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.
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