The increased frequency of severe storms and climate change-fueled catastrophes is driving the need for insurance carriers to prepare themselves to handle more and more insurance claims. They must establish consistent processes to deliver solutions to policyholders more quickly and efficiently –fulfilling the promises they make to their policyholders.
To set themselves up for continued success, insurers must establish a fully secure and connected ecosystem. They must connect processes not just within their immediate businesses, but also to those of their network of contractor vendors– who also, by the way, benefit from a fully connected and secure ecosystem.
Insurers and restoration contractors and professionals alike must reframe the idea of insurance workflows being separate from restoration workflows. Instead, they must embrace the challenge of approaching every claim and project as one extended workflow that begins at first notice of loss and ends with remedied damage.
From saving time and realizing greater overall efficiency, to achieving greater customer satisfaction and retention, there are endless benefits for carriers who establish a connected ecosystem that involves relationships with, and the workflows of, restoration contractors.
At CoreLogic, we are always looking to develop and improve technologies that enable insurance providers to future-proof their business – to stand and thrive amid the tests of increasing severe weather events and catastrophes.
Creating a Connected Ecosystem Through People and Shared Objectives
As we learned at INTRCONNECT, it has traditionally been all too common for relationships between carriers and contractors to be strained. And, this must change across the industry.
Communication between all stakeholders has to be the norm so that carriers and contractors are on the same page as early as possible in the collective project lifecycle. They must operate with shared objectives for every claim.
Carrier-Contractor Collaboration from the Start
Simplifying and streamlining these processes requires carriers and contractors to be synchronized from the very beginning – as soon as a carrier assigns a project to a contractor all the way until the restoration project is complete and the claim has been fulfilled. Comprehensive collaboration at the beginning enables all involved parties to align with the same, complete set of information and to establish shared goals and objectives for any project.
When carriers and contractors are aligned on these objectives, it becomes simpler to build strategies and make plans to complete projects so that they fulfill policyholder contracts. This early collaboration and information sharing also allows both to create realistic timelines for deliverables. This way, both carrier and contractor stakeholders can manage customer expectations, thus laying the groundwork for customer satisfaction.
And, establishing early collaboration starts with the carrier. They must begin communicating and sharing information with their supply chain partners soon as a policyholder files a claim.
As Michael Carrigan, the Chief Strategic Development Officer at ITEL, said during the ‘Building Lasting Partnerships’ panel at INTRCONNECT, contractors and carriers must function “as an ecosystem that gives the ultimate value to the end user,” and that “we need to be a community that is collaborative in order to make the ecosystem successful.”
Working as a Unified Solutions Provider from End-to-End
Collaboration shouldn’t end after planning stages. By establishing a trend of end-to-end communication between carrier and contractor partners, you eliminate confusion and frustration on the business side. This directly leads to a more seamless experience for the customer from the time they file a claim until the damage to their home is remedied.
Connected ecosystems are made up of partnerships between carriers and contractors at every level of both organizations. Alignment on goals and objectives should start with executives, and trickle down to the people on each side of the carrier-contractor ecosystem who are actually executing the claims and restoration work. Every property insurance professional has counterparts on the restoration supply chain side and they should operate as colleagues throughout the project lifecycle.
John Hatcher, the Chief Revenue Officer for Hancock Claims Consultants, said that a telltale sign of effective connection is when “each person on each side of both organizations has each others’ cell phone numbers,” and that you know you have a successful partnership “when you’re exchanging text messages with your partners at 11pm with emojis and gifs.”
There should be timely information sharing at every step of the process. Data can change and new data can emerge at any time, and all parties must constantly and instantly get these insights. There should never be any surprises – not for carriers or for contractors. Insurance providers should immediately give all the property details they have to carriers for optimal preparation – so that technicians are ready for every potential roadblock to project completion. By establishing this system of trust, carriers can then expect contractors to let them know about every issue they encounter on a jobsite.
Without a connected ecosystem, there is a consequential lack of alignment and shared information. Promises go unfulfilled and contract breaches occur. As a result, policyholders suffer.
Performance Measurement and Contract Transparency
Collaboration also involves holding both sides of the contractor-carrier ecosystem accountable – with established Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) and clear-cut, objective means of measuring performance. Restoration contractors must know how an insurance provider measures job success so that they know how to approach different projects and what to prioritize. This openness builds trust and facilitates better project outcomes.
There must be transparency around Service Level Agreements (SLAs) and other contract terms so that carriers provide parameters to contractors so that technicians can plan and execute jobs in accordance with the customers’ specific insurance policies (and expectations). This transparency also enables insurance providers to make sure that they are working with the best restoration contractors – allowing them to confidently grow their networks so that they exclusively work with contractors with shared values.
Regular performance reviews between partners are always beneficial because an all-hands analysis of job performance history is the most effective way to identify and expose gaps in carrier-contractor workflows. One INTRCONNECT speaker suggested Quarterly Business Reviews, for example.
When everyone is fully connected in a carrier-contractor ecosystem, and everyone is held properly accountable, things are done “better, cheaper, and faster,” as many speakers at INTRCONNECT noted.
Integrated Technology to Bridge Gaps and Connect Your Ecosystem
To establish an unbreakable connected ecosystem between contractors and carriers, there must be certain technology at the foundation – a centralized integrated digital ecosystem that both parties use to manage their parts of the workflow. This integrated digital ecosystem involves multiple solutions and platforms that come together to function as one cohesive system.
This digital ecosystem functions as a single source of data. Information sharing should not require insurance providers to actively reach out to contractors to swap data and job details. Instead, an integrated digital ecosystem contains many technologies that work as one well-oiled machine, where claims and project information is stored and automatically updated. In a digital ecosystem, an insurance provider’s platforms will connect directly with contractor solutions. In turn, carriers have one place to share information with contractor partners so that both parties can make decisions based on the same, real-time data.
An integrated digital ecosystem enables carriers to work with whatever job management, estimating, and other tools of their choosing without having to worry that they will sync with each other or with carrier technologies. They will all connect with one another so that when data is updated in one system, it is automatically reflected in all other integrated platforms. Automated workflows will seamlessly move through the different technologies so that there aren’t gaps during processes.
For example, CoreLogic’s Digital Hub Alliance enables CoreLogic’s end-to-end underwriting and claims platforms to integrate into workflows established by other technologies – including property restoration platforms (in fact, as Garret Gray said during his opening message at INTRCONNECT, CoreLogic technologies even integrate with platforms that come from competing companies – showing how much CoreLogic values the connected ecosystem for contractors and carriers).
An integrated digital ecosystem unifies different platforms so there is one place where all stakeholders can easily collaborate and share ideas at any time in the project lifecycle – with each other and with customers. Partnerships with contractors facilitated by these interconnected platforms allow carriers to provide customers with accurate, up-to-date information on projects – even though they aren’t onsite. With clear, consistent answers to their questions, customers maintain reasonable expectations.
Leveraging integrated technology allows contractors and carriers to move away from manual, time-consuming processes and to better guarantee that contractors perform work within the boundaries of insurance policies, carrier guidelines, and other contracts. Job management platforms also provide data and metrics surrounding performance.
A flexible, integrated digital ecosystem provides the foundation for strong partnerships between carriers and any kind of contractor – whether it is a small business or a large franchise operation. Technology doesn’t discriminate; it levels the playing field so that any type of restoration contractor has effective collaboration tools and constant access to a comprehensive set of real-time data – ingredients for strong partnerships with property insurance providers.
As a result, insurance providers can easily work with the best performing contractors, regardless of their size.
Disjointed, fragmented technology systems lead to disjointed, complex processes that frustrate and shortchange policyholders. With a connected ecosystem fueled by a single source for data and collaboration, carriers and contractors can optimize performance through and through, settling claims faster for policyholders in accordance with insurance policies and other contracts. They can build partnerships that will benefit their businesses – and customers – for years to come.
Email us today at email@example.com to learn how to build an integrated digital ecosystem.
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