The insurance industry was quick in the widespread adoption of robotic process automation (RPA). Due to the repetitive, rules-based processes of the insurance industry, it’s the perfect candidate for automation and many companies are now reaping the benefits of RPA.
In the insurance industry, there are many pieces of information coming from many different sources involved in underwriting, policy issuance/renewal, claims registration and processing, and end-of-month-reporting. These all rely on back-office processes, which are overworked, inefficient and slow; making it difficult to service customers efficiently.
How RPA Helps
RPA is excellent at helping insurance companies with streamlining their business processes and automating transactional, administrative tasks. It’s estimated that RPA saves 34% of an employee’s time solely in data processing. Initially, insurance companies focused RPA efforts on their high volume, non-complex processes with complicated structured data. This includes a great deal of data retrieval and gathering, as well as manual data entry. This automation provided a very high return on investment (ROI) – coming in at under six months in almost all cases.
A lot has been learned in the initial phase of RPA implementation. First, it’s rare that an entire business process is automated. Instead, most companies are utilizing RPA’s to assist with sticking points and bottlenecks within the workflows, where things get sticky. By automating the boring, repetitive tasks such as multiple log-ins or basic cut-and-paste within spreadsheets can significantly free up your staff. Additionally, it increases overall accuracy and quality while speeding up the entire process. Robots can’t get tired or make simple mistakes, but they can handle a ton of work very efficiently.
The Evolution of RPA in Insurance
Through focusing on the most eligible tasks within a process, companies have been able to design models built around automation and optimization. This demonstrates how easily RPA can scale and has resulted in deployment across an ever-increasing amount of processes. What began in claims, financial transactions and renewals is now quickly being implemented in underwriting, compliance, fraud detection, and Know Your Customer.
RPA is significantly cost-effective; extending the overall value and lifetime of your legacy systems. The technology operates at the presentation layer of applications. Human activities such as mouse clicks and keystrokes are mimicked so RPA is able to be deployed with zero changes necessary to your current IT setup. RPA can easily be applied across different systems and applications, thus increasing business agility.
In addition, the insurance industry is undergoing a shift in the kind of robots being used. Initially, unattended robots were used, but now we’re seeing more attended robots being utilized. Attended robots can act as a personal assistant of sorts, taking care of finding data and delivering it to the employee when necessary or even being used in underwriting to retrieve relevant data required to make quicker, more informed decisions.
Insurance companies have quickly taken notice that RPAs can help significantly in their compliance efforts. Each task is closely monitored and recorded throughout each stage, providing valuable data on the amount of transactions processed and exceptions recognized. As well as providing effective audits, robots are able to deliver information that ensures the organization is staying on top of compliance by safeguarding their data for accuracy, as well as constantly monitoring to ensure any compliance changes are enforced.