Insurers who commit to automating the claims process will help clients get better service, a consultant has stated.
Nathan Root, vice-president of insights and data for the insurance division at Capgemini Financial Services, said better use of artificial intelligence during the claims process at US insurers has cut down processing time and provided a more tailored service.
He said this sort of automation would become commonplace in the UK over the next five years, and could lead to significant cost reduction for the insurer as well as improved service to the end policyholder.
Speaking to FTAdviser, Mr Root said: "When it comes to the claims process, I have seen the initial response time has taken a lot of people and a lot of time.
"For example, when a claim is first reported to the company, it can take 24 to 48 hours just to get all the data and information, sending it to the adjuster, and coming back to the policyholder if there is any additional information needed.
"But if the person making a claim is in a dire situation and need the help as soon as possible, these sort of delays in the process are not acceptable."
Whereas this was standard even 10 years ago, Mr Root said AI has developed so much now that it can be used to help read through the documents, using optimal character recognition.
The 'robo' can then route this to the correct person within a much shorter timeframe, or recognise where there are gaps in the claim form, and respond to the policyholder very quickly.
"This process can be done 24/7, so including weekends. Rather than a claims taking days to get to the adjuster this can take just an hour."
CapGemini has partnered with Heavy Water, a firm which does cognitive document processing. Mr Root said: "A handful of companies are using this now and it will become standard over time."
He highlighted how personal lines insurance claims have become more digitised and therefore speedier, and although life insurance claims can be more complicated, using AI can still speed up even these more complicated claims.
Mr Root said another area where AI could help is in compensation claims coming through a group protection scheme in the workplace.
He said digitising the process can mean all the various information about doctors' appointments and prescriptions and days off can be collated quickly and efficiently.
The robo can then assess the claim more efficiently, raising it to a senior medical professional where necessary, so that claims which would have been more serious and progressively worse over time can be dealt with at an earlier stage, potentially mitigating the more serious problems.