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Lately, primarily because of the COVID-19 pandemic, insurers had to significantly alter their services and adapt to new ways of operating and communicating with clients, including technology that enables virtual claims handling. Many industry professionals note this shift was ultimately inevitable, but it took a national emergency to push many companies to perform more efficiently.
Virtual claims handling does not involve any physical on-site visits - it is all done from the comfort of one’s home or an office. The client simply takes a picture or video of a damaged item, property or vehicle and uploads it online to a website/app for the insurer to assess. Once the process starts, there are other steps which can be done remotely and even automated as well: collecting required documents, forwarding images or videos to repair shops, making payments. Research suggests that there is a positive customer benefit with higher Net Promoter Scores (NPS) as the technology allows for faster settlement times.
Experts agree that this technology will become a new standard in the near future and add that businesses which do not provide such services may be disadvantaged.
Handling claims online can be highly valuable for the insurance company itself and the planet too, by reducing cycle times in excess of 50% on average and costs (by up to 50%), most importantly, cutting down the carbon footprint as expensive site visits are reduced to a minimum. Altogether, this creates a greater, smoother and more enjoyable experience for customers.