April 06, 2021 | Mark Snyder, Claims Subject Matter Expert, Hi Marley

How SMS Text Solutions Improve Damage Assessment and the Customer Experience

The P&C insurance claims industry is constantly challenged to deliver fast, fair service while effectively managing claims costs. It’s a tall order. Consumers are accustomed to communicating with businesses through multiple channels – phone, email, SMS, chat – and expect a fast turnaround. Depending on the line of business and segmentation model, claims service representatives may handle over 90 claims per month. They can be hard pressed to deliver timely, accurate claim outcomes and high-quality customer service under these circumstances.

But with SMS texting solutions, claims staff can efficiently facilitate customer and vendor conversations, identify and assess damages and close claims quickly. Rule-based estimating and evaluation software has facilitated more accurate damage assessments to be sure. That being said, what else can carriers do? How can they communicate more effectively to ensure customers’ most important needs are being met? How can they ensure that damage indicators are being recognized and appropriately addressed as early as possible in the claim life cycle?

On auto claims, inefficient communication can lead to additional rental days, not to mention frustrated customers. For example, a two-day delay in claim assessment and resolution can lead to a two-to-four-day lag in completing repairs, which may result in needless rental car loss costs. Conservatively, if we extrapolate a two-day delay over 10,000 claims at $35 per rental day, there is the potential for $700,000 in leakage. By leveraging asynchronous texting as part of their digital communications strategy, carriers can communicate with customers, body shops and rental car providers faster, thus reducing claim churn, and the likelihood of leakage and dissatisfied policyholders.

From a property perspective, failure to quickly identify and mitigate losses can lead to customer dissatisfaction, lack of trust in their insurance provider and/or significant leakage. But by communicating via text – with the ability to provide photos, repair estimates and other needed documentation – customers, carriers and service providers can collaborate quickly to prevent additional damage and to ensure accurate, timely claim resolutions.

Some examples of how text communications can mitigate costs, enhance the speed and quality of damage assessments and improve customer service include:

  • Quick, comprehensive communication with customers at their “moment of truth”

  • Determining whether physical inspections are needed

  • Quickly triaging loss severity via uploaded photos, estimates and other documentation

  • Speedier recognition of the need for and assignment of emergency repair services

  • Increased preferred shop/contractor penetration rates

  • Better communication with auto and property claim ecosystem partners

  • Quicker confirmation of auto total losses

To keep up with growing consumer expectations and the need for fast, accurate claim handling, our industry must communicate more quickly, efficiently and effectively. By adding digital communication texting technology to their suite of solutions, insurance carriers increase the likelihood of timely, accurate damage assessments and more satisfied customers. The end result is better customer experiences and mitigation of loss leakage leading to bottom line improvements in pure loss ratio and customer retention.

*Consulting

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