Key Takeaways from the 2022 America’s Claims Executive Leadership Forum & Expo

April 6, 2022
Image of Jeff Sondak, a Roots Automation executive leader, at the 2022 ACE Leadership Forum & Expo event.

Earlier this week, Roots Automation sponsored and attended the 2022 America’s Claims Executive Leadership Forum & Expo. As our team returns from New Orleans, we’re reinvigorated by the return of in-person events and re-engaging with colleagues, friends, and thought leaders across the space.

Despite a thorough range of topics – from improved policyholder experience to fraud, from litigation to claims automation – takeaways of the event and the key trends within the industry were made clear.  

Key Trends

1. Employees favor remote work, but are still adjusting to the hybrid team structure and increased volume of work. In conversations with other insurance executives, the majority admitted that their teams are struggling to keep up with the workload.

2. Some insurers are preparing for the future with touchless claims experiences, while others are focused on improved backend processes with the intention of adding more humanity to the process.  

3. At the core of everything is one constant, common mission: improving the policyholder claims experience.

Each organization is unique, but ultimately, their policyholders want the same thing: a swift, easy claims experience. The biggest question is, how can insurers give it to them?

Reducing Employee Workload is Priority

By now, everyone is aware of The Great Attrition. The challenges of the mass exodus from the workforce are easy to pinpoint – increased workloads juxtaposed with decreased manpower, repetitive and disengaging work, and difficulty adjusting to remote work, to name a few.

This topic is so front of mind that ACE opened with a keynote address on The Complexities of Hybrid Work and Leading Remote Teams, hosted by Jodie Hopkins, Commercial Lines Integrated Operations Leader of Westfield Insurance. The high attendance for this presentation indicates that executives across the insurance industry are struggling with training, retaining, and engaging remote teams.

This is reminiscent of an issue a current Roots Automation customer was facing in early 2020, at the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic. The organization allotted two full-time employees for the First Notice of Loss (FNoL) claims process. These two employees were bored and disengaged due to the monotony of their day-to-day work.  

Beyond the employees’ disengagement, the organization’s FNoL process was too slow for their internal goals. However, after implementing a Digital Coworker, the organization reached a 95% straight-through processing rate. The two employees were up-trained to a new department within claims.

“This was a great project for us,” said Roots Automation executive Jeff Sondak. “I’m really proud of the team. We ended up delivering a 95% straight-through processing rate on this process, and that’s a statistic from our customer, not us. It really demonstrates how impactful a Digital Coworker can be.”

You can read the full claims automation case study here.

Claims Technology is Good Customer Service

Perhaps the most recurring topic throughout the conference relates back to claims technology and touchless claims experiences. From navigating Property-Casualty in a Post-pandemic Landscape with Acord’s President & CEO Bill Pieroni, to Traveling the Road to Touchless Claims with Claims Magazine’s Editor-in-Chief Patricia Harmon, to a mega session on Customer Engagement in a Digital World: How the Digital Revolution is Shaping Customer Service presented by One Inc.’s Chief of Staff Tony Bakshi, digital transformation and adoption was easily the most anticipated discussion of the event.

After the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020, the entire insurance industry – and most of the working world – struggled with remote operations. The insurance claims sector in particular was left reeling. How do you remotely assess property damage? How do you handle PII and sensitive information when claims adjusters work from home?

Fortunately, there’s a plethora of new claims technology to combat these unprecedented changes to the way insurance organizations serve their customers. From assessing property damage remotely to increasing the speed with which claims are resolved, claims executives are united in looking for ways to digitize their operations.

The Future of Insurance is Policyholder Satisfaction

Much like the rest of the world, the insurance industry has changed drastically in the last few years. With the onset of remote work, the increase in claims and catastrophic claims, and the simultaneous increased demand for Amazon-like experiences, organizations that don’t prioritize digital adoption within the next few years may never catch up to the competition.

Jeff Sondak, a member of the Roots Automation executive leadership team, reflected on the emphasis on the policyholder experience throughout the 2022 America’s Claims Executive Leadership Forum & Expo.

“The 2022 ACE Leadership Forum was a great medium to discuss the future of the insurance industry,” said Sondak, who attended the event and spoke to many insurance executives in attendance. “There’s a common theme across every conversation I had or heard at the event: the future of the insurance industry relies on the claims experience.”  

“I’ve made claims before, and each time, I’ve wanted that claim resolved as quickly as possible,” he continued. “From acknowledging the loss initially to compensating for losses, I want a speedy resolution. Most importantly, I want empathy throughout the process. And the reality is, claims adjusters and insurance employees just won’t have the bandwidth for empathy when they themselves are stressed from adjusting to remote work, working with archaic technology and legacy systems, or simply inundated with high volumes of rote work.”

Roots Automation is on a mission to make work more human. If your organization – like many of the insurers above – is exploring digital transformation, claims automation, or ways to alleviate stress from your workforce, please contact Jeff Sondak directly at jeff@rootsautomation.com.

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