Why Robotic Process Automation Is Essential to the Future of the Insurance Industry

BY: Robert Wells
SEPTEMBER 29, 2021

Insurance companies have a lot to gain from intelligent automation technology if they want to stay competitive

Key Takeaways:

  • Robotic Process Automation is a technology that can reduce business costs and streamline processes by mimicking human-software interactions to do repetitive tasks.
  • Robotic Process Automation can bring value to a company by communicating with different digital systems, fetching data, and processing a transaction.
  • More and more organizations are implementing RPA technology in their businesses, and Insurance companies are coming forward as one of the biggest adopters of the technology.
  • Insurance companies can benefit from the Robotic Process Automation technology by obliterating redundant processes that are done manually.
  • The technology can give a big push to productivity and drastically improve customer satisfaction, resulting in higher customer retention.
  • Different case studies showing the success of RPA in Insurance companies suggest that the technology has the potential to become the backbone of the industry.

Robotic Process Automation (RPA) has the potential to revolutionize how different business operations are approached. The technology got its name in the mid 2000’s by Blue Prism, a pioneer in the automation software space. Later in 2012, RPA was catapulted to stardom with the coverage and analysts reports mainly by the founder of HFS research, Phil Fersht, but it wasn’t until 2018 that the technology became part of the mainstream conversation because many organizations were undergoing digital transformation at that time.

2018 was also a time when RPA platform capabilities had significantly improved. Now, it is considered one of the most rapidly growing enterprise application automation technologies.

The insurance industry has immense potential to benefit from RPA. Let’s have a look at what RPA encompasses and how it can be a valuable proposition for insurance organizations.

What is RPA?

RPA is a technology that can be used to automate business processes that are repetitive, structured, and rules-based. RPA can mimic the way humans interact with particular software and quickly do tasks that are repetitive and frequent.

RPA technology creates bots or software programs that have the ability to log into applications and complete tasks they are designed to do. RPA technology not only automates redundant processes but can also communicate with other online systems, retrieve information, and carry out transactions.

How does RPA actually work?

RPA works in a more intuitive manner than many other applications. The bots carry out tasks the same way people usually go about their work with different software.

RPA bots can be programmed by recording human activity, such as keystrokes and clicks, while they perform tasks on the software to be automated. Once the bot starts working, it can be monitored to see if it needs any fine-tuning.

RPA also captures business process workflows, which can then act as their initial templates for automation. It uses process mining and machine vision tools to capture user interaction and then mimic those steps in an adaptive way.

The addition of artificial intelligence modules has given RPA technology capabilities that result in intelligent process automation. AI-backed RPA emulates decision-making on the same level as that of human expertise — and without human bias.

What benefits can RPA bring to the table?

The first and foremost benefit of the RPA technology is better customer service resulting in higher customer satisfaction and retention rates. Once implemented, RPA also results in a significant decrease in costs because of its ability to automate repetitive and manual tasks that once took up significant worker hours.

The technology can also help businesses by digitizing the data they have and auditing it. RPA also ensures that the business processes it is programmed to handle are completed at a much more rapid pace compared to time-consuming manual input. This can free up employees of an organization who can then be deployed to do more meaningful jobs.

The RPA technology can also be programmed to ensure that they work in total compliance with the prevalent regulations and standards.

What capabilities should RPA software have?

The first thing that any company should look for in RPA software is whether it’s reliable and secure. The RPA software should have built-in tools that monitor the health of the system. Also, any RPA software that an organization is looking to purchase should ensure the security of its data and must meet all security standards and regulations. The RPA bots must be capable of assessing any security issues and flagging them.

Organizations should be looking to get RPA software that can be managed and scaled from a central control panel instead of being deployed on each computer system separately.

To get the best value out of an RPA implementation, the leaders of that organization should evaluate the possible use cases for RPA. The RPA implementation should be able to support your digital transformation activity. The technology should be part of your revenue-generating activity and not just a labor cost reduction tool.

The RPA technology you opt for should be capable of being designed and tested for automating new processes in as minimum a timeframe as possible.

Also, while interacting with the vendor, you should ask for an AI-based RPA option.

Which industries are using RPA?

RPA is being used in many industries. Primarily, it is used in work environments that involve a lot of repetitive tasks. Organizations working in the areas of banking, insurance, finance, governance, transportation, telecommunications, energy, and healthcare have the potential to benefit from it the most.

Where is the insurance industry heading with regards to RPA implementation?

The insurance industry is evolving at a rapid pace. It has reached a point where the changes taking place in the way things were traditionally approached have gone into hyperdrive. This rapid change is mostly being propelled by automation, integration, and external data ecosystems. Insurance companies are looking to move toward digital maturity and digital transformation to provide better customer experiences and improve the value chain.

Insurers are now looking for technology that can help them leverage analytics and data for a better understanding of the customer. There is now a robust move from a siloed operating framework to a more customer-centric one, which will help provide customers the exact kind of coverage they need.

Insurers are looking to tap into ways technology can make personalized coverage available for the customer. Trends suggest that consumers will also be more willing to share their data for getting coverage offers that match their specific needs and insurance companies will have to be able to leverage this opportunity to present their offerings.

There is also a focus on making the customer buying journey as seamless and streamlined as possible. Insurers are looking to use RPA and integration to make the customer interaction with their platforms frictionless and simple. This will not only result in attracting more customers but also in customer retention.

The insurance industry is leveraging technology to scale its competencies, as well. They are looking to create and present value to all entities who are involved in doing business with them. They are also looking to create new business models to generate revenue opportunities that were previously unexplored.

The future insurance landscape demands insurers to be on their toes about all these disruptive technologies that have the potential to shape the industry. Insurance companies need to have a solid technology adoption scheme that should encompass a data strategy and an artificial intelligence deployment plan. This will help companies know their customer better and manage risks — resulting in better revenue generation.

How can RPA benefit the Insurance sector?

Research conducted by Novarica reveals that more than 50% of all insurers have implemented RPA compared to 2018. By using RPA, insurers are ridding their employees of time-consuming manual work, which is leading to more efficiency, faster processes, and more satisfied customers.

It has been observed that RPA deployment in the financial services sector can trigger a 200% increase in ROI within the first year.

Insurers can make a considerable increase in the accuracy and efficiency of their business process with the help of RPA. Insurance companies have a heavy reliance on different systems and legacy applications. RPA provides value by linking these siloed systems, which results in faster operations, minimized labor costs, and access to new areas of business innovation.

Deployment of RPA can result in not only improved customer-facing services but also better back-office processes. Other benefits of using RPA in insurance operations include faster insurance claims processing, increased data accuracy, investment protection, and provision of cross-selling opportunities.

RPA use cases in insurance

RPA is already being employed in the insurance industry for different data processing tasks. Here are some of the fields of the insurance industry where this technology can be implemented.

Registrations and processing of claims

Claims processing and registration require huge sums of information from different sources, resulting in an extensive amount of data. Current systems do not have the capacity to deal with the data overflow and require manual processing. However, with the help of RPA, claim processing information from multiple sources can now be integrated automatically.

Most of the manual processes that were employed in claims processing — such as claim verifications, complex error tracking, data extraction, and integration of relevant data — can now be automated. The automation results in a better customer experience due to speedy service.

Underwriting

Underwriting involves evaluating client risks. This also involves gathering information from different sources. The accumulation of data and the subsequent analysis can take up to 2 to 3 weeks. RPA technology can automate the whole process of underwriting. It can not only get the data from various sources but also make recommendations.

Regulatory compliance

Strict regulatory guidelines demand complicated processes in insurance, which increases the risk of errors. RPA improves the compliance procedures by automating processes such as validation of customer information and generation of regulatory reports.

Other RPA insurance use cases include form registration, policy cancellation, call-center support, and product innovation.

RPA gives an insurance company the competitive edge it needs

It is high time for insurance companies to extract advantage from technological advancements such as RPA. Leaders in the insurance industry can gauge which of their organization’s work processes do not require human judgment and deploy RPA to streamline and improve those tasks. RPA implementation will not only increase revenue generation but also give insurance companies a competitive advantage.

If you’re ready to move your digital transformation forward with RPA, you can contact us here for a free consultation. We’re happy to demonstrate what intelligent automation can do for your insurance business.

Written by Robert Wells

"CEO @ RD Global. Tech entrepreneur with expertise leading growth strategy, innovation, and intelligent automation (IA). Robert led IA initiatives for 20+ enterprises using Robotic Process Automation (RPA) and Artificial Intelligence (AI), to automate over 300,000 man-hours. "

SEPTEMBER 29, 2021
RD Global Empowers Insurance Companies to optimize total digital experience, unify data, and harmonize processes by developing high impact technology solutions infused with a 5-star customer experience.