By: Angie Delaney, Senior Vice President, Sales & Marketing for The Cincinnati Insurance Companies
The pandemic accelerated digital trends in every industry, and insurance was no exception. At our organization, we found creative ways to keep business flowing even when working remotely, and we found out where we still have some pain points that technology can help ease.
As agents and carriers look to the future, we are learning how advances in third-party data mining, automated underwriting processes, and new claims options will increase our efficiency and customer satisfaction.
Advances in geospatial imaging are letting us see details of the properties we are underwriting while saving time and keeping our people safe. Almost gone are the days of breaking out the ladder to climb up on a roof!
We’ve seen the impact of this data to help us more completely understand the risks we are underwriting. But it doesn’t stop there. We can share information on the buildings we inspect through arial imagery with our agents. They, in turn, can provide that information to their client so the policyholder can get ahead of potentially dangerous situations to keep their employees safe and their business on track.
We also use geospatial imaging in the claims process. After Hurricane Ian, we were able to quickly assess damage by comparing before and after pictures of the Fort Myers, Florida, area. With that information, we could triage claims quickly and, in some cases, even share damage reports back to worried homeowners.
Automating parts of the underwriting process helps us make the best use of our associates’ valuable time. As we further develop robotic processes to handle routine tasks, like adding or deleting drivers or vehicles in a commercial fleet schedule and beginning the new business submission process, we free our associates to handle complex tasks, be available to answer agent questions, and provide better service.
Our industry is compared to other consumer-facing industries, especially during the claims and billing processes. Offering policyholders multiple options for reporting and tracking claims and for making payments is no longer an option — it’s table stakes. Phone applications to report claims, take and submit pictures of vehicle damage, and to follow along with the claims process are all increasing customer satisfaction and help to close claims faster.
I’m talking almost daily with agents about the digital strategies that will propel us all forward and feeding that information back to our innovation teams. We are looking for ways to enhance our strong agency relationships and to create new opportunities for growth by finding the right combination of digital capabilities and personal connections to best serve the agencies we work with.
The innovation I see within the independent agency channel is exciting, and we are ready to partner with agents to experiment, investigate, and create the future of our industry.