There are still many untapped opportunities to utilise technology to a greater extent in claims. Digital devices connect us with our homes and our cars and are certainly going to continue to shape our daily lives and the insurance industry.

However the application and opportunity for technology to make big changes ‘behind the scenes’ in how we manage the claims process is just as great.

We talk about first notification of loss in claims handling and for me even this term implies that this key step, first contact, is just a report stage, where information is taken for further assessment before any action begins.

However think about first call, or contact, resolution (FCR), a phrase which I think much better conveys the intention to assess, review and instruct the necessary actions immediately and therefore minimise the disruption for the policyholder.

This is where I see one of the greatest opportunities in employing technology in claims. Data augmentation and AI which happens in conjunction with the information the policyholder is providing, whether via the phone or another channel, gives a better understanding of the requirements of the customer, and the resolution steps necessary, right at the start of the claim.

In a motor accident claim there is some essential information which, accessed straightaway, will enable a proper assessment of what is involved and expedite the progress of the claim.

A good illustration of this point can be seen in how total loss claims are progressed. Our research has shown that 20% of vehicles that go on to a repair track, and into a garage, are then written off some days later. This isn’t a good experience for the customer and adds significant costs to the claim that could be completely avoided if that decision had been made sooner.

The application of technology such as AI and data science at first contact transforms the way a claims handler can manage the process. Extensive vehicle data and image recognition AI coupled with historical repair and a salvage valuation model combine to create a powerful decision support mechanism.

Technology can drive a smarter way of working from the outset and prevent frustration and delays further down the line.