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Impressive claims management and underwriting applications earn praise at this year’s Efma-Accenture Innovation in Insurance Awards.
Creative customer-engagement applications and clever distribution channels often attract the most attention when insurers discuss innovation in their industry. However, smart back-office improvements often deliver big benefits to carriers eager to boost revenues and grow profits.
This year’s Efma-Accenture Innovation in Insurance Awards highlighted some impressive applications of digital technology to enhance claims management and underwriting.
Bank Millennium of Poland topped the claims management category with its travel assistance application. The smartphone app, marketed under the mtu24.pl brand of Polish insurer Ergo Hestia, allows travelers to quickly and easily contact their insurer when they need help. By activating a “widget” on the app they can call Ergo Hestia, send an instant message to request a call to the insurer, check their travel policy or access frequently asked questions. The easy-to-use app allows customers to promptly buy travel insurance whenever they need it. What’s more, the application greatly simplifies claims management. Medical expenses, for example, can be refunded within 24 hours.
The runner-up in the claims management category was Nordea of Norway. The financial services group has greatly accelerated the payment of disability claims by applying a variety of artificial intelligence (AI) technologies to its claims management processes. It has cut the time it takes to settle some claims to several months to just a few days; demonstrating the power of intelligent automation to improve both customer service and processing efficiency.
Singapore insurer Etiqa was awarded third-place in the claims management category for the digitization of its travel-insurance claims process. Etiqa customers whose flights have been delayed no longer have to lodge their insurance claims. The electronic claims process implemented by Etiqa automatically informs policyholders of flight delays and keeps them informed about the status of resulting insurance claims. This digital approach, initially introduced in the US by Berkshire Hathaway, is fast becoming a new standard in travel insurance. Similar services have been rolled out recently by Allianz Partners, AXA Assistance and Europ Assistance.
In the underwriting category, Victor in the US came out tops. The company, formerly the Schinnerer Group, teamed up with insurance broker Marsh together with Allianz Risk Transfer and Nephila Capital to develop a property insurance solution that’s backed by alternative capital. Victor claims its Alternus offering is the first retail property insurance solution to be underwritten using alternative capital. It offers risk managers the opportunity to further diversify the capital that supports their insurance programs and can also reduce the cost of such guarantees.
South African financial services group Discovery was placed second in the underwriting category for its Managed Care Integrator life insurance product. The Managed Care Integrator incorporates bespoke underwriting for policyholders with chronic injuries or illnesses. It automatically adjusts premiums, according to a set of key metrics, to encourage policyholders to better manage their chronic condition. The offering further extends the reach and scale of Discovery’s Vitality program.
Manulife in Canada was third in the award’s underwriting category. Its Valuation System Transformation (VST) program has substantially improved the company’s actuarial valuation process. It uses Microsoft’s Azure cloud service, and has streamlined and optimized a previously complex legacy environment and established a robust, centralized valuation process that is available to actuaries throughout the organization.
I encourage you to browse the EFMA – Accenture Innovations in Insurance database to see some more impressive next-generation underwriting solutions. Many of them are using new data sources, big data, image recognition and AI to radically simplify the user underwriting experience while also improving underwriting precision.
For further information about the Efma-Accenture Innovation in Insurance Awards click onto the link below.