Imaging Technology Saves the Day for Insurance Claim Processing

Insurance seems to enter our lives more and more. Between health insurance, home insurance, car insurance, loss insurance, and extended warranties, there are more insurance polices and therefore more claims than ever before. And because it’s a competitive marketplace, companies providing coverage are scrambling to increase the speed of processing all these new claims. Implementing document viewing technology can help streamline the forms process and accelerate workflow through faster document access and simpler review methods.

Mother Nature, Economy Contributing Factors

Recent snowstorms in the mid-Atlantic region (MD, VA & DC) and mudslides in CA are just two examples of the recent weather-related rise in property and health-related insurance claims. A domino effect from these events is that auto insurance and injury claims have increased as well, due to the hazardous driving conditions created by severe weather disturbances.

Vandalism, theft and arson claims are also on the rise due to the deteriorating state of the economy. As more and more buildings become unoccupied or vacant, they become easy targets for thieves, vandals and arsonists, increasing the number of these types of insurance claims. To further complicate matters, many property insurance policies have specific clauses restricting coverage on vacant or unoccupied buildings, leading to claim disputes, and subsequently even more documentation to be filed.

Auto industry woes are another factor contributing to the rise in insurance claims processing. For instance, large auto insurers will be looking at the recent Toyota vehicle recalls for possible subrogation, creating claims processing complications. Allstate for example, which has processes in place since vehicle recalls occur regularly, is reviewing claims involving Toyota’s recent gas pedal recall. Also, negligence lawsuits seeking class-action status are on the rise due to the size and nature of the recent Toyota vehicle recalls.

Viewing Technology Expedites Claims Processing

Consumers choosing insurance want reputable companies with superior customer service, competitive prices, and convenience. Therefore, insurance companies are seeking ways to provide a competitive advantage in order to serve their customers as efficiently and effectively as possible. A high-speed document viewing system tied to a Web-based, powerful Web repository is one of the most popular means to help insurance companies best serve their customers.

Browser-based document viewers driven off comprehensive enterprise content management systems (ECM) enable greater speed, efficiency and accuracy in claims processing while at the same time ensuring content and data security and consistency. One such product is VirtualViewer – a high-speed document and image viewer. Using this solution, documents in virtually any format are retrieved in seconds, may be searched quickly via thumbnail images, and even single pages may be retrieved from large documents due to unique Page on Demand® technology.

Modern viewing technology also allows users to collaborate on documents, enhancing workflow and productivity between internal colleagues, as well as those outside the company such as agents, claims adjusters, channel partners and others working in diverse locations or in the field. Users also have the ability to annotate documents, highlighting issues or areas where action needs to be taken. Using the redaction feature enables sensitive information such as social security numbers and credit card information to be hidden from view if needed (based upon user permission levels), while the original document isn’t altered – preserving data.

A Smart Investment

Implementing a high-speed document and imaging viewing system helps insurance companies address a myriad of issues while providing a competitive advantage in their marketplace. Agents and administrators can quickly and easily find, retrieve and securely open files of almost any format, and collaborate on processing – across the enterprise. Annotations to documents are automatically archived; creating a workflow history and audit trail that ensures industry compliance is met.

A Web-based, scalable document viewing system enables improved customer service through more efficient claims processing, and thereby increases in-house workflow productivity as well. Perhaps most importantly though, when claim numbers rise due to catastrophic events, an automated document viewer ensures that insurance companies are better prepared to handle the increased volume, to help themselves, and the customers they serve.