In response to market forces, today’s insurers are changing in order to thrive in an increasingly complex world. One thing is clear: carriers that embrace digital technologies will be better positioned to meet ever growing customer demands. Are you prepared?

Implementing a digital strategy can be challenging. Mobile computing, social media, analytics and big data are a lot to consider. The key to success is first determining improvement opportunities and then planning how to break through potential roadblocks.

One of the first steps on the path to digitization is capturing documents electronically and extracting the data necessary for processing. A streamlined document management process can improve work-load balancing, processing times and in-formation accuracy.

Here are six enhancements insurers can implement to improve document work-flows and customer satisfaction.

1. Mobile Data Capture

Mobile devices such as smartphones and tablets is significantly improving the speed with which insurers can digitally capture policyholder information and documents. The sophisticated data-capture platforms that exist today can incorporate mobile-generated documents into the workflow without requiring additional software products or business process rule changes. This technology stream-lines the process and greatly reduces the potential for manual error.

2. Workflow Automation

The speed and accuracy at which information can be accessed can be critical to insurers and their policyholders. Since documents contain essential information, it is imperative to manage them with the same care given to other business assets. Document management includes paper and electronic documents as well as unstructured and structured information. Implementing an automated workflow application allows these documents to be released to the business workflow more quickly, which can increase overall efficiency and minimize insurer risk.

3. Automatic Document Classification

Insurance firms typically have complete control over the documents they receive and process through internal and external standardization. This document standardization allows software systems to deter-mine specific form types and automatically classify and route them to the appropriate work queue. By auto-classifying inbound documents, the manual process of sorting documents by type or process can be eliminated. Utilizing technology can significantly reduce turnaround times and improve quality.

4. Forms Recognition

Insurance applications typically use industry- and/or state-specific forms. By incorporating forms recognition software in the digitization step, insurers can electronically recognize form types and route them appropriately to a queue or a processor. Additionally, by utilizing standardized form design, the content and data in the form can be better controlled.

5. Forms Decision

When an organization or governing institution has developed a standardized form, certain controls can be included to make the forms “intelligent.” The use of constrained fields, barcodes, paper quality and drop-out colors are the primary methods deployed in forms design. Additional design features for constrained fields include combs, prepopulated data fields and character boxes. This adds to the ability to accurately represent the information supplied and extracted.

6. Data Extraction

There are proven, very effective data ex-traction tools available. Through control elements built into the design of the form, precise data can be extracted through optical character recognition technology and populated directly into the insurance claim management platform. This eliminates keying errors and speeds the overall processing time.

Benefits and Overall Value to The Insurer

The six improvements outlined here can be quick to implement and offer significant business value without major disruption to the enterprise. Canon Business Process Services understands the challenges insurers face in their journey to digitize processes and workflows. One way to get started is with a thorough review of current document processing activity and a strategic approach to streamlining the business workflow.

The benefits include: a shorter claims process and policy onboarding time; significantly less data entry time and errors; better information quality and integrity; better information security and confidentiality; and instant access to documents and information.

By implementing enhancements, insurers can also improve the customer experience, lower operating costs, increase processing productivity and advance performance metrics.

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