Improving the Claims Management Process

Integrating intelligent maps

As the single largest expense for P&C carriers, the claims management process is a focal point in driving improved customer satisfaction and increased underwriting profits. In fact, a recent study by Deloitte shows that a single percentage point improvement in claims costs could return significant savings for insurers.

If this is true, then what can be done to improve costs? The answer: build a workflow based on intelligent maps.

Think about the process of managing the response to a catastrophic weather event. Animated weather maps track the storm’s path and intensity only. Once the storm makes landfall the information about the impact and severity may be available, but there is no way to accurately gauge the true area or understand the extent of the damage that has occurred.

Today, responding to customers who have had a loss is dependent on receiving their calls. Adjuster assignments are scheduled based on the order a call is received instead of the more efficient manner of proximity to the location of the adjuster’s last visit. This lag in action can add time to the process. The additional time often times drives higher costs and can increase customer dissatisfaction.

Insurers who have built their claims management workflow on intelligent maps are achieving significantly better results. Real-time event tracking and geocoded customer points, integrated on a map using GIS, simplify and improve the accurate identification of customers in the impact area. Customer information that is stored in the map is used before the event to make reverse 911 calls, plan triage support, and calculate maximum potential loss in real-time. Intelligent maps both in the office and on an adjuster’s mobile device efficiently route customer visits. Mobile maps also give adjusters access to location information, such as “before” photos that improve their effectiveness at the loss site. Maps embedded in dashboards in the back office provide easy to use tools the leadership team needs to effectively staff, manage performance and identify potential fraud. The integration of intelligent maps in the claims process holds the key achieving a percentage point improvement in claims costs or more.

Will using GIS and intelligent maps provide what claims organizations need to make significant improvements in claims costs?

Mark McCoy

About Mark McCoy

Mark McCoy is the insurance industry manager at Esri. He has more than 20 years of experience with a leading insurer in the United States and he understands the complex challenges facing today's insurance companies.
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7 Comments

  1. Bhavit Desai says:

    GIS is essential to the planning and response related to a catastrophic event. It helps Insurance organizations with understanding the potential loss prior to the event, planning for the appropriate response of claims adjusters, empowering adjusters with the appropriate information on their mobile devices, as well as providing customers with insights into the Insurance providers response. Ultimately this results in a quicker response and better customer service.

  2. Joel Almagro says:

    I am looking for an efficient way to geocode my insurance exposures so I can more precisely identify the possible locations or accounts affected by a catastrophe like a typhoon or earthquake. Anybody in this group has any suggestion? Thank you!

  3. I have been a P&C claims adjuster in a unique company dealing exclusively in recreational boat insurance for about 8 months. I took the position after graduating with my GIS/Geography Degree, a so perhaps I look at this from question from both perspectives. GIS and intelligent maps can and will be useful tools in adjusting claims. It can lead to cost cutting measures that will reduce the amount of time it takes to settle a claim. Not only can GIS assist in efficiently placing adjusters in highly effected areas in faster response times and putting real time data into their hands. If used proactively it can help deliver valuable information to insureds in order to allow better preparation for a catastrophe and minimize claim related damage. As GIS is a relatively new technology in the insurance industry, the initial cost in investing in quality GIS programs is a problem. Often enough those key players in the industry making the decisions on what IT investments an organizations is to make next, aren’t aware of what GIS is and what it can deliver.

  4. Gary Johnson says:

    I look at the insurers’ lifecycle for a major natural event starting even before the storm arrives. For example, with a hail storm, being able to predict the policyholders who might be affected and warning them in advance can reduce the potential losses through people garaging their cars. Having a geocoded policy portfolio allows the insurer to very quickly overlay the predicted path of a storm or flood and identify potentially affected properties or vehicles.

    Perhaps most importantly in the Australian context, the flooding in Queensland and Victoria in early 2011 demonstrated the need for the public to be educated about their natural disaster risk so that they could make the most appropriate insurance decisions to protect their families. Using GIS allows the insurance industry to work together with the community and local government to ensure the risks are properly understood.

  5. Ind Ganti says:

    Yes, I agree with this. In the P&C world, the insurers are beginning to invest in best-in-class claims systems. And, I think as a technical community we have the responsibility to bring a pro-active claims management workflow rather than a reactive one.
    And GIS mapping should be the central piece that ties all these together.

    Claims Adjusters should be having an interface, just like how we watch sports, weather, traffic and more.. , to have enough information to make knowledgeable decisions before, during and after the event.

    This is the promise an insurance company gives it to its customers.. ‘We are there, always, helping you’.

  6. Mark McCoy Mark McCoy says:

    Thank you for your comment. We agree and take very seriously our collective responsibility for developing and deploying technology that enables a proactive claims workflow for the P&C industry, or as you have eloquently put it,supports delivering on the promise to customers.

    Our aim is to make intelligent maps available in whatever environment needed to support informed decisions for the claims workforce. This includes workers connected to their system via a local connection or on a mobile device.

    We invite you to continue this dialogue with cohorts and other community members here on Spatial Roundtable. It is our idea that through community, we will significantly advance opportunities to influence and improve the benefit that intelligent maps can have for claims and other functions important to the insurance customer/ policy lifecycle. Thanks again!

  7. perryn56 says:

    I like the idea of intelligent-map based workflow for P&C insurance companies presented in the post. It makes a lot of sense. It also puts carriers in a proactive rather than reactive position, which is always better.An efficient claims management system is necessary not just to control costs, but also to improve operational efficiency and enhance customer experience. To that end, I found MajescoMastek’s P&C claims management solution quite comprehensive. It’s a workflow-driven solution aimed at streamlining and speeding up the claims process. Check it out on their website now!