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How to get process visibility in insurance

Lari Numminen

June 29, 2023

Navigating the complex world of insurance operations can be daunting without transparency into its intricate processes, tasks and workflows.

From underwriting to claims processing, each process is a key resource in the insurance industry's value chain. Too often, these processes are managed without sufficient visibility into the effectiveness of work and resources. Let's dive into the topic of process visibility for insurance companies with key definitions, best practices and tools.

What exactly is process visibility?

Process visibility refers to the transparency in tracking and understanding each step in a process. It's like a roadmap showing the route of each task from start to finish.

In insurance, process visibility enhances efficiency, reduces errors, and boosts customer satisfaction. It ensures accountability, offers insights into bottlenecks, and fosters improvement.

Importance of process visibility in insurance

Process visibility is crucial for improving operational excellence in core insurance processes. It offers clarity on the workings of each process, enables early detection of issues, and promotes continuous improvement. Here's how process visibility can help in some core insurance processes:

  • Underwriting: This is where insurance companies assess the risks associated with an insurance policy and set the appropriate premium. Lack of visibility can lead to under or overpricing risks, inefficient risk assessment, and delayed approvals, significantly impacting profitability. Process visibility can streamline risk assessment, enhance pricing accuracy, and expedite approval times. By providing a clear overview of the underwriting process, insurance companies can easily identify and rectify bottlenecks, improve decision-making, and boost overall efficiency.
  • Claims Processing: The claims processing procedure can be quite complex, involving steps like claim registration, assessment, settlement, and recovery. In the absence of process visibility, the procedure can be slow and error-prone, leading to customer dissatisfaction and increased costs. With process visibility, insurers can track each claim's status in real-time, identify bottlenecks, automate repetitive tasks, and ensure prompt, accurate claim settlement. This not only enhances customer satisfaction but also reduces operational costs.
  • Policy Administration: Policy administration involves a series of processes, including policy issuance, endorsement, renewal, and cancellation. Without process visibility, these tasks can become time-consuming, error-prone, and lead to poor customer service. On the other hand, process visibility can streamline policy administration tasks, reduce errors, and improve service levels. For instance, by having a clear view of the policy renewal process, insurers can ensure timely renewals, reducing the chances of policy lapses.
  • Customer Service: Providing quality customer service is crucial for any insurance company. Lack of process visibility can lead to long resolution times, inconsistent service, and frustrated customers. With process visibility, insurers can monitor service processes in real time, spot delays or inconsistencies, and take immediate corrective action. This improves resolution times, enhances service consistency, and boosts customer satisfaction.
  • Digital customer acquisitions. Today, the sales and marketing initiatives for insurance companies have adapted to the customer needs for digitalized services. Without visibility into the touch-points new customers make before and after onboarding insurance companies face expensive customer acquisition costs and the effectiveness of sales initiatives.

Why insurance companies need end-to-end process visibility

End-to-end visibility in insurance operations is vital for managing customer relationships effectively. It offers a holistic view of the customer journey, from the initial inquiry or quote to claim processing, and allows insurers to deliver a more personalized and efficient service. Here's five reasons why:

  1. Improved customer service. With end-to-end visibility, insurers can track every customer interaction across multiple touchpoints and channels, such as websites, call centers, mobile apps, and social media. This enables them to respond quickly and appropriately to customer inquiries, complaints, and claims, enhancing the overall customer experience.
  2. Personalized experiences: Having a clear view of a customer's interactions and behaviors allows insurers to personalize their offerings. For instance, knowing a customer's preferred communication method or understanding their specific needs can help in offering tailored policies and services, improving customer satisfaction, and building long-term relationships.
  3. Efficient claims processing. Claims processing is often a critical touchpoint in the insurance customer journey. End-to-end visibility enables insurers to streamline the claims process, identify bottlenecks, reduce delays, and ensure a smooth, hassle-free experience for the customer. This can significantly improve customer satisfaction and loyalty.
  4. Proactive problem solving. By providing visibility into customer interactions and processes, insurers can proactively identify and address issues before they escalate, preventing customer dissatisfaction.
  5. Data-driven insights. End-to-end visibility allows insurers to collect and analyze data from across the customer journey. These insights can inform strategic decisions, help identify opportunities for service improvement, and contribute to a more customer-centric approach.

Eend-to-end visibility is not just about overseeing processes; it's about enhancing customer relationships. By understanding and managing the complete customer journey, insurers can deliver a superior customer experience, leading to increased customer retention, loyalty, and ultimately, business growth.

Methods for Gaining Visibility in Insurance Processes

Several methods can shed light on the path that insurance processes take. They include process mapping, process mining, and task mining.

Process Mapping

Process mapping entails creating a visual diagram of the flow of activities in a process. It's like a figurative map insurance navigator to draw out and communicate how they see the process reality.

In process mapping, each task in an insurance process is graphed, showing its flow and relationship with other tasks. It's an organized and visual way to understand insurance processes.

Process mapping in insurance can streamline operations, improve collaboration, and eliminate inefficiencies. It offers a 'bird's eye view' of the process, helping identify any potential issues or bottlenecks that might disrupt smooth workflow.

Process Mining

Process mining involves extracting process-related data from event logs to understand the actual process flow. It's akin to an insurance detective unearthing hidden clues based on the clues left in the event logs of computers and IT systems.

Process mining operates on the digital traces left by every insurance transaction. By analyzing this data, insurers can visualize the actual process, identify deviations, and uncover opportunities for process optimization.

Process mining in insurance offers a data-driven approach to understand, optimize, and monitor processes. It can reduce costs, enhance customer experience, and boost operational efficiency.

See process mining for insurance examples and best practices.

Task Mining

Task mining captures and analyses user interaction data to understand how tasks are performed. It's comparable to an insurance anthropologist studying human behavior.

Task mining works at a microscopic level, focusing on individual tasks. It combines data from various sources to provide insights into how employees interact with applications and complete tasks in the insurance process.

Task mining in insurance can help to uncover hidden inefficiencies, automate repetitive tasks, and improve employee productivity. It provides a detailed understanding of task execution, paving the way for more efficient process designs.

Work API

The latest option for process visibility in knowledge-intensive work such as insurance is process intelligence leveraging Work API. You can think of it as a next-generation process visibility engine powered by artificial intelligence instead of rule-based data mining.

Unlike traditional data mining techniques, Work API does not require access to event logs (or even separate integrations to different IT systems.) Operational excellence teams and process leaders can get visibility into core insurance processes within days of a configurable plug-and-play implementation.

The core benefit for insurance companies is faster access to insights, self-service process visibility without IT team resources and truly end-to-end transparency on tasks, processes and operational performance.

Bottom line

In the labyrinth of insurance processes, visibility is the guiding light that brings efficiency, transparency, and customer satisfaction. Whether it's through process mapping, process mining, or task mining, gaining insights into insurance processes is invaluable for any insurer aiming to stay ahead in the competitive market.

To see how insurance companies can increase process visibility, see Workfellow's Process Intelligence for Insurance.

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Written by

Lari Numminen

Chief Marketing Fellow