Small moves with a big impact—streamlining your claim payment process delivers big results
The insurance industry is facing enormous challenges, but there are simple strategies you can implement today that will deliver big results.
The insurance industry is facing enormous challenges. Factors like globalization, industry consolidation, regulatory changes, innovative distribution channels, and shrinking margins have created a new reality—and securing a new competitive advantage is now more difficult than ever. Today’s insurers must streamline their operations and make them cost-effective. They have to differentiate their products and focus on customer satisfaction and retention, while maintaining a competitive cost structure, in order to secure market share from an increasingly demanding customer base.
The J.D. Power 2018 Insurance Digital Experience Study shows policyholders want more digital touchpoints with their insurers as well as personalized digital experiences and seamless customer service fueled by digital software—from chatbots to apps. These expectations are driving innovation in the automotive insurance space as insurers build their digital capabilities to provide next-level service.
The same survey also shows most insurers’ digital offerings are lacking in insurance-specific capabilities—including processing claims. When insurance companies cling to outdated methods of claim payment processing, this results in a highly fragmented policyholder experience. It also adds unnecessary administrative costs and decreases efficiency, since manual payment processing is labor-intensive and results in lengthy wait times.
Insurance companies must modernize their approach to claim payment processing in order to help differentiate themselves and meet the needs of their policyholders.
For example, when an auto accident occurs, policyholders want to get back in the driver’s seat as soon as possible. But because auto accidents usually require payments to multiple parties—doctors, hospitals, body shops, and towing companies—it’s not always a fast or straightforward process. However, when policyholders receive a check to cover repairs, they may have to endorse the check themselves, then take the check to a body shop to be signed before they may retrieve their car. It’s a multistep process that adds time to an already frustrating process.
Simple strategies that deliver
While it may seem daunting, moving away from paper-based payment can be as easy as adding complementary solutions and services from a third-party vendor and making small tweaks to your existing platform with the support of in-house IT resources will have a big impact.
Here are a few strategies to consider.
- Develop a mobile-centric approach to customer interactions—including payment. Consumers are used to driving experiences through their phones—and companies need to meet that demand. So why not offer consumers the ability to view and pay their bills on a mobile device, and present multiple options for electronic payments? Give policyholders and service providers the option of selecting their preferred payment method, such as automated clearinghouse (ACH), direct-to-debit or check — whatever they prefer. Note that some mobile solutions are web-enabled solutions that integrate easily into existing systems or can be white-labeled for stand-alone use.
- Offer options for electronic funds transfer (EFT). Electronic payment not only eliminates the potential for check fraud but also provides greater convenience for consumers and other parties. The most popular form of EFT—ACH payment—also speeds time to payment, with payment from typically arriving 10 days sooner than check payments.
- Consider virtual card payments. When making business-to-business payments, virtual cards are preferred by a number of industries, with total spend for business-to-business transactions expected to reach $377 billion this year.
- Virtual cards are loaded with the amount of the payment. No enrollment is required, payment processing and reconciliation time are significantly reduced. And when payment data is combined with claims remittance data in industries like auto insurance, workers’ compensation, and health care, this reduces time spent on administrative activities, enabling staff to focus on more value-added work—customer satisfaction.
To learn more about how VPay can offer you a Total Payment Solution that increases customer satisfaction and sets you apart from the competition download the white paper, Top Strategies for Auto Insurance CFOs: Modernizing Claim Payment.
Visit www.vpayusa.com or call 855-VPAY-USA to get started.