by Michael G. Splane

Collaborative, informational, delightful and forward thinking are a few take-a-ways that can be used to describe the 2013 International Claims Association (ICA) Educational Conference. ClaimVantage representatives were discussing best practices, case studies and a personal view of the changing landscape of claims with claims professionals.

Major technological advances on the architecture and financial analysis side, and the swiftly moving regulatory environment prompts major changes in the claims universe. This results in a dilemma for claims professionals as well as the insurance industry as a whole in that they need to make the decision to Begin To Change Or Be Changed. Those that are open to start the process of change realize that their current architecture was constructed to serve a consumer base of the 1990’s and not today’s broader and increasingly complex market.

Advanced Technology

IT departments are finding that the “bolting together” of multiple systems, that has worked for years, is resulting in more frequent and greater challenges, due to the inefficient manner in which data is gathered. The traditional style of problem solving does not support thought leadership of dealing with overall operational efficiency for carrier’s long term cost control, risk mitigation and positioning for new growth.

In one conversation, a CIO mentioned he was astonished to learn that his company could not find all of their policyholder’s information because there was not a unique identifier tying the information together. This initiated a revamp of their systems tying them all together with a unique identifier. Utilization of the Cloud made this a much easier process.

Changes in Consumer Behavior

With the introduction of new products and a shift from traditional employer-sponsored group plans to a more voluntary and individual market, the insurance claims process now involves greater depth and breadth in its function and overall efficiencies.

A claim manager from one of the top 20 Life insurance companies discussed how they were utilizing data and analysis tools to support their claim decisions. The changing demographics of consumers and the shift to a more commoditized market are driving strategic development discussions.

Although, there was a general consensus by all current systems and processes need to be reassessed and considered for future project evaluation, only a few have listed this as a priority for the near future.

In summary, there was a very clear message that the claim process can never be complacent in a landscape of change and if companies want to keep up they will need to embrace change.

 – We look forward to seeing everyone again at the 2014 New Orleans ICA Conference.