Insurers' desire to reduce costs, increase operational efficiency and optimize investments in customer relationship management (CRM) are driving their decisions to invest in state-of-the-art claims processing systems that include functionality such as supply chain management, workflow, fraud detection and claims adjuster management. That analysis comes from Kimberly Harris, an insurance industry researcher with Gartner Inc., Stamford, Conn., and author of the report, "Insurance Claims Processing-Trends and Directions."As the cost of maintaining and updating claims processing systems escalates, and as carriers develop new business needs that cannot be filled with current processes, insurers must invest in their claims systems, Harris adds.

One interesting trend is that although large carriers universally agree that vendor options match their needs, an overwhelming majority have in-house solutions. But one in five is considering relacing their existing claims system.

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