For insurers, handling claims is not only costly in terms of paying for damages, it ultimately can cost them customers: A poor claims experience will motivate angry policyholders to switch carriers.Processing paper-based claims creates bottlenecks that prevent effective communication between the affiliates in the claims value chain, a condition that inflates claims cycle time and impairs customer relations. As business leaders of claims departments huddle with their information technology counterparts, automating claims to more effectively assign, manage and close claims files has become the order of the day.
"Our whole effort with claims has been geared toward accessibility, flexibility and ability to deliver what we call speed-to-service," says David Lovely, vice president of claims operations for Novato, Calif.-based Fireman's Fund Insurance Co.
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