Workers’ compensation insurers are looking to technology to deliver operating efficiencies, underwriting insights and product development as they navigate a fragmented market with high sensitivity to state regulation,
According to technology research and consulting firm Novarica in its latest report, “Business and Technology Trends: Workers’ Compensation,” the top priorities of workers’ compensation carriers include improved agent portals, core system replacement, implementation of business intelligence capabilities, and growing use of specialized components.
“Emerging technologies are allowing advanced insurers to encourage client behavior that will reduce and prevent loss. This is done through a combination of traditional employer education combined with the adoption of integrated monitoring and automation,” said Jeff Goldberg, senior vice president of Research & Consulting at Novarica, and lead author of the report.
When it comes to agency portals, the main concerns of insurers include user-friendly quoting and new business submission; access to loss run reporting; and support for premium audit, pay online and monthly reporting, according to the report.
In terms of customer portals, insurers’ areas of focus include user-friendly premium audit reporting and bill pay; safety tools and information; and access to loss runs.
In ratings systems, carriers see a need for increased flexibility and automated underwriting on small risks.
Carriers also identify needs in claims, document creation and management, and business intelligence, while seeming to be satisfied with current back-end financial systems.
Goldberg said the combination of the Internet of Things along with drones, GPS, radio frequency identification (RFID) badges, telematics and video surveillance means most businesses will soon have “smart offices” or “smart worksites,” where insurers and their customers will be able to protect themselves and reduce risk with sensors connected to a central database.
Findings of the report include:
- Tighter margins mean pricing and loss avoidance/mitigation are critical. Declining rates and increasing severity mean more granular segmentation is needed; loss avoidance and mitigation are key.
- Investments in claims administration systems offer improved operational effectiveness and quality of claims service. Claims service is a key policyholder interaction.
- Carriers are operationalizing predictive analytics and leveraging drones, sensors and wearables. The emphasis is on using these technologies to avoid or mitigate losses.
Novarica’s report provides an overview of workers’ compensation carriers’ business and technology issues, data about the marketplace, and examples of recent technology investments by workers’ compensation insurers.
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