How technology in personal injury insurance is improving the human touch

With the advancement of robotics a frequent item in the news headlines, it’s natural to assume all this technology will take away the human touch, instead GB is finding the outcome is an improvement on our customers’ service experience.

Darrin Wright, Executive Director Personal Injury of Gallagher Bassett, was recently interviewed by Insurance Business on how new technologies are revolutionising healthcare and personal injury management. Darrin discussed how the evolution of technology, combined with advances in preventative care and face to face case management has been a win-win for claimants.

“Historically, claims management has been held back by the inability to access information, treatment or support services at an early stage,” says Darrin, “Thanks to increased connectivity, we can improve claimant care, reduce treatment inefficiencies, enhance rehabilitation and recovery, while also increasing employee productivity on our end.”

With the rise of personal devices and social media, customers want up to date information on their claims and a common complaint in the industry is poor communication and lack of engagement. This is where Darrin feels that the rise of technology is so important on the impact of this previous defect in the chain – if handled correctly.

“It’s critical that technological advancement isn’t misconstrued as something that depersonalises the claims process,” says Darrin. “The emphasis should always be on putting claimants at the centre of everything.”

Technological Advances in the industry include:

  • Big data: improving the previous delays in processing personal injury claims, with faster diagnosis, prediction capabilities and access to evidence-based treatment options for practitioners and case managers.
  • Devices: claimants can now access their claims or treatment information via digital applications, attend online consultations with medical practitioners or use wearable devices to track and monitor their progress.
  • Platforms and chatbots: that empowers customers and reduces the need for over-the-phone interaction.
  • Mobile Case Management: a shift from desk-bound case management for highly sensitive or complex cases to providing face-to-face service
  • Increased automation: technology such as blockchain, artificial intelligence and robotics now allows subsets or entire portions of the end-to-end claims process to be automated.

There have been other advancements in the way claims are being managed, with insurer’s looking at a more holistic approach. Claimants now have access to quality of life across numerous areas, including home, the wider community and the workplace. Physical, mental wellness and recreation activities all play an important role in successful recovery.

“For example, at Gallagher Bassett we offer a Network Support Service which helps reconnect injured workers and their families to their community following an injury,” says Darrin. “It empowers them to manage their own health and care, which results in better outcomes for everyone.”

Preventative Focus

Ultimately the best way to reduce claims is to prevent issues occurring in the first place.

“It seems pretty obvious in hindsight,” says Wright. “But sometimes it takes a while to realise that the simplest ideas are the best.”

The integration of risk management processes, early intervention strategies and communication campaigns that target common injuries and promote work and individual health will not only prevent injuries from occurring but also mitigate the severity of those that do occur.

The focus on prevention is starting to reap benefits, with Safe Work Australia reporting that the number of serious injury claims has decreased by 17.4% in the last 5 years.

The great element of all this tech advancement is that it’s centred on how to use it to improve claims results and customer experience. However the key is to ensure the focus remains that way.

“Many of these possibilities are really exciting, and will probably be adopted as best practice,” Darrin says. “But it’s important not to lose sight of the role human interaction has to play. You’re dealing with people at a sensitive time of their lives.”

To read the full Insurance Business interview with Darrin, please click here.