During the annual International Association of Claim Professionals (IACP) conference held in Sonoma recently, Claims Journal hosted an executive roundtable with board members to discuss carrier/broker efficiency from the claims perspective.
Peter Fennell, managing director of Aon Benfield and immediate past president of the IACP, explained that because of a shortage of new talent, there will be an increase in the use of automation so insurance transactions can be processed seamlessly without much human interaction.
Claims has made great strides in harnessing technology, according to Scott Kellers, head of Syndicate Claims and Reinsurance Claims for Liberty Specialty Markets, which has benefited all parties; however, attention must be paid to avoiding the loss of person-to-person interaction.
It’s important, Kellers added, that brokers, insurers and reinsurers interact and exchange information and maintain relationships to support good claims handling.
Sandra Van Enk, senior vice president and head of Americas Treaty Claims at SCOR Reinsurance Co. and past president of the IACP, reiterated that while technology is valuable and necessary in creating efficiency, communication and relationships continue to be extremely important.
“You really have to go out of your way to make sure that you communicate with your clients and your brokers with regard to how that [technology] works,” Van Enk said.
Van Enk also emphasized the necessity of employing claim staff who are comfortable with technology, noting that SCOR looks for those types of skills during the interview process.
Mark Karnell, global head of Insurance Claims and technical director for Endurance Services Limited, stressed that the human element in a transaction remains important.
“We’re having a hard time finding a balance between technology and that human touch. And until we at least in the claim industry figure out a balance, we probably won’t get there,” Karnell said.
He said that it will remain a challenge, but one that must be addressed because of its impact to an insurer’s bottom line.