Property & Casualty Insurers Benefit From Investment Activity In The Claim Function

Chief claim officers (CCOs) with leading property & casualty insurers concur that their companies are benefiting from metrics currently in place tied to best practice fundamentals for claim management. They also acknowledge that the systems and metrics could be further developed and better integrated into claim operations.

According to the new Property & Casualty Claim Officer Survey conducted by Towers Watson (NYSE, NASDAQ: TW), CCOs also report that while companies’ investments in technology are paying off, additional investments would provide even greater returns. The survey examines how insurers are modernizing claim best practice fundamentals and rebuilding performance metrics, and how improved technology and operational adjustments are helping carriers benefit from these changes.

“A more integrated approach to claim management can help insurers simultaneously improve customer service and financial results, increasing both policyholder and investor satisfaction,” said Brian Stoll, director, Property & Casualty practice, Towers Watson. “Technology investments in this area help insurers better identify and respond to trends culled from data-driven analytics, and make it easier to implement predictive models and best practice enhancements that carriers are developing to improve claim performance.”

Carriers clearly view best practices as living documents and indicate they should be updated frequently, according to survey participants. Fifty-six percent of the respondents have made major modifications to their claim best practices within the past year. Large insurers are most likely to rethink their best practices (67%), and small companies least likely, although nearly half (48%) implemented best practice claim management changes in the last year.

The key benefits of best practice execution varied, with smaller carriers citing operational improvements as most important, while larger companies cited bottom-line performance results. Small carriers said improved efficiency and cycle time (e.g., inventory management) is the top benefit, and improved customer service is the second. Midsize carriers listed the same top two benefits and also named more effective use of specialized/expert personnel. Large carriers were far more focused on financial results: Nearly two-thirds cited improved claim payout discipline (loss costs) as the number one benefit received from claim best practices.

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