks and coverage gaps in their existing policies. Having chat support can allow insurance representatives to suggest different policies or additional coverage options based on the customer’s existing products and questions. For example, a customer may inquire if their renters’ policy covers jewelry loss due to a covered peril. While many policies do offer coverage for jewelry, it often caps at a certain dollar value. As a result, many insurance companies offer separate policies for valuable property such as engagement rings. These policies are usually inexpensive and providing customers with information can help them make informed decisions regarding their insurance.

Chat support is a rapid, effective means to assist customers as well as build better relationships with them. Contact the experts at Actec to learn more about implementing chat support.

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.

Claim Reporting and Claim Management: Streamlining the Process

Posted on

August 3rd, 2019


shutterstock_138016598 - CopyImproving claims management efficiency is a multi-pronged effort. It isn’t enough to streamline processes or hire the best people. Insurers also need to upgrade their technology and enhance communication efforts. By making the necessary changes, efficient insurance providers can gain an edge on the competition. Clients value swift claims resolutions with few hiccups. By processing claims swiftly and accurately, insurers can improve customer satisfaction, increase revenue, and lower costs.

Start with the People

Insurance agents are the first people customers will interact with during a claim. Finding the best candidate relies on several factors. These include:

  • At the very least, employees should have stellar qualifications. Unqualified employees can cause delays and make expensive errors.
  • Employees need to have the right attitude to manage claims and interact with customers. When a customer calls in to report an incident or to get an update on an open claim, they are likely to be in an emotional state. Employees need to be able to interact with customers in a pleasant, calming, and professional way.

Implement Good Processes and Technology

Establishing a solid claims process can help eliminate redundancy and unnecessary steps. The following is an example of a good workflow:

  • Create the claim
  • Verify the claim
  • Request corrections if necessary; verify again
  • Provide an expert review
  • Based on the review, reject and close the claim or resolve the claim
  • If the claim is to go to resolution, seek final approval from superiors
  • Close the claim

Insurers that implement a solid claims management process can then focus on improving the technology side of the claim. They can automate certain processes to streamline the entire experience. Today’s customers expect a certain level of speed and care that outdated legacy systems cannot provide.

Communication Is Key

Many customers report dissatisfaction with their experience because the claim took much longer than expected to resolve. While insurance providers cannot speed up certain processes, they can manage customers’ expectations. By utilizing effective communication, insurance agents can keep customers abreast of where the claim is in the process and how long it will take to reach a resolution.
If your insurance company is struggling with inefficient claims processes, Actec can help. Our Full-Cycle Claim and Incident Reporting Solutions provide improvements to first notice of loss (FNOL) and claims management. To learn more, contact us today.

Tips to Improve the Claims Process and Retain Customers

Posted on

June 13th, 2019


smart devicesWhile gaining new customers is vital to an insurance company’s success, retaining existing customers is more so. This is because it costs significantly more money to acquire a new customer than it does to retain one. If an insurer is experiencing a high volume of customer turnover, they may need to examine their claims process. The claim cycle is a vital part of the customer’s experience. By streamlining how customers file claims, insurers can improve customer satisfaction and retention.

Meet Customer Communication Expectations

Today’s customers want technological solutions to their insurance needs. This means an insurance company should offer communications through several channels including a website, a mobile app, and traditional methods of communication (e-mail, print, etc.). To remain competitive, insurers need to upgrade their system to allow customers to complete a variety of tasks from their phones or tablets. Some examples include:

  • First notice of loss (FNOL)
  • Updating policy information
  • Requesting information about new or existing policies
  • Communicating about open claims

Customers want a variety of electronic communication options. Insurance companies that fail to meet these expectations will lose their customers to more technologically advanced competitors.

Prompt and Accurate Claims Processing

Customers dislike complicated or lengthy claims processes. Improving communications and minimizing the amount of back and forth required to close a claim go a long way toward improving customer satisfaction. For example, if an insurance agent provides the wrong information or requests information from the customer several times, that customer will be unhappy with his or her experience. If this occurs every time the customer tries to make a claim, they will eventually find a new insurance provider.
Implementing an effective claims processing system can help insurance companies address any issues with how they resolve claims. Actec’s Full-Cycle Claim and Incident Reporting Solutions allows insurers to customize their entire claims process including FNOL intake, managing client and customer-specific questions and scripts, and much more. To learn more about improving how your company manages claims, contact us today.

4 Soft Skills Insurance Representatives Need to Succeed

Posted on

February 18th, 2019


Insurance customer service representatives have to familiarize themselves with the entire claim cycle from first notice of loss to claims resolution. However, knowing the ins and outs of the industry doesn’t mean an agent will automatically do well at his or her job. Insurance representatives need to possess a number of soft skills to succeed. Some of the more desirable soft skills include:

  1. Internal communication and teamwork. Representatives need to be able to communicate effectively with internal staff as well including coworkers and management. This allows them to express needs or challenges that are preventing customers from receiving the best possible care. In addition, good communication skills means being a good listener as well to fully understand the customers’ needs. Similarly, teamwork is vital for successful customer service. When representatives work together, they can find creative solutions for common problems as well as develop strategies that play to each other’s strengths.
  2. Conflict resolution. Customers approach insurance representatives with a multitude of problems. Many situations require creative solutions so insurance representatives need to be able to think outside of the box to solve their issues. If representatives are unable to provide a workable solution, they need to let the customer know they will reach out to management and get back to them.
  3. Efficient empathy. Customers calling in with a problem aren’t looking to hear similar stories. Trying to associate with customers by sharing a personal related anecdote is unnecessary and takes up valuable time. Representatives should be empathetic, but a simple “I know how you feel” will suffice.
  4. Remaining calm. Customers usually call their insurance provider when they need to make a claim. This means they are likely upset and will require delicate handling. Representatives need to remember the customer isn’t angry with them personally. Staying positive and optimistic can help the customer calm down and bring about a better experience for both parties.

No amount of skill can overcome a limited claims management system. If your claims processing is slow or irritating customers, Actec can help. Contact us to learn how we can help transform your claims handling processes.

What Trends Will Disrupt the Insurance Industry in 2019?

Posted on

January 28th, 2019


Last year, the insurance industry grappled with promises to support innovative technology such as artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning, and cloud services. As 2019 kicks into gear, many within the industry are wondering what to expect in the coming year.

If the past is anything to go by, technological demands will increase, fostering greater competition among insurers. To stay ahead of the curve, industry insiders will need to prepare for the following trends:

  1. Enhanced public scrutiny of artificial intelligence. As the excitement over the capabilities of AI wanes, public scrutiny is expected to increase. The public and regulatory bodies will want to implement controls to ensure AI processes are free of discrimination, are transparent, and, above all, are secure. Insurance providers will bear the brunt of that responsibility.
  2. Smart apps. AI combined with machine learning has allowed insurers to improve the customer experience on their websites and other platforms. For example, insurance providers have experienced great success with chat bots to improve customer service efforts. As a result, many are leaning harder on machine learning for data collection and analysis to find new ways to improve the user experience in real time.
  3. Increased focus on privacy. Several major data breeches consumed headlines in 2018, enhancing the public’s focus on privacy security. As lawmakers look into defining the legalities of online privacy, insurers need to keep an eye on their apps. Many applications rely on location tracking software, a feature that is coming under scrutiny.

Technological advancements aren’t likely to slow down anytime soon. However, insurance providers will need to keep up with consumer demand for innovative technology in claim reporting and other interactions while balancing their privacy concerns. Contact Actec to learn how we can help your insurance company improve claim intake and first notice of loss without compromising data security.

5 Ways Insurance Agents Can Improve the Claims Experience

Posted on

November 19th, 2018


Insurance agents influence claims during every step of the claim cycle. This gives them the unique opportunity to ensure the customer is experiencing the best service possible during a challenging period in their life. When a customer calls to report a claim, they are likely stressed and in need of compassion. The following are several ways insurance agents can help customers navigate the claims process:

  1. Follow up throughout the entire claim. Even if there is no new information, customers want to hear about the progress of their claim. Many customers feel uncomfortable or like they’re being pushy if they call to ask for an update. They appreciate when insurance agents keep them in the loop, which improves customer loyalty and the claims experience.
  2. Be a point of contact. Insurance claims pass through several hands during the claims process. More than one adjuster may be involved, the claim may go through multiple insurance providers depending on the situation, and scheduling damage assessment on top of all of that can make a customer’s head spin. Let the customer know they can always reach out to you to find out where they are in the claim and what the next step to take is.
  3. Make sure they understand their coverage. Just because a customer purchased his or her insurance policy doesn’t mean he or she understands everything about it. Customers may have known the minutia of their policies when they first bought them, but they’re likely to forget over time. Insurance agents should explain their customers’ coverage in general terms until they have all the facts about the claim.
  4. Listen to complaints. It is near impossible to complete a claim without some sort of snag or delay. More often than not, frustrated clients just want a sympathetic ear and an apology. Most complaints don’t require more than that and can boost customer retention.
  5. Encourage prompt action. Claim delays are one of the biggest sources of frustration for customers. However, they are often the cause of the delay themselves. Pointing this out to them won’t earn any favors, but insurance adjusters can encourage them to respond to requests for documents as fast as possible. This can help keep the claim on track and improve their overall experience.

Most customers want and need someone to hold their hand through the claims process. Insurance agents who provide guidance and compassion can enhance the claims process, improve customer satisfaction, and boost customer retention. To learn more about improving the claims process, contact the experts at Actec.

Increase Customer Satisfaction After Receiving a Claim

Posted on

November 5th, 2018


First notice of loss (FNOL) represents the single greatest opportunity to establish a positive experience for customers filing insurance claims. However, while it’s the biggest, it’s not the only moment that can score customer satisfaction points. The following are several methods insurance representatives can use to improve the claims process following FNOL.

  1. Keep it simple. Many customers choose to report a loss over the phone, but there are a number of mobile options available to them. However, many of these mobile platforms lack clear instructions on what the insured needs to provide. This means a representative will have to call them and ask them to clarify everything they already provided. This causes the customer to feel harangued and irritated. By providing clear details on mobile apps and websites, insurance providers can ensure a smoother experience.
  2. Speed it up. Many claims stall during the evidence collection phase. Numerous insurers schedule and send out adjusters to assess the damage. Unfortunately, the resources needed to collect and assess the claim’s data are often lacking, causing delays. The more successful insurance providers are starting to rely more heavily on mobile apps to help them collect information to avoid these aggravation-inducing delays.
  3. Update often. Even if there is no change in a customer’s claim status, he or she wants to know about it. Leaving customers wondering where they are in the claims process is frustrating. This can be as simple as an automated email or as personal as a phone call.
  4. Rapid payouts. When an insurer settles a claim, the customer understandably wants their money as fast as possible. While many insurance companies still send check in the mail, some are beginning to offer direct deposit as a much quicker option.
  5. Follow up. Many insurance companies sever communications with customers once they close their claims. However, this wastes a valuable opportunity to get feedback from customers. Insurers can learn where the pain points are in their processes and identify ways to improve.

Considering that 20% of customers never complain and opt to find a new insurance company instead, it behooves insurers to make their claims process as easy and pleasant as possible. To learn more about improving the claims process, contact the experts at Actec.