In 2021, global insured catastrophe losses topped $130 billion dollars, according to Aon. Of that sum, nearly 94% came from natural catastrophe events. Unsurprisingly, catastrophic events continue to be of key concern to insurance executives.
Avoidance of risk via robust underwriting analysis will always be the best offense against losses, but having the right claims technology remains critical.
Not only does claims analytics technology reduce time and money from manual adjustment in the claims process, but it can also reduce cycle time, the amount of touchpoints with a customer, and minimize the expense spent on deploying adjusters. In particular, in the event of natural disasters, not only is it expensive to deploy an adjuster, but it can also be dangerous.
With that in mind, here’s the top five things to keep in mind for claims in 2022.
1. Look into the past with temporal imagery, especially to mitigate against fraud.
We have been mapping the world for centuries, but today there are more maps and photos than ever before, giving us the ability to see in near real time how the earth is changing. With an abundance of providers offering satellite, drone, aerial, stratospheric balloon, ground-level, and more types of imagery, today it’s possible to see into the past.
The significance of this temporal imagery cannot be understated. Knowing when damage occurred to a property is a critical first step in investigating a claim, and it can often save carriers money.
At Arturo, our breadth of access to imagery providers and our AI analysis has enabled customers to detect instances of this type of fraudulent activity in their day-to-day. In one notable instance, a carrier encountered a claim regarding a multi-thousand dollar outdoor pizza oven that historical imagery was able to prove never existed.
2. Move fast with gray sky imagery & damage detection.
Imagery can also be collected on-demand. After major storms or natural catastrophe events, carriers can request an aerial flyover as soon as the clouds clear, and within 48 hours, this imagery can be processed and returned with valuable insights.
These AI models can return the condition of homes after a peril event. From comparison of before-and-after of roof damage and condition to the incidence of tarps, or even knowledge of areas with flooding present, damage detection is a powerful way to determine what has been lost.
As the imagery space advances, bleeding edge providers that work with synthetic aperture radar (SAR) could even give carriers the ability to see through the clouds. This could prove to be revolutionary, upending delayed response times and allowing carriers to be even more nimble in the wake of potential total loss catastrophes like hurricanes or wildfires, both of which normally obscure the view from the sky.
In short, AI can capture major damage and changes to a property after a disaster, and this can help with claims triage, enabling carriers to better prioritize assistance and resources in a time where many policyholders need attention simultaneously. With the ability to see damage in near-real time, adjuster resources can be expended intelligently, sending them to locations where the claim needs both further scrutiny and greater on-the-ground expertise.
In addition, claims teams can reach out to policyholders who have visible damage but haven’t filed a claim, becoming a proactive partner in the claims process and ensuring a better customer experience. Not only does this methodology reduce churn for insurance carriers but it can even save time and money spent on cycle times. At Arturo, we’ve seen an average of 30 minutes saved per property claim due to accuracy and minimized rework.
3. Estimate repair costs with accurate property measurements…without a ruler or tape measure.
With AI precisely applied during the claims process, an adjuster can even take remote measurements of a house to estimate cost.
At Arturo, our web applications make it easy for adjusters to simply trace the area of roof panels, for instance, to quickly estimate the perimeter or area of a given polygon. This provides a great basis upon which to gauge repair costs, and these measurements can even be handed to contractors on the ground, so they can prepare adequate materials for repair. This works for items like fences as well, to determine how long the fence spans, or even items like a small shed or a hot tub.
4. Elevate the role of claims professionals.
The technology to hasten the claims process is here today. With imagery from satellites, drones, stratospheric balloons, and more, along with other do-it-yourself (DIY) imagery sources that allow the homeowner to capture information with their cell phone camera, the power of AI models can be utilized to assist throughout the claims process.
But this doesn’t mean leaving humans to the wayside. At its best, utilizing AI technology is a symphony of machines and humans working hand-in-hand, with each focusing on what they’re best at to achieve better outcomes overall.
Instead of relying on people to manually process through simple claims, with those easy tasks left to the AI, claims professionals can focus on utilizing their years of experiences to address the challenging claims. From handling disputes to picking up the baton when the AI model is confused with a particular property, there is a great opportunity for claims professionals to bring exponential value to the table.
5. Keep tabs on your portfolio in the event of natural catastrophes.
These AI-enabled solutions are powerful at the property-level, but at the portfolio-level they become game-changing. As global catastrophe insured losses only continue to increase, the ability to monitor your entire book of business in the wake of natural hazards is necessary to make a dent in loss ratios.
With an AI-enabled solution that can pair event footprints against your policies in force, you can see which properties have incurred damage, to what degree of severity that damage is, and what policies are associated with that particular property. This enables you to manage your response to all of those policies intelligently, triaging the situation as a whole and managing both people and monetary resources effectively.
Lift your insurance tech stack across the policy continuum
While investing in better risk assessment tools and claims propensity models for underwriting is a great way to improve your combined ratios, keeping and growing business is about providing a great experience for customers no matter what stage of the policy lifecycle they are in.
Carriers who only optimize a specific area of their business, like point of quote, lose out when come time for a claim or a dispute, the carrier can’t provide an equivalent, consistent, and trusted experience. The way a claim is handled directly affects customer satisfaction — and according to a McKinsey study, satisfied customers are 80% more likely to renew their policies.
By keeping these technological applications in mind and exploring how they can transform your business, you can be better prepared for the future — competition, climate or otherwise — from 2022 and beyond.