Insurance CEOs increasingly turning to technology

Technology continues to play a revolutionary role in the way many organizations do business. Almost all sectors of the economy have been touched by innovations that help them streamline internal processes, improve customer services and reduce costs. For many companies, technology creates both challenges and opportunities. Nowhere is this truer than in the insurance industry, according to a new global survey from PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC). In fact, the research showed 70 per cent of CEOs at these firms are making substantial changes to their approach to technology in an effort to optimize operations.

So, what are some of the key ways in which insurers are embracing technology, and how can innovative cloud-based systems, such as Yarris’ Arnie, support businesses in their quest for service delivery success.

Insurance technology

Insurers are rapidly beginning to understand the benefits that technology can bring, particularly in the areas of customer relationship management systems and data and analytics software. However, firms are also branching out into a number of new areas to maximize performance.

Stephen O’Hearn, global insurance leader at PwC, said delivering customer and stakeholder satisfaction will require a more innovative approach to technology in the future. “The agenda is real business transformation, doing things differently as opposed to simply the same with less people,” he stated. “An increased use of shared service centers, offshoring to lower cost locations and outsourcing are all prevalent trends throughout the industry.”

Mr O’Hearn said 70 per cent of insurance CEOs have targeted cost-cutting initiatives in 2016. Furthermore, senior executives feel technology is the factor most likely to have an impact on customer expectations over the next five years.

However, Mr O’Hearn claimed insurers need to do more than just reduce their outgoings if they want to achieve long-term profitability. He said organizations must identify sustainable process improvements that enhance efficiency and boost productivity.

How Arnie can help

In Australia, the automotive insurance industry is worth $19 billion in revenues and employs more than 7,000 people, statistics from IBISWorld show. The organization noted that technology changes are slow in the sector, despite the complex requirements of certain areas of businesses, including claims management and actuarial analysis. However, Arnie is one example of how technology is helping forward-thinking insurers transform their businesses. This cloud-based system is designed to streamline automotive insurance service procurement and claims handling, enabling firms to digitally manage vehicle repairs.

Traditionally, completing repairs would require a complex set of steps that utilized a mix of paper-based documents, internal legacy IT systems and extraneous messaging tools. Information would pass through multiple departments at the insurer, as well as on to third parties such as repairers.

Coordination between multiple providers and suppliers using these methods is laborious and prone to error and duplication. Instead, Arnie offers a unified online environment where various parties, including insurers, repairers, assessors and salvage disposal experts, can interact quickly and easily.

The benefits of Arnie

Arnie allows insurers to expedite crucial processes once vehicle accidents occur, improving transparency and accountability. They can also take advantage of competitive quotes from various repairers, helping lower operating costs.

Invoices can be submitted and approved within the system, while discrepancies are automatically highlighted and reported to cost control and accounts payable departments for adjustment or approval.

“Findings from our survey underline the fact that those insurers out in front are embracing technological disruption as a growth opportunity rather than a threat,” said Mr O’Hearn. Ultimately, Arnie is a platform that can help insurers take a huge step forward into the technological age, facilitating key processes in the claims handling and repairs areas of their businesses.

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