How intelligent automation speeds up insurance underwriting and claims processing

By Christopher M. Wells, PhD.

Insurance companies are increasingly concerned with speed, both in terms of underwriting quotes for new insurance and in paying claims faster, to keep customers happy. At the same time, they’re struggling with the lingering effects of the pandemic on staffing, which is driving a need for technologies such as intelligent document processing to help them meet their duelling requirements.

Deloitte laid out the issue in its 2022 insurance industry outlook report. “Insurers are increasingly dependent on emerging technologies and data sources to drive efficiency, enhance cybersecurity, and expand capabilities across the organization,” the report said. “However, most should also focus on improving the customer experience by both streamlining processes with automation as well as providing customized service where needed and preferred.”

The report also highlighted the struggles insurance companies face in attracting and retaining qualified employees. “Future of work considerations have also multiplied as carriers seek to create flexible return-to-office strategies while simultaneously struggling to retain and recruit high-level talent in a very competitive job market,” the Deloitte report said.

Intelligent document processing helps insurance companies streamline processes to get more work done faster, by fewer employees, on both the underwriting and claims sides of the house. In so doing, it can help insurers increase capacity, to grow their business without increasing headcount. Intelligent automation can also increase job satisfaction by relieving employees of mundane, repetitive tasks, enabling them to focus on higher-value functions like error handling and decision-making.

How intelligent automation speeds underwriting

Underwriting is all about writing good business as fast as possible. Traditionally, that means bringing in more underwriters and analysts. That’s always been an expensive proposition, even in a market where talent was more readily available than it is today.

Intelligent automation offers an alternative, with tools that help insurance companies automate the process of reading and categorizing the various documents involved in underwriting and coming up with a score for each application.

Whether a request for an insurance quote comes in via a web portal, email or even on paper, the intelligent automation process is much the same. Using an intelligent document processing platform, insurance companies build automation models that can read an email, for example, and classify it as a quote submission. It will take any attachments, read through them, pull out key data, such as financial figures, credit scores, income, and the like. That data is then fed to a downstream decision support system.

All of that pre-processing reduces the amount of time an underwriter has to spend on each quote request. It also helps improve accuracy, by removing the potential for human error in data entry.

As an added bonus, intelligent automation takes much of the drudgery out of the process, which increases employee job satisfaction – and retention rates.

The end result: underwriters can make fully informed decisions faster, thus increasing their capacity. That helps insurers remain competitive in a world where clients increasingly expect rapid turnarounds from online quote requests.

Automating claims processing

Intelligent document processing brings similar benefits to insurance claims processing.

You can build intelligent automation models that help process all the documents that come with the first notice of loss (FNOL). Whether it’s claims reports, adjuster notes, auto body shop estimates, drivers’ licenses, police reports, proof of insurance and even images of auto damage, a sound intelligent document processing platform can read and classify all of these data elements and get them prepared for review by an insurance adjuster.

Intelligent automation speeds up the process so you can more quickly process claims, to keep customers happy. Straight-through processing may even be an option for simple claims, but at the very least you’ll again be increasing your claims processing capacity without increasing headcount.

The Indico Unstructured Data Platform

These are the kind of benefits the Indico Unstructured Data Platform is bringing to insurance companies every day. The platform is built on artificial intelligence technologies including natural language processing, machine learning and transfer learning, along with a massive database of labelled data points to provide context behind most any document or image.

But all of that is under the covers, such that no specialized data science experience is required to build intelligent automation models. In fact, the Indico Data platform is intended to be used by the employees who know your processes best – those who actually perform your claims and underwriting processes.

To see for yourself how the Indico Data platform can help streamline your underwriting and claims processes, schedule an in-depth demo.

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Christopher is currently the VP of Research and Development at Indico Data and formerly led the Solutions Engineering team through a period of significant expansion. Originally published at