March 30, 2022 | Mark Snyder, Claims Subject Matter Expert, Hi Marley

Enhancing Damage Assessments and Improving the Customer Experience with Text Messaging

As consumer expectations evolve, the property and casualty insurance claims industry is constantly challenged to deliver fast, fair service while effectively managing claims costs. While this challenge is nothing new for our industry, it is rapidly accelerating and will continue to do so.

Thinking back to my days as an adjuster, I recall the ever-present stress and anxiety associated with trying to meet and exceed insured customer expectations and, at the same time, deliver timely, high-quality claim outcomes for my employer. I clearly remember the daily frustration generated by playing phone tag with policyholders as they tried to get their claims resolved. I often felt helpless as I left my office in the evening, knowing that while I had done all I could within the limitations of existing processes and technology, it still wasn’t enough.

I also recall that new claim assignments consistently arrived at a breakneck pace. That hasn’t changed for today’s adjusters. If anything, new receipts have increased because nowadays, everyone is expected to do more with less human resources. Modern claims systems and rules-based estimating and evaluation solutions have helped facilitate more efficient handling processes and accurate damage assessments. That being said, what else are carriers doing from a texting perspective to ensure they’re meeting their customers’ most important needs and recognizing and appropriately addressing damages as early as possible in the claim life cycle?

Whether then or now, inefficient Auto Physical Damage claim communication results in sub-optimal claim handling, not to mention frustrated policyholders. 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 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 rental car overpayments.  By leveraging multi-party texting as part of their digital communications strategy, carriers can communicate with their customers, body shops and rental car providers quicker, thus reducing churn and the likelihood of sub-optimal outcomes and dissatisfied policyholders. Being able to efficiently and effectively text with applicable claims ecosystem partners creates a win-win for carriers and their customers!

From a property perspective, failure to quickly identify and mitigate losses can lead to policyholder dissatisfaction, lack of trust in their insurance provider and costlier claims. Communicating via text messaging to provide photos, repair estimates and other needed documentation enables policyholders, carriers and service providers to collaborate quickly and more effectively, preventing additional damage and ensuring 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 insureds and claimants 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 multi-party 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 losses leading to bottom-line improvements in pure loss ratio and policyholder retention, as well as less handling stress for adjusters.

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