April 14, 2021 | Jim Kuhr, Senior Client Executive, Hi Marley

Five Problems with Data Silos in Insurance

Data silos refer to data that is housed in a system that can’t “speak” to other systems, or that is available only to a specific group in your organization. Many insurance carriers have data spread across different technology platforms. The information could be highly valuable, but leaders aren’t able to access it or use it in a meaningful way. The lack of efficiencies and ability to share data can ultimately hurt your policyholders’ customer experience, claim outcomes and organizational efficiency.

Here are five ways data silos can negatively affect your company and policyholders.

  1. Data silos hamper efforts to continuously improve the customer experience and claim handling quality. 
    When an adjuster is working on a claim, they may communicate via phone, email or mail. These varying communication platforms don’t share data and don’t allow for easy and consistent access to accurate information about the claim. As a result of the silo effect, leaders struggle to get deeper views and actionable insights from customer conversations that can help them learn and improve. Ultimately, leaders miss an opportunity to drive superior customer experiences while effectively managing claim costs.

  2. Data silos create added tasks for adjusters.
    When handling a claim, if communication is siloed, adjusters spend time organizing, validating and cleaning up data errors. For example, if a policyholder provides details on a car accident over the phone and the data was entered incorrectly, an adjuster must revisit the phone call or review documentation or emails – taking time, causing potential delays, and limiting the amount of time adjusters can spend on critical thinking.

  3. Data silos create organizational inefficiencies leading to missed improvement opportunities.
    When data is siloed, organizations waste time knitting information together to make analysis possible, not to mention identification and correction of data errors once the data is finally in usable format. Without an integrated set of data to identify customer experience or claim cost management opportunities, issues can potentially remain unidentified and unaddressed.

  4. Data silos can lead to key metric framework challenges.
    Key performance indicators are core to insurance success. We love metrics! However, data silos create inefficiencies and data quality issues when we try to define, create and utilize a claims key metric framework.

    When creating a data and key metrics framework strategy, organizations should first identify and consider all the possible data sources needed to provide management with the insights necessary to improve the customer experience and claim outcomes (including conversational data generated by texting and other digital communications). From there, these different data elements should be integrated into a single version of the truth that continuously provides insights into key issues, the frequency of issues, and the depth and breadth of opportunities associated with the issues.

  5. Data silos can mean missed correlations.
    Data silos can limit our ability to identify cause-and-effect correlations. For example, an insurer implements a new best practice that requires initial contact on new claims take place within two hours. After 60 days, however, they see the quality of loss investigations decline. In this case, data silos resulted in a missed opportunity to explore whether new contact standards added adjuster handling stress in a manner which is reducing the quality of investigations.

Removing Data Silos Improves Policyholder Communication

There are ways to combat data silos without reworking core insurance software. It starts with improved communication through texting. Policy holders expect the ability to text with their insurance reps the way they do with other service providers. Texting removes most data silos as adjusters can quickly communicate with policyholders to confirm missing or erroneous data and provide instant feedback. It ensures adjusters are spending their time resolving claims and providing better customer service.

A communication platform also allows carriers to have all information in one place. Problems that arise in the continuous stream of communication can be boiled up to management as soon as they are identified, helping to address them in real-time. The result is improved customer response times, lower cycle times and reduced rental days. It also and diminishes the likelihood of customers feeling the need to be represented by an attorney.

By having all policyholder conversations in one place, siloed key performance indicators are removed. A communication platform can offer you more concrete data around open claims, average time to first contact, customer response, survey score and sentiment information.

This is where a communication platform like Hi Marley built for the insurance industry can drive transformational change.

Contact Hi Marley to learn more about using digital communications to reduce data silos.

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