Illustration of a robot doing claims work while employees shake hands
Application Development

RPA Can Usher in a New Age for the Insurance Industry

Posted: April 10, 2018

In any organization, small tasks can snowball into major time sinks, and the insurance industry is no stranger to these kinds of wasteful administrative responsibilities. Insurance company employees tackle a wide range of monotonous, clerical jobs that take precious time away from more impactful responsibilities.

Many insurance companies rely on a web of complicated - and sometimes outdated - systems and manual processes to manage business-critical workflows. A 2015 Deloitte survey revealed that 81 percent of insurance industry members viewed their companies’ work environments and business practices as either “complex” or “very complex.” Robotic process automation can shoulder many of these time-consuming workloads, streamlining operations, improving the customer experience and freeing up critical staff members for other projects.

RPA Increases Productivity, Efficiency

From claims registration to policy issuance, insurance company employees deal with a lot of tedious, manual clerical work every single day of the week. IT staff, in particular, tend to get bogged down in such tasks, preventing them from taking on more engaging and strategic work. A recent Workfront study revealed that 69 percent of knowledge workers believe that implementing more automation in daily workflows would provide them with more time to do their jobs.

Meanwhile, RPA can also reduce the number of errors that crop up during menial tasks. Even the most experienced IT employee will make mistakes every now and then. But RPA software doesn't get tired, overworked or distracted. It's able to carry out its jobs quickly, efficiently and consistently. Fewer processing errors means fewer fires to put out and a better overall customer experience.

Furthermore, insurance companies can save a great deal of money by offloading repetitive clerical tasks to RPA solutions. With RPA, fewer personnel are needed to carry out these duties, enabling organizations to cut back on their labor costs.

Applications for Insurance RPA

A good rule of thumb to follow when implementing RPA is to only use it when repeatable, rule-based processes are involved. That is, nothing that would require an actual person to make a judgment call. There are so many insurance workflows that fit that description, however, that it can be difficult to know where to begin.

Claims registration is a good launch pad for robotic processing automation in insurance, since it not only meets the stated criteria, but offers immediate and tangible ROI. According to Kellton Tech, RPA solutions can cut claims registration times in half - if not more. It's easy to get organizational buy-in right off the bat with those kinds of benefits.

Claims processing is another area where RPA can have an immediate impact. As Kofax Advisor explained, traditional claims processing workflows require companies to gather a huge amount of information from a number of sources, slowing down service and negatively affecting the customer experience.

RPA speeds things along considerably by automating tasks such as inputting the First Notice of Loss, assigning claims to insurance handlers and alerting loss adjusters. That's a lot of work to take off the plates of insurance company staff members.

Underwriting similarly requires a great deal of data collection, making it fertile ground for RPA experimentation as well.

There are any number of insurance industry processes that could be streamlined and improved with the help of RPA solutions. Introducing more automation will reduce processing times, minimize errors, improve the customer experience and provide employees with more time in the workday. The future of the insurance industry is here, and its name is robotic process automation.