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Simplifying the Insurance Experience

Going paperless improves the customer experience and yields significant savings for insurance companies.
By: | June 10, 2016

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“Organizations that offer best-in-class customer experiences grow faster and more profitably. To reach this level, insurers must relentlessly improve customer journeys across channels and business functions.”
The Growth Engine: Superior Customer Experience in Insurance,
McKinsey & Company

It’s no surprise that Insurance companies are some of the biggest investors in technology, devoting millions to internal system upgrades. Most insurance companies have made customer experience one of their top corporate initiatives for a number of year — but their insureds don’t always see or experience how these upgrades benefit them. In fact, when it comes to the transactions that matter most to customers — buying a policy, changing coverage or filing a claim — many insurers revert back to pen and paper. “Customer expectations have changed,” said Alpesh Patel, Vice President and General Manager, Insurance, DocuSign. “In a world where nearly every transaction is digitized and automated, people come to define insurance companies by their paperwork and procedure. Keeping Status-Quo is NOT an option for today’s insurance companies.”

According to Patel, despite having customer experience as one of the top priorities, many insurers delay or sacrifice customer experience enhancements in pursuit of other goals, like reducing costs and maximizing ROI or improving regulatory compliance. These priorities often compete with and overpower initiatives to modernize and simplify customer transactions. “From the insurer’s perspective, making things simpler for the customer might mean higher expenses or a greater compliance risk if it shortcuts some processes,” Patel said. Customer experience, therefore, often takes a back seat to other critical functions.

But there is a simple solution to this shortcoming that benefits insurers on all fronts.

DocuSign’s Digital Transaction Management platform and eSignature solution enables quick and easy transfer of documents along with data between the insurer, agents and claimants, eliminating the small but tedious chores of copying, scanning, faxing or mailing forms that cumulatively add stress, errors and time to such communications.

The cloud-based solution requires very few resources to implement and easily integrates with existing systems — no programming or extensive training needed. Now insurers can bridge the gap between their highly developed internal IT and their customers’ experience, modernizing and simplifying the pen-and-paper process. To learn more download, “The Top 10 Reasons Insurance Companies Choose DocuSign.”

A Higher Service Standard

Alpesh Patel Vice President and General Manager, Insurance

Alpesh Patel
Vice President and General Manager, Insurance

“We help insurance companies digitize that last bit of the customer experience and get the most from their investment, without sacrificing excellence in other areas,” Patel said. “DocuSign provides a single platform that provides consistent experience across all channels/devices and can positively impact all three of insurers’ main initiatives: customer experience, cost control and compliance.”

Take, for example, a personal injury claim. The insured is hurt and naturally wants a quick decision and payment from his insurer. But without a digital system in place, the process will be anything but fast.

To gain access to the claimant’s medical records and evaluate his claim, the adjuster needs authorization from the claimant. It may take days for the claimant to receive the form, sign it and return it, and even more time for the adjuster to forward the completed form to the appropriate doctors.

Add in the potential for errors or missed signatures that need correcting, and the timeline expands even further.

“That process today is very manual and therefore time consuming,” Patel said. “Handwritten forms are also easily misread, so there is a very high NIGO, or ‘Not in Good Order’ rate. Those errors further delay the claims process.”

“By eliminating pen and paper and verifying that all data fields are completed at the point of signature, the DocuSign system reduces a typical 30 to 40 percent NIGO rate down to almost zero,” Patel said.

With a digitized system, the claimant could review and sign the authorization form on his cell phone mere minutes after the adjuster sends it, allowing the adjuster quicker access to medical records and a faster claim resolution. A typical five-day turnaround can be reduced down to just hours.

Significant Savings

In addition to reducing the burden on customers, going paperless yields big savings for insurance companies.

Patel said carriers can see a return on investment within the first 90 days of implementing the digital system. Conserving paper and postage saves an average of $25 per transaction — a seemingly small amount that quickly adds up given the sheer number transactions that a major insurer processes.

“Our most successful insurance carriers are expecting savings in the range of 0.8 percent to 1.1 percent of their annual revenue. With $3 trillion in annual revenue, this represents $24 – $33 billion opportunity,” Patel said.

Faster claims processing also leads to savings through increased productivity. Claims managers and agents spend less time on data entry and administrative processes and more time on key business-building functions.

“Processing payments remains largely manual,” Patel said. “Insurers process millions of payments this way, taking written forms, copying them and scanning them into the system in order to record data. With DocuSign, all of the data on the authorization form can be collected without manual input.”

Facilitating Compliance

A fully digital archive of signatures and forms used throughout a transaction also supports insurers’ compliance practices.

“The system tracks every interaction, including IP address, geolocation and authorized signatures,” Patel said. “At any time, an insurer can check on the status of a policy purchase or a claim and provide a complete audit trail.”

The system also promises a secure way to store and protect customers’ confidential data.

DocuSign’s certified data centers, network, policies, and procedures have passed 100 percent of security audits with the largest insurance and financial services institutions.

So far, the system’s efficiency and security has earned the confidence of 13 of the 15 largest insurance carriers.

“When a single solution can benefit a business in so many ways, adoption really takes off,” Patel said.

The bottom line is that insurers who don’t take advantage of new technologies to improve customer experience will lose business to competitors who offer greater convenience and speed.

To learn more about DocuSign’s solution for insurance carriers and brokers, visit https://www.docusign.com/solutions/industries/insurance, or contact us by email [email protected] or by phone 877-720-2040. Click here to try an interactive signing demo.

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This article was produced by the R&I Brand Studio, a unit of the advertising department of Risk & Insurance, in collaboration with DocuSign. The editorial staff of Risk & Insurance had no role in its preparation.




DocuSign® is changing how business gets done. DocuSign empowers anyone to transact anytime, anywhere, on any device with trust and confidence. Our eSignature software and Digital Transaction Management platform enable organizations of every size, industry and geography to accelerate contracts, approvals and workflows. DocuSign keeps life and business moving forward.

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