Mark Harrop Business Development Manager

Sep 02

Self-service claims handling has potential, but beware pale imitations

I was very interested to read recent comments from Axa’s Property and Lifestyle Claims Director, Martin Ashfield. Should Martin’s prediction that there will be more self-service claims in the future come true, we could see an exponential increase in the number of customers engaging with their insurer in this way.

That is only half the story. Insurers would need to quickly acquire the same level of e-fluency as their more digitally savvy customers, with mobile phone interaction a key element - given that over 50 per cent of access to the internet is via smartphone devices – and mobile web use is only going in one direction.

This is something Aquarium has already successfully implemented for our forward-thinking clients, with claims submitted via smartphone, with supporting image and invoice evidence attached. We also use business logic captured in the claims workflow, to decide in which scenarios claims can be effectively self-serviced.

Get self-service right and the benefits are huge. Customer satisfaction levels could soar. The usual caveats apply however; make sure it’s the right solution or it will be two steps forward and three back. Introducing the latest technology ‘just for the sake of it’ without due process is doomed to failure.  Self-service should only be offered where a customer wants it, rather than forcing what could be perceived as all the leg work onto them.

Taking a smart approach to this technology offers huge operational savings and reduced customer effort but data security, fraud prevention and identity protection must be factored into the thinking. Recent cases here and in the US have shown the perils of sites being hacked and client data compromised as a consequence. Less tech-savvy customers deal with the traditional paper and people method because that’s what they want, whereas those that want a fast response would do it themselves with self-service.

Yours faithfully

Mark Colonnese
Director, Aquarium Software