By: Elisa Logan, Vice President Marketing
Today, people expect technology to make everything easy. So how well are you meeting these elevated expectations? Are you making the most of the latest technology innovations to create faster, simpler, and more efficient experiences through every step of the claims process? Or are there still “customer experience gaps” that leave policyholders and service providers frustrated and annoyed?
To answer these questions, it’s useful to take a step back and walk through a simple example of what a typical claims experience looks like in 2019. This story is based on the experiences of an actual policyholder who recently filed a claim with a major carrier, and it highlights where insurance companies are using technology effectively to improve customer experiences—and where they could improve.
On her way to have lunch with a friend, Cynthia swerves to avoid a cat and hits another car. No one is hurt (including the cat), but her car sustains significant damage, so she calls her insurance company to report the accident. Within a few minutes, she receives an email with instructions to download a mobile app, which walks her through the process of providing details about the accident, taking and uploading photos of the damage with her smartphone, and submitting a claim. The whole process takes about 30 minutes.
The next morning, Cynthia receives another email letting her know that her claim has been processed with an initial estimate attached. Cynthia can also use the app to review the estimate and explore options for getting her car repaired. Based on this information, Cynthia decides to make an appointment with an out-of-network repair shop near her house.
So far, so good. From the time Cynthia first contacted her insurance provider, it took less than 24-hours to submit and process her claim and generate an initial estimate. For Cynthia, it was a fast, simple, and convenient experience.
But now, Cynthia has arrived at that crucial “last mile” of the claims process: actually receiving payment for her claim. She waits more than a week to receive a paper check in the mail for the amount of the original estimate. A few days later, she gets a second check to cover the cost of her rental car and other additional expenses. Then, she waits for her spouse to return from a business trip to countersign both checks, deposits them into her checking account, waits another two days for the funds to clear, and finally goes back and pays the service provider who worked on her car.
For Cynthia, there is a significant and obvious disconnect between the fast, modern experience of using a mobile app to file and process her claim in less than twenty-four hours—and the slow, old-fashioned process of waiting for checks to show up in the mail. And this disconnect seems even more glaring in a world where virtually all of Cynthia’s other financial transactions are digital and nearly instantaneous.
Unfortunately, this kind of mixed experience is all too common. Most insurance providers already offer policyholders the kind of fast, convenient, app-driven claims management tools Cynthia used. But in 2018, more than half of all auto insurance claims, and more than two-thirds of all property and accident claims, were still paid with paper checks.* So in spite of all of the recent innovation and progress, that crucial, memorable “last mile” still looks about the same as it did 50 years ago.
Replacing paper checks with safe, convenient electronic payment options in a heavily regulated industry with complex multi-party payment requirements isn’t easy. But finding a way to successfully modernize your payment processes and win that “last mile” will set your organization apart—and provide policyholders and service providers with the complete, modern claims experience they expect and deserve.
Find out how the VPay total payment solution can make a difference for you.
*Source: Estimates and analysis based on industry knowledge and publicly sourced data.