The use of robotic process automation (RPA) – in other words, software bots used for routine keystroke-level tasks – is more common than ever in the insurance industry. Indeed, more than half of all insurers have adopted RPA compared to less than 25% in 2018. With RPA, insurers are transforming the way they do business, from underwriting to policyholder services and claims processing. Insurers are accelerating processes, driving efficiency, and improving customer experiences by automating time-consuming manual tasks.

RPA’s business case is explored more closely here.

How does robotic process automation in insurance work?

By using RPA, insurance companies automate repetitive tasks of employees by using low-code, rules-based software. For example, they might collect customer information, extract data in claims, perform background checks and so on. The trend of RPA is part of a larger trend towards hyperautomation, enabling organizations to become more competitive through transformation of processes.

Insurers benefit from RPA

The implementation of robotic process automation streamlines routine business processes that drain employee time, energy, and morale. By deploying RPA across multiple systems, insurers can increase efficiency and accuracy, freeing human resources for higher-value activities. In financial services, RPA deployments have shown an ROI increase of up to 200% in the first year.

Insurers rely on a wide variety of legacy applications and systems. RPA can help companies connect these disparate systems – with minimal coding – so they can manage operations more efficiently, reduce labor costs, and find new markets for expansion. By 2025, Gartner predicts that 70 percent of new applications written by enterprises will be written without code or in low coding.

The role of RPA in insurance

RPA improves customer experiences and operational efficiency by bridging the gap between legacy insurance systems. The RPA platform is able to process mouse and keyboard actions while integrating with lower-level systems through application programming interfaces. When using RPA for automation, organizations can utilize API connectors to build end-to-end workflows.

With RPA solutions, distributed teams can:

  • Transfer data between applications using copy and paste
  • Gather data from emails and move it into line of business applications
  • Prepare month-end profitability reports based on calculated data
  • Provide fully automated processes by integrating workflow automation, rules engines, and other components
  • Enhance bot capabilities with artificial intelligence (AI) add-ons

RPA’s advantages for insurance

Insurers can quickly transform their back-office processes and customer-facing services, as well as their work environment, with RPA. After all, employees shouldn’t have to deal with mindless data entry all the time.

The following are some key advantages of automating insurance operations using RPA:

  • Claims processing made faster  RPA bots can now move large amounts of claims data with just a click, so customers become more satisfied with the claims process. In traditional claims processing, employees gather information from various documents and move it to other systems.
  • More satisfied customers  From new business onboarding to policy cancellations, insurers can automate data-rich processes with RPA. RPA can click between multiple systems and move data without human intervention, saving insurers time and improving customer service.
  • Accurate data collection  Insurers can reduce the risk of human errors by using RPA instead of manual processes. RPA can also boost data reliability, crucial for regulatory compliance.
  • Reduced costs, quickly  Companies can use RPA to streamline business operations, fortifying their ability to reduce costs and reallocating resources to more important tasks, driving business growth.
  • Protection of investments  It is much faster to configure robots than to manage traditional IT projects. Robots can prolong life of legacy systems that would otherwise be replaced in a few years, and can be updated to work with new systems.
  • The potential for cross-selling  Tools like chatbots that use RPA can improve the customer experience by providing personalized product recommendations. Plus, RPA can be used to create new business opportunities, such as real-time life insurance and on-demand property insurance.
  • A more satisfying work environment  AI bots are used for document processing to eliminate a wide range of manual data entry tasks. RPA bots improve employee motivation by eliminating data entry tasks and freeing employees to perform value-added activities.

The insurance industry can use RPA

Insurance companies already benefit from RPA for improving a variety of data processing tasks:

  • Claims management  By automating their high-volume claims filing processes, insurers can give their claims inspectors more time to resolve exceptions and key issues. Using RPA bots can streamline the entire claims management process from First Notice of Loss (FNOL) to adjustment and settlement. Standard claims can be handled within minutes, while employees take care of business issues that matter.
  • Underwriting  Underwriters traditionally analyze multiple types of data when determining risks in order to find clients the best coverage and rates. Automation bots can collect unstructured data from internal and external sources and present this information on a dashboard to streamline decision-making.
  • Support at the call center  Supporting those who support customers is possible with digital workers. The use of attended bots or chatbots could help agents address real-time service requests. RPA bots could facilitate the aggregation of product and customer information, improve employee collaboration, and increase policyholder retention.
  • Forms handling  With optical character recognition (OCR) integrated with robotic process automation (RPA), insurers can automatically analyze forms to determine information requirements and direct it to appropriate workstreams. While reducing insurance backlogs, this improves accuracy and data quality.
  • Policy administration  Using RPA, insurance brokers can deliver more engaging experiences to policyholders and identify the context of customer emails. Using machine learning, natural language processing, intelligent OCR, and analytics, brokers can identify the context of customer emails. Data can be extracted, systems can be updated, human users can receive instructions and get confirmations, and all of this is accomplished while meeting regulatory and legal requirements.
  • Innovating products  A new generation of insurance products and services is being supported by RPA, including on-demand quotes, policy management apps and customer portals. For example, premiums can be based on past driving behavior of individual customers. Auto insurance claims can be processed faster by automatically analyzing vehicle images, without the need for an adjustor visit.