August 27, 2021 by Jason Contant
Insurers need to offer customers a claims experience that can shift and adapt depending on the policyholder’s personal circumstances and what they want on any given day, speakers said Thursday during Reuters Events’ Connected Claims Canada 2021 virtual conference.
“I find it fascinating because it’s not only during the lifecycle of the claim, but it could be what transpired during the day outside of that claim that drives somebody’s internal stress behaviours to need something different,” said Erin Fischer, senior vice president and chief claims officer with Wawanesa Mutual Insurance Company.
She used the example of a person who was running late, with a child who was not feeling well. “And all of these things… snowball, and then you have a car accident, and everything just feels too overwhelming.
“So, on another day, you might have wanted to call in and not speak to anybody… and wanted that digital, touchless experience,” Fischer said during the session Customer Experience in a Touchless Claims World. “But on that day, you just actually needed another human being. I call it a ‘Choose Your Own Adventure’ kind of claims experience.”
In that moment, that policyholder wanted somebody holding their hand and walking them through the claims experience. “On the other hand, we need to be able to enable those policyholders who want to just get back to their lives something simpler,” Fischer said.
It’s also about understanding what the policyholder needs not only at that moment, but throughout the lifecycle of the claim. “It may change, we just have to be able to be agile enough to respond to that.”
Mylène Côté, vice president of claims with Everest Insurance Company of Canada, added that it’s important to be agile, but also have some consistency. For example, various claims handlers for the same insured may result in inconsistency.
Having the option of starting off digitally and then move into speaking with someone is important, said Philippe Lafreniere, chief growth officer with Slice Labs. He used the example of an auto claim settled in 30 seconds through the combination of behavioural science, artificial intelligence and machine learning. But at the end, the customer may decide after having the claim settled that they still want to speak with someone.
Behavioural science also allows for continuous learning, so it can help determine things like how a customer is feeling. Think about the frustration of a consumer who wants to speak with someone but has to go through an automated phone service and just keeps pressing ‘0’ to try and speak to an operator. “Always remember that a claim, for the most part, is a dramatic event,” Lafreniere said.
“We need to build in a zero button,” agreed Grace Leung, senior claims specialist with Allianz Global Corporate & Specialty. “And then have the insured be able to connect at any point that they want to again.”
Feature image by iStock.com/Chainarong Prasertthai