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(Part 3 of our “Claims in 2030” series)

Over the past couple of weeks, we’ve explored what property claims could potentially look like. Thanks to PWC’s Claims Workforce of the Future: 2030 report we have some pretty good predictions about how the next 12 years is going to play out across the industry. Up to now we’ve looked at how some future-forward changes have already begun to take shape today (and how Symbility is helping to lead the way) and what the future of the property claims cycle might look like in 2030. These pieces have shown us how claims can and likely will be processed from FNOL to resolution in the future with a tech-forward focus. But with all that tech and automation, what does it mean for the people that work in claims?

According to PWC, “Today’s typical non-life insurance claims team has not changed much in recent years. The skills and talent required at each level of those working in claims has remained unchanged for some years and as a result of this the background and experience of the people brought into an insurer’s claims function have largely been the same since those in more senior roles started their career.“ But as more of the claims lifecycle becomes automated, today’s roles, as they function, are going to be needed less.

What will the claims workforce look like in 2030?

Without a doubt, the claims workforce is going to need to be vastly different than it is today. As automated tools and technology improve, there will be less need for humans to do certain jobs that they do today. That doesn’t mean that humans will become obsolete in the industry though. Instead, they will have different functions. However, it’s important to start thinking about those future roles today. PWC says:

“Understanding what changes are expected tomorrow as a result of the decisions that are being made today is vitally important in informing who the claims workforce of the future will be, how they’re going to be trained alongside existing claims team members and what they are going to be doing.”

Claims Roles of The Future

When many people hear the word “automation,” especially in reference to the industry they work in, they start to fear job losses. The truth is that automation doesn’t mean there will be fewer jobs within the claims function of a carrier, but that the roles the carrier will be filling will be different than they are today. “While some technical claims skills will always be needed to underpin the claims function, there is a much greater focus on the service that customers get and the analysis that is done over the data that insurers have over their claims, especially for the organisations that want to have a top performing claims function.”

So what are the roles that claims workers will be taking up in 2030? Here are some of PWC’s predictions:

While much of the claims process will become automated by the year 2030, there will always be a need for human interaction. If carriers want to improve their customer satisfaction rates, which is what keeps the policyholder happy and likely to renew their policy, the interaction between carrier and policyholder is where the focus is going to need to be placed. This means that when policyholders reach out to their carriers, the people that they speak to will have less technical knowledge than they do today and instead those points of contact will “shift to more retail and customer service skills.”

The Claims Engineer

Not every carrier will opt for the Customer Concierge approach above. While improving the human interaction is important to some people, others will prefer to have as little human contact as possible. There is a good chance that the digital natives growing up now and will be homeowners by 2030 might fall into this category. PWC predicts that for some carriers, their approach will see “the overall handling process [become] highly automated with lots of claims automation, self service, virtualisation and straight through processing.”

While this approach to claims will require fewer people to interact with their policyholders, it will require a lot more people with technical skills to keep all these automated processes running smoothly. Carriers that go this route will see a “reduced size and shape of the workforce as people are there to “run the machine” or manage exceptions and problems only.” So while some companies will focus on more people who can talk to people, others will require “lots more back office support roles and more higher paid technical roles to build rules, conduct analysis and continuously enhance technology”

The Analysts

One other benefit of automation will be the constant stream of data that comes from everything happening throughout the claims cycle and department. But data is only useful to have if you know what to do with it. As carriers gather more data, they’re going to need people who can analyze it all and find the insights and stories told through it so that the company can continuously tweak their systems for incremental improvements. PWC believes that the emphasis on this will be so great that “senior managers and claims executive are more likely to have progressed to positions as a result of strong interpersonal and background in analysis than those with purely claims handling background.”

 

All three of these roles are not that different than what we have seen in claims departments in the past, they are more like evolutions that are already starting to take shape today. Automation may make people feel like a machine might put them out of a job one day, but the truth is that machines will help to augment the process and make things more efficient while human roles won’t disappear, they’ll just transition into roles that complement and work more in sync with non-human automated processes.

PWC predicts that the best carriers in the year 2030 will employ all of these different roles to create what they call a “Bionic Organization.” This is one in which “there is a need for a hybrid of personal service providing high value interactions working alongside the data analytics team and a small, technical claims team.”

If these predictions are to come true, we believe that Symbility is perfectly positioned to help companies become these bionic organizations. We’re already helping carriers with solutions that allow them to create better customer experiences, bring together multiple data partner sources in one central ecosystem, and provide multiple solutions that can be analyzed and tweaked as needed to create greater efficiency today. We’re excited about what the future holds and we can’t wait to help blaze the trail there.

We want to hear from you on this topic too. What do you think the future of the claims industry is going to look like? And what are you doing to start taking your company there today? Let us know in the comments section under this article on our LinkedIn or Facebook page.

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