Thousands of adjusters were deployed this year as Hurricane Laura hit the Gulf Coast. Each year, during the CAT season, we observe a large number of claims activity all across the country and CAT adjusters being deployed to zones that were hit the hardest by storms and hurricanes.
In a nutshell, claims adjusting can be segmented into daily and large loss claims where daily claims could arise just about anywhere and are mostly handled by local adjusters in the area. On the other hand, there are seasonal claims that come under the CAT season that basically aligns with the Atlantic hurricane period from July to November, each year.
There’s no limit to the number of claims that arise and it’s true that inspection assignments are in abundance. However, recent reports suggest a tremendous shift in the way claims adjusters would be operating in the future. The involvement that an adjuster has with respect to a claim will change dramatically in the coming years as analytics-led technology is rapidly closing the gaps in efficiency and speed in claims management.
Will technology replace adjusters?
There’s a common fear among claims adjusters that technology is slowly overtaking a lot of operations that happen during inspections and will soon eliminate the need for human adjusters for any kind of claim inspection. With the arrival of drone technology in claims inspections, this idea seems to be growing as thousands of adjusters all across the country fear the loss of their livelihood in a technologically enhanced world.
However, contrary to popular belief, technology is not here to replace but enhance the claims inspection experience for adjusters and help streamline a lot of operations that otherwise require a lot of time. For instance, with the help of machine learning, claims adjusters are able to boost their inspection process and achieve more accurate results.
Similarly, the increasing use of artificial intelligence to enhance claims organization and streamlining adjusting processes is another area where technology is aiding claims adjusters in their work. It’s true that for smaller claims, enabling technological solutions will optimize costs for carriers. However, at the forefront of every claim is customer satisfaction that ultimately makes or breaks it for insurance carriers. While technology is able to handle inspections, it’s not there yet when we talk about interacting with customers and empathizing with their situation.
That’s the most crucial part of the claims management lifecycle and that’s where human touch is essential. Interacting with policyholders is a two-way street for mutual satisfaction between claimants and claims adjusters as the latter are able to forge long-standing relationships with the customers and are able to increase their net promoter score which is an important marker to assess how well is an IA firm doing in terms of helping its customers.
Policyholders need empathy and an environment that makes them feel heard and understood, and technology just isn’t there yet. This qualitative aspect of claims handling is what makes the presence of adjusters an important one. Simply put, human judgement is required to settle claims. Every claim, as well as claimant, is unique and having something like a chatbot handling each claim won’t be optimal.
Claims adjusting in the future:
The future, as we assess it, will comprise of technology and claims adjusters working hand-in-hand to streamline claims management. As more and more SaaS companies work towards building products and tools that automate a lot of processes in the overall claims inspection process, it is far-fetched to assume that these innovations would completely drive out the need to have human adjusters.
What we’re looking at instead is a technology that seamlessly integrates itself with the claims handling process and enables adjusters to decrease their workload and work as part of a team. The IA firms would earlier rely entirely upon adjusters from start to finish when it came to the claims inspection process but now adjusters would function as a part of a bigger operation involving multiple players. Work would take place in the form of an assembly line where each player is assigned a specialized task. This process will make the entire claims management ecosystem a streamlined an efficient one.
The future of claims adjusting will be very different from what it is today. However, this change is a welcome one as we move towards a better operational structure that allows claims adjusters a better work/life balance as well as enabling them to specialize in one aspect of the process. The future is bright and the demand for adjusters will be everpresent. As long as there are claims, there will be adjusters.