How to reduce costs in claims management

Dealing with claims is always about money. From the insurant's point of view, there is a feeling of safety and comfort that someone will take care of all the bad situations that might happen in their lives; but there is also the insurer's point of view. Besides being concerned about the client's needs and satisfaction, claims handling includes a lot of thinking about processing costs such as surveys, medical reports, expenses of legal procedures, fraud and many others. Those costs can be reduced – although it is not an easy process. It is more reminiscent of a vicious circle because saving money means using money in order to improve the saving process.

There are numerous areas of claims handling which can be improved, but it hardly can be done without the latest technologies. Moving forward means keeping pace with constantly a changing market – adequate investment into innovations and keeping pace with technological development is thus necessary and insurance companies really should not cut back on it. Costs can be reduced via prompt claims processing – detailed information about an accident can be received in real time and anticipated or predicted by the use of telematic devices which fill in the gaps in customers' risk awareness. Through online data transfer and claims handling, automatic detection systems and the extension of communication platforms, agents' time can be saved, thus freeing them up to focus on work that cannot be done via digitalised gadgets and apps.

Nevertheless, investment leading to savings is a long story full of unexpected twists. Natural catastrophes often strike in unprecedented regions – take Germany as an example of a country surprisingly struck by a sandstorm in 2011 and a cyclone in 2013. Another example is whiplash – the most frequently reported bodily injury claim in Europe. How can one predict an unpredictable situation on the road? Naturally, years of experience, driver age and some other factors play an important role in those incidents, but whether they are taken into account or not, the threat can never be completely averted.

The insurance business is like a ride on a rollercoaster. Sometimes you are up and sometimes you are down. Many times you cannot really plan everything beforehand; therefore, along with attempts to reduce costs, do not forget to attract new customers and retain the old ones by providing excellent customer service – be there for them and try to meet as many of their requirements as possible, know all their wishes before they are voiced and reward every instance of their loyalty. Even though caring for the welfare of your customers is occasionally time consuming and investing in technologies is financially exhausting, both activities are vital in the current insurance market - sooner or later your hard work will pay off.

The healthy relationship between cost reduction and technologies will be one of the topics at the 3rd Annual Claims Forum, which takes place on 11 – 13 March 2015 in Munich, Germany. Besides studying various specific claims areas such as Nat Cat or bodily injuries, top claims and fraud experts will discuss compliance and regulations, CRM and effective claims management as well as many issues connected to the detection, investigation and prevention of fraud.