BLOG: Could claims become fully automated in the future?
January 3, 2023

Featured in Modern Insurance Magazine, Pete Thompson, Activate Group’s Director of Product considers the possibility and potential pros and cons of a fully-automated claims journey.

There’s a possibility that claims could become fully automated in the future due to an abundance of quality external data. What are your thoughts on this?

Pete Thompson, Director of Product

By 2026, every new vehicle sold in the UK will be ‘connected’ according to a forecast from Statista.

These vehicles, linked via 5G and the Internet of Things, create a data-rich environment with the potential to drive change throughout the claims process.

What would it look like if we took this data and used it to automate a motor claim?

It starts with automated FNOL. Data from in-vehicle cameras and telematics devices, overlayed with AI to verify true incidents as they happen. The technology creates a notification, complete with time, date, location, incident description and even weather conditions. This isn’t a far-distant dream, auto-FNOL technology is already live in the fleet environment, although not yet widely used.

From here, the automated claims journey would kick into action. It’s certainly true that there are tasks with standard, repeatable outcomes in the claims environment. At Motor Repair Network we already use the powerful workflow tool within our system to automate much of the process.

We do this with the knowledge that each claim and policyholder is different. Automation allows us to dedicate more time to handling sensitive or complex claims where the human touch brings the greatest value. It will be a long time before AI can offer the same level of empathy and initiative as a human being.

That said, as people get more comfortable with AI interaction, it will be possible to automate more of the journey.

Bill Gates famously said: “Automation applied to an efficient operation will magnify the efficiency. Automation applied to an inefficient operation will magnify the inefficiency.”

With this in mind, we should consider the vast amount of data already available, and how well technology is embedded across the supply chain. Where there are multiple service providers, there must be a data strategy that focuses on centralising a ‘single version of the truth’ for each policyholder and claim. If not, a fragmented view could start to develop.

In my opinion, the fully automated claims process may be applied to specific claims, but with wide demographics of policyholders and drivers, human intervention will still be needed for the foreseeable future. That said, the connected world we live in offers important opportunities to improve efficiency, and the starting point must be data.

A clear strategy on how data is handled across the supply ecosystem is the first step to seizing the benefits of automation.

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