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ROI of claim intake tools: PDfs vs web forms vs digital journeys

ROI of claim intake tools: PDfs vs web forms vs digital journeys | EasySend blog
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7 minutes

Insurance claims are time-sensitive documents that require proper document handling, settlement processing, and claims revision.

During the claims intake process, claims adjusters receive claims from insureds or third parties. PDFs, simple web forms, and user-friendly digital journeys are the three customer data intake tools available for insurance claims

The claims intake process can require claims adjusters to sift through pages of documents, including claims forms, driver's licenses, medical reports, and more. This is time-consuming for claims professionals who could be spending their time more efficiently on claims investigation or processing. When claims are not processed quickly due to cumbersome paper claims intake processes, claims turnaround times increase for customers while money continues to be spent on labor costs.

To understand the real cost associated with claims made during any given year in the US, you have to take into account both the claim volume and the average value per claim. According to NCCI research, each year, there are an estimated 67 million written motor vehicle claims, 112 million claims for property damage, and 9.5 million claims for bodily injury—as well as claims on commercial liability, homeowners insurance, and umbrella insurance.

[.emph]With claims increasing every year — along with claim value — claims professionals need streamlined claims intake processes to help lower claims cost and increase customer satisfaction.[.emph]

What if claims could be processed within minutes instead of days? What if claims were so easy to fill out that all your customers needed was a computer, tablet, or smartphone?

As claims become more complicated and claim volume increases, claims professionals have begun to look for a more efficient claims intake process. In this blog, we'll break down the ROI of digital transformation for insurance companies by comparing the operational costs of claim intake with PDFs, simple web forms, and user-friendly digital journeys.

So what are the benefits of digitally transformed claims? Why should insurance companies invest in claims transformation technologies? Let's start with how claims are received today, with the help of some infographic maps of claims intake forms.

Paper forms (nearly obsolete)

Almost all claims (99.4%) were still received on paper in 2012. While claims seem to be moving toward more digital processes — both claims numbers and the percent of claims handled electronically increased during that time period.

[.figure]more than 80%[.figure]

[.emph] of claims were received electronically, either on a web form or via an electronic file such as a PDF in 2016[.emph]

[.figure]nearly 100%[.figure]

[.emph]of claims are projected to be received electronically in 2022[.emph]

PDF claims intake (old school)

The claims process has been standardized to require claims to be filed in a single format: a PDF.

But PDFs can be difficult to manage — claims professionals often spend too much time trying to find the correct claim form, or they cannot find a claims form at all. Because of the way data extraction works from PDFs, claims adjusters and claims administrators require additional time, tools (and cost) to be able to process claims.

Once claims are collected, customer data must be extracted from the PDF forms either manually or via an OCR tool before being submitted for processing, slowing down the process further.

Even worse? Without the ability to validate the data upon submission and the fact claims documents may need manual re-keying — which goes back to mistakes and misfiled claims.

PDFs also have much to be desired when it comes to user experience. The claims process can be a very difficult experience for customers, and PDF claims forms often don't reflect the enhanced claims experiences that customers have come to expect. To sum up, PDFs are not user-friendly, require much manual processing time, and lack an interactive customer perspective.

Web forms claims intake (the new normal)

A lot of claims submission today is done through a web form submission — claims adjusters can find the claims forms on the insurer's website and submit claims either directly from their desktop or mobile device.  It's as easy as logging in, filling out the appropriate fields, and submitting the claim for immediate processing.

While a better option than the PDF claims intake method, simple web forms are just that - simple. One claims form, one claims submission method, limited data points. As a result, customer experience is often only a fraction of the claims digital journeys insurers have in place for their customers to use when engaging with them outside of claims.

This leaves claims professionals and claims service organizations looking at other options - claims tools that can provide a better claims customer experience and ensure a more accurate claims intake process.

Digital car claim application | EasySend blog

User-friendly digital journeys claims intake (the future)          

Transforming claim intake into digital journeys can help insurers streamline claims intake and reduce claims costs by reducing errors and reducing turnaround time.

The biggest difference between a simple web form and a digital journey is that claims journeys provide a more comprehensive claims experience for customers, require fewer claims entry back-and-forths, and can reduce manual re-keying of data.

Digital journeys can integrate with other technologies, including virtual assistants, chatbots, and intelligent claims presentation tools. Digital journeys can provide customers with personalized recommendations based on what they've already submitted within their claims journey.  These unparalleled interactions create improved customer satisfaction.

Transforming claims intake from a simple claims form to digital journeys provide claims professionals with a better claims experience for their customers, enhanced insights, faster claims closure timeframes, and greater efficiencies.

Insurers using digital journeys can achieve an ROI of nearly 100% in the next five years by reducing manual processes and increasing up-front claims validation.

With digital journeys, customers experience intuitive, simplified claims journeys that remove all the guesswork, resulting in lower no-fault rates, reduced denials of claims, more efficient resolution of claims with timely payments to policyholders.   

Digital journeys eliminate claims backlogs because claims are processed automatically based on claims handling policies that claim adjusters can create by adding business rules that determine how claims should be processed based on the information collected from the customer. These claims handling policies ensure that claims are always routed correctly to the right work queue for further processing.

Comparing the operational costs of different claim intake methods

Today claims professionals are spending more time trying to find claims forms, filling out claims paperwork, and ensuring claims data is validated upon submission. This limits their ability to resolve claims in a timely (and efficient) manner.

It's estimated that claims professionals spend less than 20% of each workday actually resolving claims — the rest of their time is spent on claims intake activities like locating claim forms or validating data upon submission.  Even worse?   Claims administrators & adjusters often spend up to 50% (or more) of their time looking for the correct form.

As much as 13-14 hours each week can be spent just finding claims information in paper, faxes, or emails.  

Adding in the cost of maintaining the claims infrastructure and the costs associated with collecting claims data, we could conservatively estimate that claims intake represents anywhere from 25% - 50% of total claims operating expenses.

[.figure]25%-50%[.figure]

[.emph]claims intake as the percentage of total claims operating expenses.[.emph]

This means claims intake tools represent not only a huge opportunity for insurers but also present an area where carriers can realize considerable savings.  And better yet, save time so claims adjusters are free to resolve more claims.

The operational costs of claim intake

It's undeniable that claims professionals have begun to look for a claims intake process that is more efficient.

By using claims journey software, claims adjusters can cut their claims processing time (e.g., the average claims process time is 30% faster).

The ROI of claims intake transformation

Digital transformation is quickly becoming the new standard for claims intake. Here are three benefits claims professionals can expect to see after digital transformation is complete.

  • Claims handling time is reduced
  • Claims errors are decreased
  • Claims satisfaction scores rise

So whether your goal is to reduce claims backlogs, increase claims approval rates, or boost claims ROI, the use of claims journey software can make a significant impact on claims processing efficiency.

Vera Smirnoff
Vera Smirnoff

Vera Smirnoff is the demand generation manager at EasySend. She covers digital transformation in insurance and banking and the latest trends in InsurTech and digital customer experience.