Building From the Ground Up: How INSHUR Moved Claims In-House
Written by Brandon Littles
“This isn’t going to be easy” is the understatement we made when we first discussed bringing claims in-house at INSHUR. A year and a half later, we reached our goal of delivering a fully digital claims experience to our customers that’s overseen by the team at INSHUR from end to end. This was a huge shift for us and one that certainly had its challenges along the way.
So, why did we do it? And what did we learn along the way? This is how INSHUR went from being a Digital Insurance Agent to a full Managing General Agent (MGA) with complete in-house claims handling.
Why did we do it?
Because it had to be done! We all know how filing a claim used to be. You got into an accident, called your insurer and waited on hold to speak to someone. The insurance company then confirmed your policy and took your statement, but that was far from the end of the process.
After that, you waited a few days for the appraiser to call you to schedule a mutually-convenient time to inspect your car. You get the estimate a few days after the appraiser inspects your car. You then go to your body shop and then THEY write an estimate. The insurance company argues with the shop for a few days and then your car finally gets repaired.
At INSHUR, we want to flip the entire claims process on its head. We reinvented the claims process from the ground up using the latest technology where we put the customer first. The bar was set pretty low – our first rule: No. Paper. Ever. When an accident occurs, we want to be the first to know so we can proactively get the claim opened, investigated and resolved before you can say settled!
How did we do it?
Deciding on the right claims system was critical to the success of our Claims department. Since we wanted to completely reinvent how claims were processed, we needed to make sure that we worked with like minded and forward-thinking startups. We needed a partner that would build out the system, but was agile enough to add functionality in real time. We partnered with Five Sigma because they were able to meet all of our requirements and more. Five Sigma was able to leverage their flexible APIs with our strategic partners so tasks could be handled by those partners but automatically update the claim. This capability has hugely helped move the claims process in-house. We’ve created a workflow where our staff has not touched a single piece of paper since we started handling claims. Using Five Sigma’s state-of-the-art system allowed us to start handling claims in record time compared to legacy claims management systems. With our in-house claims team, we saw an immediate improvement of our collision cycle time, which was reduced by 36%.
What makes INSHUR different?
At INSHUR, we’ve developed a digital-first claims handling infrastructure. Using this framework, we identified the core principles of claims handling and how we would leverage technology to meet our goals. Once this was identified, we found strategic partners to meet our requirements.
An example of how we implemented this framework is our partnership with Nexar. Nexar produces a slick and unobtrusive dashboard camera, which our drivers have the ability to purchase and can elect to automatically send us a video in the event of an accident. Once secured, our claims team immediately starts the claims process on behalf of our drivers. In the future, we can leverage this telematics data and machine learning to automate an accurate repair estimate seconds after an accident occurs.
What have we learned so far?
We found that communication was crucial to the process of bringing our claims in-house. When beginning this project, it was a considerable learning curve for our Engineering, Insurance, Marketing and PeopleOps teams. Interdepartmental communication was critical in guaranteeing that all of the goals outlined by the claims project were met on time. Our project managers held everyone to account and used an agile process to organize our meetings and track our progress.
We were glad to learn that our customers appreciate having the ability to communicate directly with an INSHUR team member when a loss is reported. With claims being handled by our team, we now have oversight of this process and continually improve the customer experience in real time. As such, we can provide our customers with lower response times and quicker settlements.
We spent weeks in User Acceptance Testing to test our systems, workflows and integrations. However, we understood that handling claims was an “all or nothing” approach with limited opportunities for testing the feasibility of our workflows once we went live. We understood that once we started taking claims, we were responsible for every good, bad or ugly challenge that came along with it. Launching claims is like an avalanche, so we had to make sure we were prepared for every outcome.
What’s next for claims at INSHUR?
We now have rich real-time claims data that we can use to process future claims more efficiently and improve our underwriting models. Artificial Intelligence will automate routine aspects of the claims process and Predictive Analytics will assist investigations for successful subrogation and identify potential fraud.
Imagine being stopped at a light and you get hit in the rear. You get out of your car and take a look at the damages. The other driver calls his insurance company and you open the INSHUR App. You see a notification that a payment has been sent to your checking account and an estimate has been emailed to you. No hassle, no fuss, just quick settlements. That’s the future of claims at INSHUR.