As the idiom goes, happy customers are loyal customers. Now, more than ever in this complex climate, managing the customer experience is critical for insurance carriers to prevent defection.

In November, our Chief Executive Officer- North America, Mike Hessling, led the latest webinar in our Opportunities and Outcomes series, ‘Innovate to Meet Evolving Customer Expectations and Deliver Improved Outcomes’. Along with our Carrier Practice Leadership team, he shared his thoughts on how carriers can improve the client experience while taking control of the total cost of risk for their business.

The webinar (which can still be viewed On Demand here) explored some of the challenges presently facing carriers, particularly in relation to meeting policyholder expectations. The session also explored how engaging the right third-party claims administrator is helping savvy carriers leverage the latest technology and process evolutions without having to invest exorbitant amounts of capital in upgrading their own systems and people.

“The reality of limited capital is fact”, said Gallagher Bassett’s Senior Vice President – Carrier Practice, Jon Stambaugh. “And internal claims functions are often overlooked in favor of underwriting growth initiatives. These teams often operate on legacy IT systems that don’t support the strategic direction or vision of the organization, or meet policyholder expectations. Many carriers haven’t prioritized this aspect of fulfillment and are playing a game of catch-up to compete in the crowded market.”

Enter third-party claims administrators, or TPAs, like Gallagher Bassett.

“It’s our job to work across the carrier and design solutions to help them achieve sustained, profitable growth that aligns with their strategic vision,” said Stambaugh. “As a result, clients enjoy better cost control, enhanced closure ratios and notable improvements in overall customer satisfaction and retention.”

Carriers are often burdened with high fixed costs: talent acquisition, development and training, to name but a few. As a result, “transforming their existing claims operation can be put on the backburner,” said Stambaugh. “Carriers face competing demands for capital across many aspects of client engagement, especially technology. But with so many demands on the table, that spend hasn’t always been prioritized – even though customers are expecting it.”

In our hyper-connected digital age, policyholders have come to expect customer-friendly systems for engaging with their provider - be it mobile applications or intuitive Risk Management Framework (RMF) platforms.

“Many carriers haven’t deeply investigated this aspect of fulfilment, leading to smart operators now building their point of difference in a noisy marketplace by harnessing their TPA’s capabilities. That’s why economic expansion is where we’re often engaged – clients leverage our systems, our processes, and our expertise to expand into a new line of business. We’ve already invested the time and money into our systems and people. We bring a lot of value to the carrier’s strategic vision,” said Stambaugh.

“Whether it’s a desire for a high-touch claim model to market the value of their product or a lower-cost, highly-efficient model to lower a combined ratio, Gallagher Bassett has a unique claims solution to get there,” added Senior Vice President - Carrier Practice, Dawn Griffin. “We think about the right skill, the right level and touching the claim at the right time, regardless of the size.”

Meeting the market with the right partnership
The concept of organizations outsourcing key business processes has been a strategic practice since the 1980s. But partnering with the right TPA for your business – and your clients – is critical. Importantly, consider your mid and long-term strategic vision and how it aligns with your TPA partner’s culture and ability to deliver. Doing so will allow the partnership to offer customers a seamless experience where every interaction is an accurate reflection of your brand.

“Look beyond who can do the job and at what cost,” said Stambaugh.

“We know customer satisfaction is a high priority for most businesses and the success of a client experience can turn new customers into a long-term, loyal client,” said Senior Vice President – Carrier Practice, Joseph Berrios.

While carriers may put greater emphasis on the distinction of superior claims outcomes and services, responsiveness, claim expertise and navigational guidance through the claims process are critical to both the carrier and their policyholders.

“Trusted relationships are more valuable during this uncertain time,” said Berrios, “and we need to remember that.”

The webinar (which can still be viewed On Demand here).

Blog Author

Michael Hessling

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