At a time when insurance is beginning to reshape itself as primarily a tech-led industry, it has never been more crucial that companies move beyond traditional operating methods that no longer produce optimal customer outcomes.
Automation is the key ingredient to a thoroughly modern customer experience; those who neglect this could soon find themselves at a significant competitive disadvantage. Ajay Vohora, CEO of data automation specialist Io-Tahoe, explains how one particular aspect – Data Robotic Process Automation (DataRPA) - can make a transformative difference for insurers.
Founded in 2017 and headquartered in New York, Io-Tahoe is an expert at data empowerment through its cutting-edge platform, which renders information as ‘smart data’ ready for digital applications across the insurance sector including:
- Agent Recommendation Support: to support customer engagement, needs and next best action.
- Claims Estimation: using third-party data to automatically price the cost of loss, replacement or repair.
- Augmented Underwriting: improving the underwriting process with expert human involvement.
- Contract Analysis: to assess large contracts (e.g., commercial P&C contracts or reinsurance contracts) to identify coverage details or clauses for use in customer servicing or claims.
- FNOL Automation: where claims data is collected, and the claims process is initiated.
- Low-Touch Claims Processing: to automate steps throughout the end-to-end claims process.
- Personalization Usage-Based Pricing: pricing models based upon consumer behavior to enable individual risk pricing (e.g., pay based upon how you drive or how you live).
“Legacy systems are made up of processes that have been designed around IT systems and outdated business processing rather than serving the needs of today’s insurance customers,” Vohora says. Indeed, previous approaches could never incorporate the richness and volume of data currently available to businesses. The capability to move away from ‘one size fits all’ solutions is a hallmark of digital transformation’s potential.
Io-Tahoe’s DataRPA, he continues, links together several components to create a holistic solution centred on data management. These subsequently produce faster insights, more accurate forecasting, and more reliable data. Features include:
- Data discovery: “This breaks down silos by exploring the individual pieces of information, discovering the relevant data, and then building connections while also applying some human meaning to them – with the ability to search for knowledge.”
- Data classification: “We then organise the data and automatically map it in transparent business terminology to clarify what might otherwise be quite esoteric IT systems or database information.”
- Data lineage detection: “This is joining the dots and understanding the provenance of data so data consumers can identify and trust the origins of data.”
- Data duplication: “DataRPA is able to identify specific data about a person (address, name, policies taken out, etc) and reconcile that it belongs to one individual instead of many, which is invaluable for data quality assessments.”
- Data enrichment: “This factors in complementary data that could help personalise insurance products and services for customers’ circumstances.
Fundamentally, all of these things are prohibitively time and labour intensive when performed manually. More to the point, to do so ignores the fact that automation can actually facilitate a closer relationship with customers than was previously possible. “Insurance can now be far more interactive using conversation chatbots, for example. The current aspiration should be towards autonomous underwriting,” states Vohora.
Insurance customers gain a more personalised and intuitive service, while insurers themselves can save costs and the months of time it would have previously taken to remediate data issues. When he considers advice for insurers just beginning to implement DataRPA, Vohora provides two pieces of advice:
“First, select use cases for applications where you’ll see results within days or weeks. Seeing is believing and that will help build organisational confidence.
“Second, align development to an operational benefit such as contract analysis or customer outcomes. Similar to the first point, these things tend to be visible, tangible, and measurable. It’s important to show a turnaround in days or weeks, not months and years.”
Ultimately, DataRPA is not a tool for replacing human workers. Instead, he emphasises, it is augmenting workers’ productivity and refocusing them away from the less valuable aspects of their role that are near impossible to perform successfully by using traditional manual methods. As insurance customers become used to a personalised and fully digital insurance experience, Io-Tahoe is helping companies remediate the data challenges that create an impediment to this new vision.
“Being able to bring all of that data together in a single pane of glass for end-users will be a huge win for insurance organisations in the post-COVID climate,” Vohora concludes.