5 technologies paving the way towards zero-back-office in insurance

5 technologies paving the way towards zero-back-office in insurance

At some point, it made perfect sense for insurers to maintain massive back-office departments. After all, having a lot of people on top of data and forms processing, commissions management, claims management, policy processing, and data processing meant that those tasks were completed as quickly as possible.

Manpower meant speed and as a result – efficiency.

This all changed rather quickly. The companies started to either outsource tasks that didn’t require skills or didn’t add a lot of value, or automate those tasks with the help of various technologies.

And these technologies truly became a game-changer in the industry. Now, the employees could focus on more fulfilling tasks, such as building relationships with customers, improving the quality of service, or improving overall efficiency in the organization.

But the battle to achieve zero-back-office in insurance is far from being won. Insurers still struggle with inefficiencies, broken workflows, complicated technologies and an overall lack of focus. 

Here are five technologies driving the move towards zero-back-office in insurance.

No-code platforms

No-code platforms empower employees without coding expertise or knowledge to create applications that can help them do their work more efficiently. There are many different brands of no-code platforms. The no-code movement started by empowering individuals and small teams with tools from web and application builders to integration tools (think Zapier).

But more recently, no-code development has shifted into the domain of enterprise IT. Multiple vendors have created tools to empower large organizations on their path towards digital transformation.

What is important to remember about no-code platforms is that they can exponentially improve time to market of new digital products, improve internal processes and help organizations achieve their zero-back-office goals.

OCR (Optical Character Recognition)

OCR technology has been with us for quite some time. Ultimately, what OCR does is translate text from the physical medium (printed documents, handwritten notes, manually filled forms) into a digital, machine-text format.

There are two types of OCR technologies: software-based and machine-based. We won’t go into too much detail here, but it suffices to say that both types have varying degrees of accuracy vs speed.

And despite much progress being made on honing the technology, high error rates with OCR still remain to be an issue. So, while an extremely useful tool for achieving zero-back-office, OCR alone won’t get you there.

RPA (Robotic Process Automation)

Simply put, RPA is a form of business process automation (BPA) technology based on metaphorical software robots (bots) or on artificial intelligence (AI) based digital workers.

It excels at repetitive, rule-based tasks at scale. And as we all know, there are plenty of these tasks in the insurer’s back office!

AI and Machine Learning

AI and Machine Learning are the brains behind most of the technologies listed above.  Machine learning algorithms empower software to automatically learn and improve from experience without being explicitly programmed. 

Machine learning relies on a constant stream of data to learn from, and the learning process usually takes quite a while. So, if the volume of data is small, machine learning technologies would not be able to function with a high level of accuracy.

Zero-back office relies on digital front-office

Zero-back office is a worthy goal. But it can only be achieved when manual, paperwork-based processes are completely digitized from the point of entry.

By taking manual data processing out of the mix altogether, insurers can achieve their zero-back-office goals quickly and at a fraction of the cost.

And that is where no-code tools come handy. By eliminating manual data and paper from the get-go and transitioning towards digital journeys for customer data and signature collection, insurers can streamline their processes and improve organizational efficiency in no time.