Think of how much digital channels and the contact center have evolved. Those who experienced “then” and “now” first-hand in the Insurance Claim business might be even more amazed at the profoundly po… Read more on Cisco Blogs


Think of how much digital channels and the contact center have evolved. Those who experienced “then” and “now” first-hand in the Insurance Claim business might be even more amazed at the profoundly positive impact of technology on customer experience, omnichannel collaboration, and the end-to-end claim operating model. With AI and generative AI rapidly taking shape for tangible business use, we are at an inflection point…a time of significant change in this business.

That was Then

My first job in the Insurance business was as an Outside Liability Claim Representative with Aetna Life & Casualty, reporting to the New Jersey Claim Service Center in Parsippany, New Jersey. Aetna’s tagline was “Quality Claim Handling on an Every File Basis”, with my objective to Investigate, Evaluate, Negotiate, Settle claims, solve problems, and indemnify customers for loss covered by Aetna policies. Starting salary of $23.5K plus company car, a brand-new Chevy Cavalier; I chose blue with black interior since Insurance Claims is a black and blue business.
The customer journey was not as clearly defined. I was assigned a couple of hundred bodily injury and property damage claim files for losses, primarily in Middlesex and Monmouth counties, NJ, many with multiple claimants/plaintiffs, some unrepresented but most retaining personal injury lawyers. Collaboration face-to-face in the field or by phone. Investigated and evaluated the monetary value of incoming Personal Lines Auto, Home, and Individual Life claims. Negotiated settlements in person and by phone, with claims in litigation frequently negotiated at attorney offices and county courthouses in the Judge’s chambers in the presence of plaintiff(s), plaintiff attorney, defendant(s), claim adjuster(s), and defense counsel. Worked two days a week in the claim service center office, with desks lined up in rows and one or two “green screen” computer monitors for the entire office, which was almost as big as the desk. Metal file cabinets were stuffed with disorganized claim files. Files were lost or misplaced — sometimes for days or weeks at a time — making it impossible to resolve immediate customer claim inquiries. Worked three days in the field and from remote home office, which consisted of a desk & phone answering machine with cassette tape to collaborate with customers, field and home office decision-makers. No remote desktop, no laptop, no cell phone, no fax machine yet.
First notice of loss phoned into claim service center by claimants/interested parties to claim support unit team member, who manually recorded accident information on carbon copy ACORD forms, with four or five copies for original office file, home office file, agent file, underwriting file, and claim adjuster’s skeleton file. Seamless customer experience was a challenge, as digital channels did not exist to connect customer journey from self-service to contact center and digital channels. Paper-intensive processes and limited, if any, IT capabilities. Our contact center was open during normal business hours, Monday to Friday, with “beeper duty” assigned to adjusters for response to customer emergencies after hours and on weekends.
Outside adjusters were equipped with a pad and pen to document witness statements and Polaroid cameras for accident site photos and property damage estimates; carbon copy was a must to ensure able to provide the witnesses with a hand-written copy following the interview. Recorded statements by phone, but sometimes the suction cup fell off the phone receiver mid-interview, compromising the accuracy of witness recording. Witness transcriptions on cassette tapes were outsourced to a transcription service. We phoned the claim service center for incoming messages, which were paper notes by the claim support unit team.
No GPS; relied on Hagstrom maps for directions with occasional help from friendly gas station attendants. For auto accidents, scene reconstruction measurements, length of tire skid marks on pavement to help evaluate drive speed at time of impact were typically measured in feet…my size 12 shoes equaled one foot – not very precise. Field adjusters stopped at pay phones to check for messages; cell phones were still expensive and the size of a brick – think Crockett & Tubbs in Miami Vice. One big “technology advancement” was when Garden State Parkway installed drive-up pay phones on side of highway to stop and access from your car.

This is Now

Today, the claim customer journey is more clearly defined, as omni-channel communication is a necessary logical architecture to support customer experience, employee productivity, and partner collaboration.
Single platform delivers capabilities for customer, employee, and agent experience, with real-time view of customer/customer context via Cisco Data Virtualization, location awareness, Omni-channel analytics and reporting. Unified communications for voice, video, instant SMS, and interactive voice response messaging. Omni-channel Cisco Contact Center for voice, video, email, chat, social media, and mobile. Mobile project team collaboration with office, mobile, and remote video conferencing. Simplicity and innovation while providing empathy and care for employees, claims, corporate, information technology stakeholders, customers, agents, and partners.
Omni-channel communication and the contact center journey are table stakes for excellent customer experience. Meet regulatory compliance requirements as financial institutions shift to cloud-based collaboration solutions. Evolve contact center support to align with customer experience and workforce experience preferences. Review best solutions for on and off-premises, with the ability to streamline onboarding for new users. Ability to scale up and down and expand the number of licenses quickly to rationalize expenses.

Cisco Webex Suite, Webex Contact Center, and Webex Connect integrate with open platforms to ensure tools always stay current and maintain stability. It enables connecting with colleagues instantly with group chat, messaging, content sharing, two-way digital whiteboarding, webinars, polling, real-time coediting, and virtual appointments.

What problems are directly addressed?

Reduce Customer Complaints
Reduce Costs
Improve Customer Experience – real-time SMS short-time messaging & fraud alerts
Introduce Automation – multi-channel customer collaboration
Reduce Risk and Issues
Increase Resiliency – integrate digital and voice channels, IVR, SMS, containment rate
Balance strategic initiatives with lean process automation
Remediation of systems and platforms
Connect different services into a holistic view – orchestration and visibility

A Generational Switch Opens Doors

The insurance industry has experienced and will continue to see drastic change by 2028, as we are hearing up to 50% of the workforce will enter retirement. This means millennials, Gen Z, and those looking to change careers have a unique opportunity to join the insurance industry in 2024 and beyond. There is a greater sense of urgency to embrace contact center and technology capabilities available today to address strategic priorities for revenue growth, cost reduction, risk mitigation/regulatory compliance…and, most importantly, to keep customers happy!

Next steps

To learn more, visit Webex for Financial Services.

For more information on how Cisco can support your financial services needs, explore all of our solutions at Cisco for Financial Services.


“}]]  Take a look into the past and present of insurance claims and discover how AI and omnichannel communication are redefining customer experiences and opening doors for the next-gen workforce.  Read More Cisco Blogs