RPA, AI and ML are re-shaping the insurtech space
Gavin Mee is the managing director, Northern Europe at the global robotics and AI automation platform provider, UiPath. With more than 20 years experience in creating, developing and nurturing cross-functional teams, he is also passionate about technology and its transformative effect in a digitally transforming world.
What are the main purposes for using Robotic Process Automation in insurtech?
Robotic Process Automation (RPA) is software that can undertake rule-based and repetitive tasks by operating a computer just as a human would, only virtually. RPA software robots can read and understand what’s on the screen, can copy and paste, enter data into databases, update records and save files. It’s like having a digital assistant on hand to lighten the burden of admin.
Within the insurance industry, RPA offers countless opportunities. Take claims processing, for example. The claims environment is highly dependent on speed and accuracy to meet customer demands. In recent years, a large focus has been placed on improving front-office processes including improving mobile apps and instant chatbots. RPA, however, can help to streamline the back-office ensuring customers and employees have the information they need when they need it.
This has a number of key benefits that stretch far beyond improving efficiency and saving money. Software robots can work behind the scenes 24/7, allowing for customer queries to be dealt with more quickly. With admin in the hands of the robots, employee time is freed to focus on value added work that requires human ingenuity and skill such as customer service. Therefore improving customer and employee satisfaction simultaneously.
Once taught a process, the bots will follow the same steps every time and therefore they do not fall victim to inevitable human error. In such a highly regulated industry this boasts clear operational benefits. This is complemented by RPA’s ability to record audit trails and conduct automated testing of processes, ensuring a high standard of compliance.
A global insurance provider that we work with uses software robots to extract information from customer correspondence and match it with the appropriate claims forms. Before automation, this required a human employee having to read and scan every letter or email sent to the company and copy and paste the necessary data into a claims order. This took around four minutes every time. A UiPath robot can now do it in less than 42 seconds, saving employee time, money and freeing the process from human error.
Is RPA a passing trend or an innovation on an upward trajectory?
Before the advent of the pandemic, 70% of insurance CEOs were already looking to operational efficiency to drive revenue growth. Since Covid-19, this need has only grown. Firms had to find new ways to improve efficiency, digitise processes to reduce the need to be in the office and deal with increasing workloads in areas such as customer service and data entry.
Many have turned to RPA to achieve this and now that organisations are tuned into the technologies’ benefits, its adoption will only continue to grow. Gartner, for example, predicts that by next year 90% of large organisations globally will have adopted RPA in some form.
Can RPA make data safer?
In short, yes. By nature, humans will make mistakes – it’s unavoidable. RPA software robots on the other hand follow the same rules every time and thus can move information from one place to another without a hitch. Complex workflows are handled with ease and as such data will be safeguarded from human error.
How is RPA different to ML and AI? What does it contribute additionally?
RPA mimics human actions while AI and ML is the simulation of human intelligence. RPA can extract data that you have taught it to look for and it can transfer it across different formats and programmes. Therefore, it provides extra pairs of hands for rule based processes, which are fairly simple to deploy across the business. AI and ML complement RPA, and any automation tool that offers end-to-end automation integrates these technologies to enhance RPA.
Specifically, AI supports users both in the process discovery phase, by enabling them to scientifically discover automation opportunities, and throughout the automation journey, allowing them to enhance software robots with AI skills. For example, AI can bolster the capabilities of RPA by reading and understanding handwritten documents, images or scans, through Document Understanding and Computer Vision, and enhance Chatbots to build conversational process automation. This unlocks new possibilities by allowing for the automation of non-rule based processes. What’s more, one does not need to have a tech background to use AI when building automations, but simply drag and drop these AI skills into their workflows.
What is RPA?
Robotic Process Automation (RPA) software can be applied to numerous areas of the insurance business model. It manages repetitive tasks that would normally be undertaken by manual labour. But the use of RPA cuts the number of mistakes caused by human error to nil, saving companies time and money, and enabling them to allocate staff members to other, more creative and human-centric tasks.
RPA can be used in the following ways in the insurtech sector.
- Claims registration and processing
- Regulatory compliance
- Process and business analytics
- Policy admin and servicing
- Form registration
- Policy cancellation
- Sales and distribution
- Finance and accounts
- Integration with legacy systems
SLK Software: Optimising performance in the digital economy
Established in 2000 in Bengaluru, India, SLK Software recognises that fast-paced digital transformation is creating an unprecedentedly fertile period of opportunity for global businesses.
As such, with a firm belief in the power of simplification and automation to yield new and exciting experiences, the company has been challenging the status quo for over 20 years through an approach that is:
- Relationship oriented
- Strategically focused on a desired outcome
- Reliant on automation tech
Believing in purposeful automation
SLK’s specialisation in automation tech is full spectrum: artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML), Computer Vision, Natural Language Processing (NLP), Robotic Process Automation (RPA), and more, are all part of its core competencies.
Citing 90% productivity improvements, 30% business growth through better customer experiences, and up to 20x faster go-to-market capabilities, the reasons for its focus are clear.
The company currently serves the banking, financial services, insurance, retirement services, M&A, manufacturing, and supply chain sectors. Solutions offered include:
- Intelligent Business Transformation
- Agile IT Automation
Accelerating workflow processes
The latter is a tool specifically calibrated to enable business users an easy method for capturing document processes. This can occur across any application, with these individual tasks then seamlessly combined for both improved compliance and governance.
Carol Castelloni, VP of Transformation at CNA Insurance, highlighted this as providing critical support in helping the company meet its business objectives:
“SLK’s Avo Discover tool accelerates how we can document workflow processes, measure impacts on enhancements, and identifies future automation opportunities.” Liberated from having to focus on these process-driven aspects of business, CNA Insurance has been able to refocus its attention on creative problem-solving instead.
Ultimately, this is the most important benefit that SLK brings: it optimises the back end so that clients can channel their energy towards what matters the most, customers.
Read more about SLK Software and CNA Insurance in the June 2021 edition of FinTech Magazine.
Pictured: SLK Software team (source)