GlobalData Plc

Insurers must consider going paperless in the claims process

UK insurers should be looking to move their claims services onto internet platforms as SMEs demand the ability to track a claim online, and other international markets launch similar paperless services.

Depending on the provider or the type of claim submitted, the process to find an amicable resolution can be long, arduous, and complicated. As a result, the online tracking of claims is high on the list of services SMEs expect to receive from their insurance provider. This is evidenced by the proportion of businesses that ranked this service as the most wanted in our 2016 UK SME Insurance Survey.

In the modern day, the general consensus is that SMEs have become increasingly autonomous when it comes to their insurance obligations. They are more self-serving, efficient, and require less input from providers; however, when dealing with claims, additional support is required. In our survey we asked SMEs to list in order the best elements of service they would most like to receive. Options covered services focused on claims, advice, access, and quotes.

The most commonly selected service was the ability to track a claim online: 18.5% of SMEs overall. Claims tracking was particularly important for businesses at the top end of the scale, with medium-sized firms citing the ability to follow the progress of a claim online as the most important service they would like to receive. For small and micro businesses, guidance through the claims process was the most important.

However, this is somewhat contradictory as a sleeker, more efficient proposition usually means less input from the provider, and it’s difficult to offer one of these services in conjunction with the other. The provision of guidance throughout the claims process is undoubtedly important to SMEs, but so is the option for these businesses to take more control of their insurance dealings online.

UK insurers must strive to develop slick, user-friendly, online claims propositions, yet retain features where customers can seek additional guidance if needed – a challenging prospect but one which stands to offer many benefits, including a satisfied customer base alongside improved environmental sustainability practices. A good example is US-based insurer AIG. With operations in multiple territories, AIG states that 95% of its claims and underwriting processes are now paperless in 57 countries, helping to offer both electronic files to its customers as well as drive the group’s latest climate change initiative.

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