Understanding Robotic Process Automation in Insurance

RPA: A Powerful Tool for Improving Employee Retention and Customer Experience

Robotic process automation (RPA) might sound like science fiction, but don’t let the name fool you. It is a powerful tool that can improve operations in a myriad of ways. At its core, RPA is simply the automation of repetitive tasks, and it is usually employed with back-office activities, such as data entry. RPA streamlines these processes so that staff can focus on income-producing activities like sales or customer service.

While many low-skill, repetitive tasks are necessary functions for an insurance organization, they are still “boring work.” Employees assigned to those activities may be less engaged, more prone to error, and more likely to leave the company for a new opportunity. In this sense, RPA could reduce errors and improve retention.

RPA may also improve operations in a less obvious way—by emphasizing humanity. As back-office operations become automated, the employees who had been responsible for those tasks are shifted to more customer-facing or strategic work, which can improve and personalize the customer experience.

Additionally, return on investment for RPA is often significant. In 2017, a London School of Economics professor told McKinsey researchers that they found that RPA’s return on investment is as high as 200% in the first year of implementation—especially for highly-regulated industries like banking or insurance.

What Exactly is RPA in Insurance?

RPA plays an important role in the world of insurance. More than half of all insurers use it to some degree. Usually, this takes the form of rules-based software, like bots that collect customer information or perform background checks. RPA can also include workflows with automated processes or systems that auto-populate customer information across systems to improve accuracy. For instance, RPA can help legacy systems communicate and integrate with newer systems while automatically identifying and escalating errors.

When put into practice, RPA makes it easy to collect policyholder information and populate that data throughout the insurance organization’s various systems, as well as consolidate that information. This feature isn’t just convenient. It saves everyone involved time and money—from the company to the customer.

Benefits of RPA in Insurance

When employed correctly, RPA can help employees free up as much as 30% capacity at an enterprise level. RPA works especially well for a distributed workforce as part of a workflow system. RPA solutions have several important benefits for insurance organizations:

Data Accuracy

Manual data entry isn’t just time-consuming; it also introduces the possibility of human error. A single typo could severely impact or, at least, delay a claim. Automation virtually eliminates that risk. It acts as a single source of truth so that all systems display the same information.

Employee Retention

Many companies with RPA see employee retention improve because their staff doesn’t have to do as many repetitive, time-consuming tasks. Automation frees them up to focus on more intellectually stimulating and customer-centric work, like spending time to make sure each customer has the right policy for their needs.

Customer Satisfaction

This extra focus on customers improves employee retention as well as customer satisfaction. Policyholders enjoy more personalized interaction with agents, streamlined claim processes, and policies that feel tailored to their unique situations.

Increased Sales

In many ways, RPA means that insurance organizations can do more upselling and cross-selling. Agents gain more time to spend with policyholders, and some RPA programs can even help identify sales opportunities.

Maximizing RPA

RPA is a powerful tool that helps insurance organizations do more with less. However, RPA has to be implemented correctly to enjoy those benefits. Insurance organizations need to identify which processes will most benefit from automation and define how that structure supports the company’s vision and overall strategy. Furthermore, any RPA put in place has to have oversight, and that need may change the talent needs of the organization. Choose a trusted partner to help you build the foundation of a successful automation plan.

ReSource Pro leverages RPA as a tool rather than a standalone solution. Our approach integrates people, process, and technology to overcome the limitations of a traditional approach to RPA. Schedule a meeting with us to find out how we can help you strategically incorporate automation into your insurance business.

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