How digital data intake is revolutionizing the insurance industry
Traditional data intake processes in the insurance industry are a massive drain on employees’ time, require tons of resources, and are prone to errors throughout the different stages, which include data collection, input, and sharing.
These dated approaches include paper forms, faxes, email attachments, fillable PDFs, insurance agents and contact service representatives having to manually fill out forms, as well as manual data entry into back-end systems.
In addition, insurance customers find these traditional processes to be frustrating, time-consuming, and stressful. According to McKinsey: “Customers want simple and fast digital interactions”.
But here’s the game-changer: Digital data intake.
By automating and digitizing data intake, insurance companies can streamline the entire data collection and entry process. This enables fast, accurate information gathering at a fraction of the cost, time, and human resources involved in the above traditional methods, while also meeting the needs of a new generation of customers.
The rise of digital data intake
According to Carey Geoglone, a Senior Analyst in Insurance Practice at the Aite-Novarica Group: “Every carrier’s main focus in 2023 and beyond is having a data-driven business and CX.”
The first step towards achieving this goal is digital data intake, which refers to the following processes:
- Data capture
- Data validation and processing
- Data storage
Over the past two decades, the insurance industry has moved towards digital methodologies. With the rise of the internet, insurance companies began offering online quotes and policy information. Then smartphones and social media brought with them the development of mobile apps and real-time customer support.
However, the digital transformation of insurance processes is easier said than done. Many operations remain manual for several reasons, including:
- The high cost (both money and time) of development
- Inability to scale effectively
- Siloed applications that aren’t integrated
As a result, many customers are still filling out paper or PDF forms, while insurance companies are still stuck processing and inputting data manually.
Key advantages of digital data intake in insurance
Digital data intake offers many advantages, especially when done using no-code platforms that enable self-service for insurers, making it possible to build and reuse digital processes and automated workflows.
Efficiency and speed
Digital data intake eliminates the need for manual collection, verification, and entry of customer information into back-end systems. Additionally, real-time syncing of data between all stakeholders has a ripple effect, speeding up dependent processes and making it easier to make fast decisions.
Accuracy and reduced errors
Digital data intake reduces the amount of errors that are inherent to manual data collection and data entry. The resulting improved accuracy then leads to more precise evaluations and better decision-making.
Enhanced customer experience
For many customers, completing PDF forms (or worse, manually filling in paper forms and scanning them) that may not even be relevant to them and their needs, is frustrating and time-consuming.
No-code digital platforms allow insurers to easily launch branded, multi-channel data intake processes. That means that customers can enter their information via different devices and channels using automated, personalized workflows.
Data security & compliance
Traditional data collection and entry methods tend to have multiple vulnerabilities in terms of data collection, transmission, and storage.
On the other hand, digital data intake, especially with no-code platforms, can help insurance companies comply with data protection regulations, such as GDPR, SOC 2, ISO 27001, PCI DSS, WCAG, and HIPAA.
The automated processes involved in digital data intake require far fewer manual hours, speed up data handling, improve staff productivity, and significantly cut operational costs.
Real-life implementations & case studies
Below are several noteworthy examples that illustrate the impact that digital data intake has had on insurance companies.
Partnering with Easysend, it took VGM & Associates only 3 months to digitize all their manual processes, including the claims process. In addition to slashing their operational costs by 30-50%, they were able to respond to customer claims way faster, accelerating their entire claims process.
Policy renewals and adjustments
Nürnberger is a large German insurance company that offers full coverage for customers, including private health insurance, property insurance, accident insurance, and car insurance.
When COVID-19 hit, they knew they needed to act fast to ensure they could meet their customers’ changing needs. Working with EasySend, Nürnberger launched a digital customer journey that allowed their customers to adjust their policies to fit their needs as well as their financial constraints due to the pandemic.
As a result, the company was able to retain many customers they would have otherwise lost, while actually increasing customer loyalty.
Risk assessment and underwriting
By implementing digital data intake, BTIS (Builders & Tradesmen's Insurance Services) created personalized digital processes that actually adjusted in real-time, based on the input of each insurance agent. In addition, Easysend’s analytics and reporting capabilities enabled BTIS to constantly optimize its risk-evaluation processes. The result was a massive increase in both form submissions and successful bindings.
Submissions to underwriting
Real Garant by Zurich transformed a cumbersome multiform process into a streamlined digital experience. By integrating their CRM and automating data collection via the use of digital forms, e-signatures, and instant verifications, Garant reduced the time it took to close contracts from three to six months down to one to two weeks - an increase in speed of over 800%!
Potential challenges & solutions
It’s important to note that, while the shift to digital data intake has many benefits, there are several challenges that insurance companies should take into account.
Data privacy concerns
Digital data storage, whether it’s stored in local company servers or in the cloud, can be breached.
One possible option is to invest in advanced encryption technologies and ensure compliance with data protection regulations. Another option is to work with a platform that already complies with these data regulations, and understands exactly how to ensure the full security and privacy of all collected and stored data at every point in the process.
Integration with legacy systems
Many insurance companies use legacy systems that aren’t easily integrated with digital solutions. This can make the digital transformation process long and expensive. One approach is to carefully perform integration step-by-step. Another is to work with a digital data intake platform that can easily plug into legacy systems.
Change management & training
One of the main reasons for the failure of digital transformation processes is a lack of internal buy-in. When new digital systems are introduced, it’s natural for employees to resist the changes that come with it. Training programs that clearly demonstrate the benefits of the new solution for all stakeholders are a great way to achieve fast internal adoption.
Digital data intake is first step to future-proofing
However crucial, the prospect of digital transformation can often seem daunting to many insurance companies.
That’s why digital data intake is a great place to start, starting with simpler tasks like automated workflows for data collection during customer onboarding. Once each step has been implemented and optimized, it’s possible to expand the scope into additional areas.
Get the latest
on going digital