The insurance industry has always been slow to embrace change. Adapting to change will enable insurers to keep pace with their customers, who have already moved ahead and are increasingly comfortable buying policies online. The momentum towards digital transformation is now picking up speed. Insurers actively seek technologies that can deliver the most significant impact on their operations in the shortest possible time frame.
Intelligent automation is one such technology proving to be a valuable tool for insurers. By leveraging process mining, artificial intelligence, and other advanced digital technologies, intelligent automation enables insurers to streamline operations beyond eliminating repetitive tasks. The benefits of intelligent automation are numerous, including faster response times, reduced operational costs, and improved productivity.
What Intelligent Automation Means For Insurance
The insurance industry’s slow adoption of emerging technologies can be attributed to the highly unstructured nature of documents provided by the customers, underwriting/claims handling guidelines and strict state regulations. Insurance documents come from diverse data channels, including emails, phone calls, and more, often containing handwritten notes that require contextual understanding. Leveraging intelligent automation through the combined use of Robotic Process Automation with Artificial Intelligence technologies such as Machine Learning, Natural Language Processing, Optical Character Recognition, or computer vision, can help insurance companies overcome most challenges.
Insurance companies today face a significant contradiction — how should they balance their century-long histories and legacy systems while embracing next-gen technologies that offer new efficiencies, values, and capabilities. Despite the growing push for complete digital transformation, insurers face the same challenges, including manual labor within business processes, large amounts of unstructured and underutilized data, compliance, and security risks. This is where Intelligent Automation has emerged as the perfect-fit solution.
Intelligent automation anticipates the needs of users and customers while reducing human touch points and can take on many forms. In insurance, an intelligent capture and management platform helps with capturing and categorizing documents and relating these documents and content to each other. Intelligent automation now stands as a critical enabler for insurers to drive operational efficiency, advanced analytics, and improved customer experience.
Key Benefits Of Intelligent Automation
When talks revolve around intelligent automation in insurance, the first thought that strikes are that it involves replacing human workers with bots. However, the reality is quite different. Intelligent automation empowers insurance employees to focus on high-value tasks, leading to increased job satisfaction and an improved customer experience. Intelligent automation can generate significant changes for insurers. Some of the most important benefits are:
Intelligent automation, powered by machine learning, robotic process automation, and capture automation, automates manual tasks, and improves decision-making and productivity. This results in faster claims processing and payment approvals. Consider the underwriting process, which was previously manual and paper-intensive. It is now being transformed by business processing solutions. Insurers are also utilizing content services platforms with intelligence capabilities to automate age requirements, detect signatures, and perform essential compliance tasks.
By freeing employees from repetitive, manual tasks, insurance organizations create opportunities for them to focus on more meaningful work. This shift enables staff to direct their time and energy towards projects and initiatives that further the organization’s goals.
Enhanced security and fraud protection
Workflow and system integration tools automate how information flows through an organization, reducing the need for human touchpoints and increasing the security of sensitive information. With data for insurance coming in from multiple sources, the need for security and data scrutiny is very high. Fraud detection and protection to avert false claims, rely highly on intelligent automation. AI and ML technologies can scan a large amount of data in a short period of time and detect fraudulent claims in advance based on previous history or customer information.
Improved compliance and audits
Automating records and retention management reduces the risk of human error. Staff can monitor and locate sensitive information entering the system and apply the appropriate action to remain compliant. The number of regulations that insurers have to keep up with can be overwhelming, especially if done manually. Leveraging intelligent automation tools makes such processes as validating policies, creating defensible audit trails and generating regulatory reports more efficient and less prone to errors. An automated platform can help insurers stay compliant by aligning people, processes and technology.
Cost and time efficient
The claims management process for many insurers can be disrupted and delayed by paper documents and manual tasks, from claim submission to payment. However, a content services platform powered by intelligent automation can streamline the process by connecting each step, reducing the time and cost spent on repetitive work. The system captures and securely stores claim information in a centralized electronic repository, easily accessible on employees’ day-to-day platforms.
Due to changing market demands, insurance companies must operate faster, completing tasks that previously took years, in weeks or months. By incorporating intelligent automation, insurers can achieve these rates of operation, improving turnaround times, handling higher volumes of applications, and minimizing error rates that commonly occur with repetitive human tasks.
Insurers have started adopting automation tools in various aspects of their product cycles and quality engineering. However, most only implement them in isolated areas and do not consider automation as a foundational element that should permeate all business and technical processes. A more comprehensive approach to intelligent automation is needed, where different technologies such as AI, robotic process automation, and machine learning are combined to support the insurer’s complete digital transformation and core functions.
The challenge lies in recognizing the importance of digital transformation and selecting the right technologies to drive this change. While most insurers have succeeded in this, many need a clearer understanding of the key technologies to prioritize, and many still struggle with making decisions quickly.
A digitized insurance industry’s benefits are significant, including improved data analytics, cloudification, and intelligent automation. These tools can help insurers grow, become more resilient, and adapt to rapidly changing market demands. However, achieving these outcomes requires a sustainable transformation approach that connects various initiatives. It’s up to the insurance companies to take the lead in establishing this approach, moving quickly, and leveraging the benefits that will shape the industry’s future.