Leveraging technology to make manual data intake a thing of the past
Accurate data intake is essential for insurers to underwrite policies, assess risk, and determine pricing. Without precise and up-to-date information, insurers risk making costly mistakes that can have far-reaching consequences. However, many insurance companies still rely on manual data intake processes that are time-consuming, error-prone, and expensive.
This blog post explores how technology can help insurers overcome these challenges and streamline their data intake processes. We'll focus on no-code platforms, which allow insurers to build custom applications without writing a single line of code. By the end of this post, you'll understand how leveraging no-code platforms can enable insurers to quickly transform and digitize your manual data intake processes at a fraction of the cost.
The importance of accurate data intake in insurance
- In policy distribution, accurate data is necessary to understand the target market, identify trends, and optimize marketing strategies
- In underwriting, insurers need to collect a wide range of data to assess risk accurately, such as the applicant's health, lifestyle, occupation, and driving history
- Policy processing relies on data to manage policy renewals, policy changes, and billing
- Policy renewal requires accurate data intake to ensure that the policyholder's information is up-to-date and accurate, helping insurers to determine appropriate pricing and coverage options
- During the claims process, insurers need accurate data to properly assess the validity of the claim and determine the appropriate payout
- Customer service relies on accurate data to provide prompt and efficient assistance to policyholders
In addition, data integrity is also essential in terms of complying with data protection regulations such as the GDPR in Europe, as failure to do so can result in lawsuits and claims. Furthermore, accurate and organized data can help insurance carriers detect and combat fraudulent practices, which cost the industry billions of dollars each year.
Traditional methods of data intake
The traditional methods of data intake in the insurance industry typically involve manual data entry and paper-based forms. In fact, according to a report by Mckinsey, over 90% of claims have to be entered into the insurer’s systems manually by a claims handler.
Paper-based forms are filled out by the policyholder or agent and then manually typed into a digital system by an employee. This method is slow, error-prone, and can lead to inaccuracies if the employee makes typos or enters incorrect data during the transmission of information from paper to PC. In addition, this manual collection and entry of data require a significant amount of time and resources, especially for large volumes of data. Paper forms can also easily be lost or damaged, resulting in processing delays. All of these issues can have significant implications for all insurance workflows, including onboarding new customers, underwriting, claims processing, and customer service.
In addition, whenever there’s a change required to the data collection process, for example, due to new compliance regulations, the effort required to update paper forms is extremely resource-heavy and costly.
Overall, these limitations make it clear that traditional methods of data intake aren’t an ideal solution for insurers looking to streamline their data intake processes and improve efficiency.
Communication challenges for agents and carriers
In addition to the above limitations, the back-and-forth communication involved with traditional data-intake methods tends to be extremely time-consuming and often takes place over the phone or via email. The resulting miscommunications or misunderstandings are unfortunately extremely common, resulting in delays and comprised data integrity.
Leveraging technology for data intake
Technology is playing an increasingly important role in the insurance industry, especially around data collection and entry. One of the most effective technologies for digitizing data intake is no-code platforms. This type of technology allows insurers to build custom applications without writing a single line of code, enabling them to quickly and easily:
- Customize digital forms: Insurers can create customized digital forms, which can be used for various purposes, such as claims processing, underwriting, and customer onboarding. These forms can be accessed from any device with an internet connection, allowing agents and policyholders to submit and access information quickly and easily.
- Automated workflows: Workflows can be automated for data intake processes. For example, an insurer can use a no-code platform to create a workflow that automatically routes forms to the appropriate department for review and processing, eliminating the need for manual intervention.
- Integrations with existing systems: Integration with existing systems, such as customer relationship management (CRM) software and policy administration systems, can enable insurers to automatically import data from these systems into digital forms, reducing the need for manual data entry.
These capabilities help to improve the accuracy and completeness of data while reducing the risk of errors, while also improving communication and collaboration between agents and carriers by securely sharing information and documents.
It’s also far easier to update data collection processes when they’re online, allowing carriers to disseminate changes to their policies far more quickly and easily.
Different types of technology solutions for data intake
There are several differest types of technology available for insurers looking to digitize and streamline their data intake processes.
OCR (Optical Character Recognition)
OCR is a technology that enables the conversion of scanned paper documents or images of text into editable and searchable digital text. This type of technology employs algorithms that analyze the scanned document and identify character patterns that form words, sentences, and paragraphs. The software then translates these patterns into editable text that can be used for data analysis and processing.
In the insurance industry, OCR can be employed to digitize paper documents like policy applications, claims forms, and invoices, making it easier to process and manage these documents. Insurers can leverage OCR technology to convert paper documents into digital format, and automatically extract data from them, which helps save time and reduces the risk of errors that could occur during manual data entry and transmission from paper to PC.
RPA (Robotic Process Automation)
RPA uses software bots to automate repetitive, rules-based tasks. These bots are programmed to mimic human behavior and are able to extract data from multiple source types, such as emails, PDFs, and other digital documents. Beyond extraction, the bots also have the ability to verify the information, and enter it into the appropriate systems or applications.
Using RPA, insurers can automate routine tasks, reduce errors, and free up employees to focus on more important tasks. For example, when a claim is filed, RPA bots can extract data from the claim form, validate the accuracy and completeness of the information, and enter it into the claims processing system.
Digital forms are electronic forms that can insurance customers, agents, and carriers can access and complete online. These forms can be created with a range of software tools, including form builders and no-code platforms. They can also be customized to suit the needs of the insurer, reflecting the different services and offerers provided, and complying with different standards and regulations.
Digital forms often feature useful elements like drop-down menus, checkboxes, and signature fields, and the data entered can be automatically uploaded to a central database or policy administration system. For instance, when a policyholder completes a digital form to apply for insurance, the information entered can be immediately transferred and stored in the policy administration system, eliminating the need for manual entry and improving data accuracy.
Automated data capture
Automated data capture involves using algorithms and machine learning to extract relevant information from different sources, including emails, images, and other digital documents. By scanning these files for essential data points, such as policyholder information, the technology can automatically capture the relevant data and input it into appropriate systems or applications.
For insurance companies, this type of technology can streamline the intake process by automating data capture and digitization from sources like claims forms, policy applications, and other documentation. For instance, when a claim is submitted, the technology can transmit the necessary data from the claim form to the claims processing system, ensuring accuracy and completeness, while minimizing the need for manual data entry.
How digital journeys affect the digital experience
Insurance customers today expect a seamless, digital experience from their insurance providers. In fact, according to PWC, 41% of consumers said they would be likely to switch providers due to a lack of digital capabilities.
Digital journeys are a key aspect of this experience, and they begin with data intake.
By streamlining their data intake processes with technologies like no-code platforms, OCR, RPA, digital forms, and automated data capture, insurers can create a more efficient and accurate digital journey for their customers. This can lead to faster turnaround times, improved accuracy and completeness of data, and better communication between agents and carriers.
Additionally, by automating data intake, insurers can free up resources that can be allocated to other important areas of the business, ultimately improving the bottom line.
In summary, embracing new technologies is key for insurers looking to position themselves for success in the digital age.
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