Document processing in the insurance industry

Since it has been common practice in the insurance industry to receive a huge amount of documents every day, one might well think that in 2020, document processing is automated for the most part. It is therefore all the more surprising that countless documents are still processed partly or even completely by hand. Read this article to find out what is needed to change this and what the opportunity for the insurance industry is.

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Similar to the leasing industry, document and form-based work processes form the basis for daily business in the insurance industry. From onboarding and underwriting to quoting, claims reporting and claims handling, including invoices, estimates, and policy renewals, there is a constant flow of communication between an insurance company, brokers and customers that involves countless documents. Even though most of these documents are received digitally, many of them, especially policies, still come in physical form. These documents are extremely variable and complex, unstructured and with nested free-form text.

Since manual processing is commonplace just for the capture and forwarding of all these documents, you can imagine the immense amount of time lost here on a daily basis. Not to mention the tedious data entry work that employees have to deal with and the associated susceptibility to errors. All in all, not necessarily tasks that should rob a well-qualified specialist of a great deal of time in the working day.

High customer satisfaction and excellent customer service are the top priorities of any insurance company. In other words, this also means that when a claim is reported, for example, a customer does not want to wait two weeks for the money to be transferred to his bank account. However, if the insurance company receives the claim, the processing time can be quite long, and the case must first pass through various internal interfaces before the transfer can be approved. The “instant” moment, which could have such a decisive impact on the customer experience, is completely lost. The same applies, of course, to customer onboarding, where the processing time can be unnecessarily lengthy.

In the insurance industry, it is of vital importance that the unstructured, highly variable and often complex data structures contained in documents can be extracted as structured data as soon as they are received. Complete processes, such as those that still exist in many insurance companies today, should be comprehensively rethought in order to minimize operating costs in a timely manner. The integration of a powerful OCR (Optical Character Recognition) software can help you to remedy this situation. This way, all relevant information in documents is recognized, extracted and processed by software. This also applies to documents where the manual processing of handwritten text and the resulting different handwriting stiles is another pain point that can be automated with Handwritten Text Recognition (HTR). Read more in this article.

The advantages of automated document processing in the insurance industry are obvious:

Claims management

One of the most important and largest areas of an insurance company is claims management. With an integrated data extraction technology, incoming claims notifications can be processed and forwarded immediately, which massively reduces process throughput times and significantly improves customer service.

Customer onboarding

Offers and insurance contracts are created with almost zero friction and time loss and bring back the “instant” moment. New customers are thus pleasantly surprised, which quickly gets around and can prove to be extremely valuable word-of-mouth propaganda.

Everything in the right place

With automated processing, incoming documents are analyzed directly at the front end of the inbox and therefore at the most relevant point, and can be automatically forwarded to the relevant downstream processes. The unstructured documents are thus available in a structured form and at the right place within a very short time.

Internal operations

Not only the customers benefit from the automation, but also insurance employees. By automating the previously tedious document processing, they will be able to take care of things where their expertise is demanded and more meaningful satisfaction can be gained.

The integration of automated document processing is more than just an opportunity for the insurance industry. The ability to use it to convert unstructured documents into machine-readable documents or in other words, extract data in real-time is a huge advantage in a highly competitive market, in all respects, from productivity gains in general to greater customer satisfaction externally.

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