But how does claims management deal with these growing problems? Ken Tolson (pictured), president of network solutions at Crawford & Company, explained to Insurance Business how claims management companies have adapted to the pandemic and are preparing for the coming symbolic storm. For Tolson, claims management companies don’t need to adopt any technology to address these challenges, but they do need to have the best tools at hand to better serve insurers.
Can you tell me about yourself and the main responsibilities of your job at Crawford & Co?
I am the president of network solutions that include CAT, ManCAT, the desktop functionality that supports this, and our digital solutions that include the digital desktop. I’ve held many roles in my 32+ year career at Crawford – I’ve spent most of my time in P&C operations but I’ve also been involved in technology and our TPA operations that manage our risk and health.
How has the claims management industry turned two years into a pandemic?
It’s no secret that the pandemic has increased the need for real statements. However, with the existing demand and renewed interest in the area, the epidemic only increased the urgency. In fact, this is why many carriers and claimants were able to change so quickly. Self-help ideas, on-demand, interior and exterior 3D drawings, aerial pictometry and photo stitching were all pre-existing in the epidemic, but investing in and expanding these solutions became more important when the lockdown began. Additionally, we have seen significant investment in these systems that accelerate change and capability.
Has this pandemic led to a surge in the adoption of digital media?
Absolutely. Like others, we are partnering with digital solutions providers and embedding them into our ecosystem for our children to use and adopt. These companies are going beyond the use of only tools and moving to the digitalization of the entire claim process, from FNOL and the division of claims and pain to the end of digital communication and communication skills, through the payment of what they said. What was previously thought to be very complex and highly variable related to the claims process, now with the help of A/I and machine learning skills to prepare many data points that allow the complexity to be reduced.
How popular are predictive analytics today? Is it still their place?
As with any technology, the challenge is being able to adapt and be able to ‘plug in’ new technologies. I’m a big believer in a saying I learned while working in IT a few years ago – ‘Build tents, not pyramids’. It is important for any organization to be able to bridge the gaping technologies and try to bring the best tools to their customers. We are proud of our open approach to the market and our partners are actively testing and testing so that we can share market knowledge with our customers. Not that we use every technology that comes along, but we are well known. The bottom line is the capabilities of the systems they’ve adopted – and you’ll find that every new digital solution coming into the market today knows they need to connect and make it easier for the customer.
Climate change has become a hot topic recently, as researchers warn of more active hurricanes this year. What are claims management companies doing to prepare?
That’s all we do in the first half of the year – preparation. I can count the industry’s response to these three factors:
- Hiring: We review our needs from the previous year – where we did well, where we struggled, what we sold, and more. and then we focus on our marketing activities and sales/services.
- Training: We offer our training to companies, so we set goals every year to train more than what we trained the previous year. We had more than 2,000 people who went through one of our courses in 2021 and we will win in 2022. Through our partnerships around the world (i.e. Collin College in Dallas), we train to evaluate and ensure that our group of more than 12,000 people is. ready to ship.
- What’s new: I mentioned our digital desk offering, but this is an investment to connect some of the technologies I mentioned earlier with our desk services. This allows for other monitoring or self-help methods to relieve some of the pressure on the cultural changes during surgery. As you have seen from the outbreak, the industry is now more confident than ever that a portion, perhaps as high as 30%, of claims can now be managed from the desk using automated or analytical tools. As technologies advance in the travel space, 30% to 70% of individual attention will be disrupted and greatly reduce the value of traditional travel methods.