BILLERICA, MA -- (Marketwire) -- 01/14/13 -- Trillium Software®, a business of Harte-Hanks, Inc. (NYSE: HHS) and a leading provider of Total Data Quality solutions for insurance, financial services and other vertical industries, today announced the findings of its Insurance Claims Survey. Among the key data points is an overwhelming focus by insurance claims professionals on lowering costs through claims process and system improvements. The research also shows the key role that communication plays in insurance customer satisfaction, and the expectation that 74% of claims systems will be upgraded or replaced within the next five years.
Conducted in the fourth quarter of 2012, the survey aggregated information from approximately 30 insurance claims executives, managers and adjusters across all major lines of business including property and casualty, life, and health insurance in the United States to identify the major trends, pain points and initiatives for the industry in 2013 and beyond.
•92.6% of respondents indicated insurance claims process improvement is a top initiative for their organization to lower operational costs, •66.7% of respondents cite lack of communication on the insurance claims process as the top customer issue, •55.6% note disagreements on insurance claims decisions as a key customer issue, which can result from insurance claims process issues and less-than-optimal data utilization, •74% of insurers believe their claims systems will support their operations for less than five years, •40.7% of claims units surveyed do not currently utilize analytics, which can be attributed to cost and resources, •40.7% noted new software implementation would also be a high priority in order to improve the bottom line.
Impact of Rising Costs
According to survey findings, claims professionals -- and insurers in general -- will continue to emphasize bottom line improvements and cost mitigation by leveraging technology, improving claims processes, and efficiently deploying staff. Claims process improvement is the top initiative to lower operational costs followed by staff training, software implementation and staff reorganization. Many view increased litigation, rising medical costs, and employee turnover as the main drivers of cost increases for processing claims over the next one to three years. An aging workforce will also be a contributing expense factor as new, inexperienced personnel are brought on board as replacements. Less experienced personnel may lead to less than optimal claims outcomes for insurers, which could be a key factor in 70.4% of respondents noting that staff training will be a top initiative to help cut costs.
Upgrades Expected for Claims Technology
Despite the opportunity to lower operational costs, improve reserve accuracy, shorten cycle time and mitigate loss dollars, 40.7% of claims units surveyed do not currently utilize analytics. Insurers are also evaluating the life expectancy of their existing claims systems. When asked how much longer their present claims systems would support their operations, nearly three quarters of claims professionals indicated that their system would be able to support them for less than five years.
Solving the Customer Experience Problem
Dealing with inexperienced claims professionals will exacerbate the customer service challenges for insurers. The survey found that three of the four most common issues customers have with the claim process center is on poor communications citing an overall lack of communication and inability to contact a claims handler. Despite a focus in this area by insurers, only 33% of respondents believe that customer satisfaction will improve by more than 5% in the coming year.
"Claims professionals are well aware of the challenges they face in improving their claims processes, reducing costs, enhancing staff performance, and decreasing cycle time. However, many lack the ability to access and analyze information in free-form text fields that is needed to make the right decisions at the right times and ensure tangible progress in these areas," said Michael Chochreck, insurance solutions principal consultant at Trillium Software. "It is critical that claims professionals gain insight into the universe of data flowing through their organization, and harness this information to more effectively serve their customers and grow their business."
Analyze a Universe of Claims Data
Trillium Software's Claims Data Quality solution empowers insurance companies to automate the assessment, monitoring and analysis of a universe of claims data, including unstructured data in free-form text description fields and claims correspondence in electronic document formats. With greater insight, claims professionals can reduce claims costs, increase customer retention, improve operational efficiency and mitigate risks. Additional information is available at www.claimsdataquality.com.
Harte-Hanks® is a worldwide direct and targeted marketing company that provides direct marketing services to local, regional, national and international consumer and business-to-business marketers. Visit the Harte-Hanks Web site at http://www.harte-hanks.com or call (800) 456-9748.
About Trillium Software
Trillium Software® is a business of Harte-Hanks, and the leading best-of-breed enterprise data quality software and services provider in the world. Trillium's data quality experts help organizations achieve increased business value from their global data management initiatives by providing enterprise data profiling and data cleansing software solutions that collaborate with existing data systems and applications.
Trillium's data quality suite of products enable business executives and information technology professionals to profile, govern, manage, cleanse, and visualize data for CRM, MDM, regulatory and compliance, data warehouse and business intelligence initiatives. The company offers industry-specific business solutions that help solve data problems experienced by insurance, financial services, risk, healthcare and retail professionals. For more information about Trillium Software and its offerings, call (978) 436-8900 in the United States and in the United Kingdom call +44 (0) 118 940 7666, or visit Trillium Software online at http://www.trilliumsoftware.com.
This document may contain trademarks that are owned or licensed by Harte-Hanks, Inc. and its subsidiaries, including, without limitation, Trillium Software®, Trillium Software System®, Total Data Quality, and other names and marks. All other brand names, product names, or trademarks belong to their respective holders.
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