Risk Insider: Kate Browne

5 Tech Trends for Insurers to Watch in 2019

By: | December 6, 2018 • 3 min read
Kate Browne Esq., ARM is a Senior Claims Expert at Swiss Re Corporate Solutions. She has spent her entire career in the insurance industry, and speaks and writes extensively on the impact on the legal implications of drones, autonomous vehicles, the internet of things, and other emerging risks. Kate can be reached at [email protected]

In 2018, the insurance industry continued to support the promise of disruptive technologies including: 5G, artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML), augmented and virtual reality and next-generation cloud services such as edge computing.

What will 2019 bring? Gazing into my crystal ball I predict…

1. Increased Public Scrutiny of AI

The impact of innovation often requires people and governments to step back and consider the impact of technology and connectivity on their lives and their communities.

AI will likely receive more public scrutiny in 2019. Regulators and industries will focus on creating governance frameworks and adopting codes of conduct so AI systems are non-discriminatory, transparent, traceable and secure.

Regulators and industries will focus on creating governance frameworks and adopting codes of conduct so AI systems are non-discriminatory, transparent, traceable and secure.

Companies will likely be increasingly accountable for the design, development and adoption of AI systems. We’re already beginning to see this, as the European Commission plans to release ethical guidelines for AI in mid-2019

2. Intelligent Apps

With the explosive growth of AI and ML, apps can now use the input they get from their owners to learn from and improve the user experience. Data collection, analysis and new product offerings can now be done in real time. Chat bots are an example of intelligent apps that mimic human interaction and can significantly improve customer service and engagement. Several large insurance companies have successfully deployed chat bots and their use will likely increase.

3. Machines Creating Content

Several media companies are already using AI technology to generate content. There are software-as-a-service platforms that help publishers turn written content into videos through AI video production. Art created by AI powered machines is already on the market and several tools apply natural-language generation to create news stories. Courts and insurers will need to be prepared to respond to the intellectual property and ownership issues that may be associated with robotic creators.

4. Privacy in the Spotlight

As massive data breaches continue to make headlines, government regulators, customers and businesses are focused on privacy more than ever. Lawmakers around the globe continue to pass data privacy laws.

Courts and insurers will need to be prepared to respond to the intellectual property and ownership issues that may be associated with robotic creators.

In 2019, we may see an increased focus on contextual privacy requirements, which are linked to location-based awareness software that tracks user locations; for example, your grocery store might offer you recipe recommendations based on which aisle you were browsing and your stored preferences.

5. RPA: Robot Process Automation

Robot process automation (RPA) is, as its name suggests, automating processes which are repetitive in nature. For example, the simple task of filling out a form by collecting information from a customer’s ID card can be done quickly and effectively via RPA. RPA is based on the AI and Machine learning in which the software records the human workflow and then adapts it to work more efficiently than a human. RPA will improve the productivity, cycle time and efficiency of processes and systems, and will increasingly impact insurance operations.

 

 

*This article is intended to be used for general informational purposes only and is not to be relied upon or used for any particular purpose. Swiss Re shall not be held responsible in any way for, and specifically disclaims any liability arising out of or in any way connected to, reliance on or use of any of the information contained or referenced in this article. The information contained or referenced in this article is not intended to constitute and should not be considered legal, accounting or professional advice, nor shall it serve as a substitute for the recipient obtaining such advice.

4 Companies That Rocked It by Treating Injured Workers as Equals; Not Adversaries

The 2018 Teddy Award winners built their programs around people, not claims, and offer proof that a worker-centric approach is a smarter way to operate.
By: | October 30, 2018 • 3 min read

Across the workers’ compensation industry, the concept of a worker advocacy model has been around for a while, but has only seen notable adoption in recent years.

Even among those not adopting a formal advocacy approach, mindsets are shifting. Formerly claims-centric programs are becoming worker-centric and it’s a win all around: better outcomes; greater productivity; safer, healthier employees and a stronger bottom line.

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That’s what you’ll see in this month’s issue of Risk & Insurance® when you read the profiles of the four recipients of the 2018 Theodore Roosevelt Workers’ Compensation and Disability Management Award, sponsored by PMA Companies. These four programs put workers front and center in everything they do.

“We were focused on building up a program with an eye on our partner experience. Cost was at the bottom of the list. Doing a better job by our partners was at the top,” said Steve Legg, director of risk management for Starbucks.

Starbucks put claims reporting in the hands of its partners, an exemplary act of trust. The coffee company also put itself in workers’ shoes to identify and remove points of friction.

That led to a call center run by Starbucks’ TPA and a dedicated telephonic case management team so that partners can speak to a live person without the frustration of ‘phone tag’ and unanswered questions.

“We were focused on building up a program with an eye on our partner experience. Cost was at the bottom of the list. Doing a better job by our partners was at the top.” — Steve Legg, director of risk management, Starbucks

Starbucks also implemented direct deposit for lost-time pay, eliminating stressful wait times for injured partners, and allowing them to focus on healing.

For Starbucks, as for all of the 2018 Teddy Award winners, the approach is netting measurable results. With higher partner satisfaction, it has seen a 50 percent decrease in litigation.

Teddy winner Main Line Health (MLH) adopted worker advocacy in a way that goes far beyond claims.

Employees who identify and report safety hazards can take credit for their actions by sending out a formal “Employee Safety Message” to nearly 11,000 mailboxes across the organization.

“The recognition is pretty cool,” said Steve Besack, system director, claims management and workers’ compensation for the health system.

MLH also takes a non-adversarial approach to workers with repeat injuries, seeing them as a resource for identifying areas of improvement.

“When you look at ‘repeat offenders’ in an unconventional way, they’re a great asset to the program, not a liability,” said Mike Miller, manager, workers’ compensation and employee safety for MLH.

Teddy winner Monmouth County, N.J. utilizes high-tech motion capture technology to reduce the chance of placing new hires in jobs that are likely to hurt them.

Monmouth County also adopted numerous wellness initiatives that help workers manage their weight and improve their wellbeing overall.

“You should see the looks on their faces when their cholesterol is down, they’ve lost weight and their blood sugar is better. We’ve had people lose 30 and 40 pounds,” said William McGuane, the county’s manager of benefits and workers’ compensation.

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Do these sound like minor program elements? The math says otherwise: Claims severity has plunged from $5.5 million in 2009 to $1.3 million in 2017.

At the University of Pennsylvania, putting workers first means getting out from behind the desk and finding out what each one of them is tasked with, day in, day out — and looking for ways to make each of those tasks safer.

Regular observations across the sprawling campus have resulted in a phenomenal number of process and equipment changes that seem simple on their own, but in combination have created a substantially safer, healthier campus and improved employee morale.

UPenn’s workers’ comp costs, in the seven-digit figures in 2009, have been virtually cut in half.

Risk & Insurance® is proud to honor the work of these four organizations. We hope their stories inspire other organizations to be true partners with the employees they depend on. &

Michelle Kerr is associate editor of Risk & Insurance. She can be reached at [email protected]