Insurance carriers have now entered a new phase of digitization. Automation and AI adoption grew exponentially. Now many insurers are looking to expand digitization even further with B2B payments, a key piece of claims automation that would round out the digitization of the crash-to-resolution process.
B2B payments represent the last mile for insurance carriers — the final step that must be integrated and digitized to achieve the industry vision of Straight-Through Processing (STP). And the likely starting point for STP is auto claims, which represent nearly half of all P&C claim volume.
The Road to STP
For many insurance carriers, the digital transformation of claims has centered around the estimating process, using connected car data or vehicle damage photos to initiate and complete the vehicle estimate.
Automating estimates is a critical step in achieving a touchless claims experience, but digital estimation alone is not enough to deliver STP. A truly straight-through experience that fully digitizes the crash-to-resolution process requires automation across all phases of the claims lifecycle, driven by a powerful combination of data, network, and workflow integrations.
Data feeds the advanced AI that is critical to straight-through claims automation, which means the potential for STP is determined by the quality, quantity, and availability of the data. Network connections bring ecosystem players together in one place to automate information and document exchange. And workflow integrations ensure all pieces fit together for a seamless resolution.
Working with a partner who can digitize the entire claims process — rather than just individual steps — can accelerate automation by limiting contracting, data requirements, integration time, and more. Data can be easily pulled and shared across solutions and workflows to automate not only the estimating process but also first notice of loss (FNOL), total loss resolution, and digital payments.
The last mile
From a product journey perspective, the “last mile” is the final delivery step of the process, often the most expensive, time-consuming step for businesses. It may also be the most important step for B2B customers, with nearly 78% reporting the fulfillment phase as important or very important.
On-demand digital platforms set new consumer expectations for last-mile delivery through expedited and instant availability. Other platforms followed suit, racing to match the speed, transparency, and curated experiences that business partners now expect across all industries — just like they do in their personal lives.
With these changing expectations in mind, forward-thinking insurers are seizing the opportunity to digitize and accelerate the “last mile” settlement process. Although insurers are not delivering a product, payment delivery is critical to the payees waiting on a settlement.
Imagine a repair facility is left waiting for their paper check, having to reach out for updates. It’s a frustrating process that lacks transparency and flies in the face of complete digitization. It’s also costly and inefficient for carriers, who end up fielding multiple phone calls about payment status.
Paper checks can take days or even weeks to process and are more susceptible to fraud than other payment methods. They can add labor, postage, and other expenses, costing insurers more than ACH (Automated Clearing House) payments. Until digital B2B payments are enabled at scale for insurers and their business partners, delays could occur as all parties wait on settlement.
Some insurance carriers already have digital payments in place but are missing the workflow integrations to bring it all together. To achieve STP, digital payment solutions should be integrated into existing workflows and claims management solutions, with the potential to automatically trigger payments if the carrier prefers. Automating payments can minimize the need for insurance adjusters to toggle between systems, creating a streamlined experience that reduces cycle time and administrative costs.
But digital payments are not just about speed and cost. They’re also about reliable automation, security, and scalability — the ability to know that your payments will go through without manual intervention, via a secure platform, with every business partner in your network. Are you ready to take your digital strategy to the last mile?
Inmediate is an insurtech startup from Singapore that is using the latest technology such as Artificial intelligence, Distributed Ledger, and NLP, making insurance processing and underwriting fast, cheap, and flexible. That gives for better processes, lower costs, improved time to market, and new revenue opportunities.