Digital and policyholder experience


In this series of five blog articles we will study various levels of automation in claims processes and the potential for policyholder engagement through online and mobile interaction. In addition, we will show how claims data analytics can help insurers in the areas of market segmentation and even product design.

In this age of digital consumption, customers expect intuitive online solutions and interaction across the board. Customers are so accustomed to searching, selecting and buying online that they expect their buyer journey for insurance products to follow suit. And as a result of the advanced use of mobile devices, they will want to conduct their business anytime, anywhere using the device and channel of their choice.

But even as insurance providers invest in pre-sales and on-boarding, truly customised services based on the results of analytics are slow to take off. Not to mention the customer journey support phase, in other words, the claims process. Yet research has clearly shown that the claims process is a vital factor in customer loyalty, customer retention and the insurer’s online reputation. After all, it’s mostly the claims handling phase that customers will comment upon on social media. This is the phase that proves their insurance policy’s worth. And if this experience falls short of expectations, the search for an alternative is just a few mouse clicks away. PWC’s Insurance 2020 survey (2014) showed that 80% of UK respondents consult social media during their search. While for non-life lines price is still the major determining factor, the potential impact of poor peer reviews on social media is massive.

Another important aspect of the claims process is the data it collects. If properly mined and analysed claims data can provide valuable insight for profiling and segmentation purposes. In addition, data analysis can have a profound impact on reducing claims costs thanks to fraud detection and insight in potential claims leakage.

The key to customer engagement and process optimisation is digital. Digital enables us to personalise communication, automate processes in which manual involvement offers no added value in the customer experience and ultimately, design insurance products that are fully geared to the customers’ needs based on ever more sophisticated profiling.

Let’s explore the various claims processes under household claims. These may range from low complexity claims, eligible for straight-through-processing and one-call completion, to the more complex claims requiring the involvement of loss adjusters. We distinguish four processes, each with their specific level of automation and related customer benefits as listed below

In the next instalments of our blog we will focus on the potential of digital from a perspective of cost reductions and customer expectations in relation to Straight-Through-Processing (STP) and Remote Loss-Adjusting under household policies. Field-adjusting too offers opportunities to further engage policyholders – in particular in the planning process and communication updates as the appointment approaches – and will be discussed in the fourth article of this series.


Inphographic by Marieke Buurman, Van Ameyde Waarderingen



PWC (2014). Insurance 2020: The digital prize – taking customer connection to a new level

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