The insurance industry is built upon the foundation of documents and data. This world lives on repetitive cycles of claims, underwriting, renewals, processing, and months on months of endless reporting. Every day this particular sector gets tons of paper and clerical work thrown at its fore, which is necessary for it to run. The same necessity makes it difficult for the industry to capture new growth and consumer experience levels. The legacy of insurance business lies in this process, which is both inundate and redundant. Redundant in the sense that, to indeed mark a new industrial transformation, any enterprise’s core process has to change its legacy. To achieve a new level of growth, the insurance sector must take routes that make it more efficient, fast, and accurate with its routine job process.
Enters RPA, Robotic Process Automation, a technology that has proved to be the biggest boon for the insurance sector in recent years. RPA enables enterprises to automate business processes that are repetitive by nature. This technology has let companies harness their human resource to more efficient levels, removing the robotic angle out of their jobs and hence pushing the sector towards its complete digitization.
Starting from Zero
Implementation of RPA in insurance began with processes that were non-complex and were huge in volume. These were jobs that required a lot of data work like data gathering and entry. The initial phase of RPA implementation exceeded expectations in many insurance companies. The efficiency in work hours was off the charts with a significant ROI percentage at the end of the 6-month period.
There is a reason behind pilot projects on specified work fields and limited exposure during implementation. An enterprise-scale RPA implementation is rare because robotic automation isn’t a perfect fit for all the operations in an industry. Until now, RPA has mostly been used at scale for processes that could be carried out without the intervention of human intelligence. Even that has brought massive returns for the insurers in terms of efficiency as it freed up a lot of staff time and increased accuracy.
The Way Forward
When we talk about digital transformation, we usually talk about digitizing the whole enterprise. Even though automation through RPA is an integral part of the digital evolution of the insurance sector, it is still to go a long way, especially when it comes to solving complex issues and running elaborate processes.
To tackle this, insurers have begun to integrate Intelligent Optical Character Recognition and Artificial Intelligence to serve their cause better. Now when RPA, AI and OCR work in tandem, they produce results in the metric of time saved and accuracy achieved while ensuring that two work streams are seamlessly connected.
Another evolution that is being witnessed in the insurance industry is the types of RPA being implemented. Earlier companies used unattended RPA robots, which performed a specified task without any human intervention or constant oversight. Now a forward-looking trend of deploying ‘Attended RPA Robots’ is becoming prevalent in the sector, where the robot acts a lot like a personal assistant to the attending human agent. E.g., an attending robot would provide the agent with all the customer information when that particular customer contacts the company’s call center. Underwriting is one job vertical in insurance that uses more attending robots to extract and bring together all the relevant data, which is needed to make quick and better-informed decisions.
One major evolutionary shift is the integration of RPA to CHATBOTS, which again is a forward-moving step towards the complete digital transformation of the industry. The capabilities of RPA allow insurers to use robots linked with chatbots to dig into the company’s system and extract relevant data for the chatbot, which would create a high-quality response for the consumer side of the fiber.
Using RPA in insurance for more sensitive jobs
Insurers have been quick in recognizing the possibilities that the RPA technology brings with it for the claims and compliance vertical. Companies are looking at opportunities to combine RPA with Artificial Intelligence and Machine learning to create more intelligent automated processes and further the evolutionary bar. This automation has helped in but not limited to speeding up the process of audit and compliance, along with maintaining high-quality accuracy and safeguarding. This new system of data analytics and re-engineered methods where the companies can make electronic claims payment to the customer is there in the mainstream insurance industry because of the intelligent automation created with these technologies. Ensuring that the industry moves away from its age-old image of inefficiency and provides customer experience, which was unknown before, hence indeed evolving and undergoing an industrial transformation.
It is safe to say with all this insight that RPA as a technology is the catalyst for the digital transformation of the insurance world. Though somewhat limited in its scope as a stand-alone tech for a complete revolution, it is a founding stone for the more considerable technological evolution of an industry.