The evolution of paperwork in insurance: from paper to PDF to digital journeys

EasySend blog - Paperwork evolution

What comes to mind when you hear the word “paperwork”? Most people (including your customers) associate paperwork with tedious, slow, and clunky experiences. From ‘pencil-pushing’ to ‘bean-counting,’ and from ‘cutting red tape’ to ‘fighting city hall,’ English is rich in metaphor and euphemism for the agonies of paperwork. 

The bottom line is – everybody hates paperwork. Unfortunately, many companies struggle to digitize paperwork-based processes, frustrating their customers, and wasting internal resources as a result.

How much does form processing cost insurance businesses?

Any business that has to collect data and signatures from customers can significantly improve processes, productivity, and reduce costs by moving away from paper-based documentation to fully digital experiences.

But how much do insurers actually waste on manual form processing?

According to our estimate, an insurance company with 5 form types and 2,000 monthly submissions each could save on average $77,800 each month by eliminating manual processes from their operations. 

Calculate your savings

What are the main benefits of eliminating paperwork?

The truth is – a certain amount of paperwork cannot be avoided. But instead of settling for frustrating bureaucracy, insurers can transform paperwork from an obstacle into an opportunity for digital engagement.

One cannot argue that streamlined, digital experiences are preferable to manual, paper-based processes. The benefits of digital transformation are affecting every department in the organization. By turning manual paperwork-based processes into digital journeys insurers can achieve:

  • Improved customer experience
  • Improved employee experience
  • Reduced operational costs
  • Reduced labor costs
  • Reduced error rates and improved data integrity
  • Accelerating core processes and saving time

The four stages in the paperwork-based process evolution

Digital transformation in insurance is a multi-faceted process that is almost never uniform.

Many insurers going through digital transformation will find that different parts of their organization are at the different stages of the digital transformation journey. While some processes are still handled by pen and paper, others can boast digital journeys and solutions.

Identifying areas of your business where you fall behind the most is important to improve digital transformation in your enterprise. The areas that are the most “backward” when it comes to digitization will benefit the most from improved digital processes.

Stage 1: Automated forms processing and OCR

With proper automated forms processing systems in place, organizations can realize some ROI through reduced data entry processing costs, while also improving processing speed and accuracy. However, such solutions do not solve issues with NIGO (not in good order) and error rates.

Another solution is using an OCR (Optical Character Recognition) software to speed up data entry. OCR was invented in the early eighties to help speed up manual data entry of structured data. OCR is now mature enough to grab characters and words from images to extract meaningful information. However, OCR technology is expensive and still doesn’t avoid high error rates associated with manual processing. Needless to say, it also does nothing to solve the issue with subpar customer experience.

Stage 2: PDFs and primitive digital tools

PDF is a digital equivalent of paper and is not built for superior user experience on any device. Anyone who ever had to fill in a form on their mobile phones knows the pain and inconvenience of the process.

Some companies still require wet signatures on PDF documents, which require the customer to print, physically sign, and then scan the document. Needless to say, this experience is far from ideal, especially when digital-first competitors are offering seamless experiences on any device.

Stage 3: Custom-coded digital journeys

As digital transformation picks up pace, insurers realize that creating responsive and user-friendly digital journeys to support core business processes is no longer optional. As competition intensifies, companies that provide superior customer experience are the ones who will ultimately succeed.

Custom-coded solutions are perfect at improving customer experience. However, those solutions end up lengthy and expensive projects that take months to develop. 

Stage 4: No-code development & platforms

Solving paperwork with no-code development platforms is the last stage in the digital transformation in insurance. No-code development provides visual, drag&drop interfaces for the creation of user-friendly and responsive digital journeys.

Compared to custom-built solutions, digital journeys offer the following benefits:

  1. Rapid time to market – No-code platforms empower rapid time to market measured in days, not months
  2. Easy maintenance – Updates and changes to digital journeys are simple to implement 
  3. Giving power to business users – Business users can create their own digital journeys without heavy involvement from the IT department
  4. Simple integration with internal systems – Digital journeys built with a no-code platform are easy to integrate with internal systems
  5. Scalability – Building one digital journey with code is relatively simple. Building a hundred is a much more difficult task. No code platforms bring scalability.
  6. Flexibility – Every component can be customized according to the requirements and then re-used across multiple processes, as needed.
  7. Cost-saving – Saving development time, as well as eliminating manual data entry and operational costs

The ROI of eliminating manual paperwork processing with a no-code platform

You cannot avoid paperwork. But you can turn it into a user-friendly digital journey that improves customer and employee satisfaction, reduces costs and boosts revenue growth and productivity.

Improve Customer Experience and Boost Revenues

Take the pain out of paperwork-based processes, improve customer experience, and optimize for revenue growth.

Reduce Paperwork Processing Costs

Reduce costs while improving processing speed by replacing manual data entry with digital data collection that positively affects the customer experience.

Minimize Human Error and Improve Accuracy

Reduce form processing errors through automatic validations and pre-filling of fields with data already associated with the customer in your internal systems

Configure Business Rules To Support Workflows Unique to Your Organization

Validate field data according to your specific business rules, define roles and permissions and support multi-signee workflows

Are you ready to take the next step in the paperwork evolution? 

Request a Demo