house fire

by Staff Reports • @IBMinsights

Insurer revamps claims process, uses analytics to boost customer service and cut costs

Published December 30, 2014


NEWS BRIEF--One of the nation’s largest property and casualty insurance groups has revamped its claims operations through the use of business analytics to drive a system that will cut costs, improve customer service, and streamline operations across the country.

Westfield Insurance, part of Westfield Group, is working with IBM on the new claims operation system, which will leverage analytics to boost flexibility, operational efficiency and effectiveness, according to a press release from IBM.

The new claims system ties together several IBM services to deliver a program that standardizes operations, according to the release, and it will eliminate bottlenecks in the claims process before they even happen by using predictive models—possible through a new protocol to migrate data.

The multi-year organizational and technology changes also beef up security, using an array of counter-fraud systems to detect suspicious activities.

“We’ve been working with IBM for years on multiple initiatives, in order to become a data-oriented company,” says Robert Bowers, National Claims Strategy Leader, Westfield Insurance. “Our new claims platform will enable our employees to make quicker decisions, with greater insight. We anticipate lowered costs and improved customer service, all while streamlining operations throughout the country to enhance the customer experience.”

Through the process, Westfield was able to implement a number of improvements to the claims process, including paperless processing, which reduces errors and boosts efficiency. The system is also integrated with third-party providers to allow for automated actions across the claims process and offers controlled and secure access to applications, functionality and data. IBM also converted data from legacy claims to make sure that existing claims remain open and past claims remain accessible.

With this change, Westfield is on the forefront of a shift across the insurance industry, as more and more insurers move toward using analytics, cloud, and social technologies to gain an edge and improve customer satisfaction.

A study conducted by the IBM Institute for Business Value shows that the majority of identified leading insurers—more than 60 percent—are focused on analytics to cut costs and make the claims process less painful for customers.

“Analytics are the most visionary element to drive a competitive advantage. Since 2007, Westfield Insurance has been working hard to build an enterprise view of their data across their business,” says Patricia Hamilton, Vice President, Insurance Strategy and Transformation, IBM. “This new claims platform is the next step in their transformational journey to build a structured process around data governance. By consolidating and standardizing its claims handling systems, Westfield is able to increase operational efficiencies, benefiting employees and customers.”

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