ILC ARTICLE

Overcoming the blame culture to leverage data


The potential for technology to improve claims is well-established, but a fear factor is preventing many organisations from making the significant process changes that can really improve outcomes for customers and businesses alike.

According to Owen Pugh, Chief Operating Officer, CCG, a blame culture within the industry is making people reluctant to take radicle decisions to initiate change.

He said, “A lot of the things we speak about now are similar to the things we have spoken about in previous years – we need to use data, inflation is a problem, customers are important. But we’re quite scared of making change in a culture which is driven at least in part by blame. There shouldn’t be a culture of blame; underwriting and claims is a team and we should work together.”

Hesitancy

Owen said that often it is the amount of data available that is creating hesitancy as people are not sure how best to leverage it for the best results.

He said, “We have access to more data than ever before, and we know it’s important to capture it. But the real benefit of data can only be achieved if we understand it and are brave enough to do something about it. We might use data to price a slightly higher premium because the property has a thatch roof or is situated in a flood plain, but there is so much more we can do that should help us manage claims spend and forecast what is going on.”

Combined

However, the best results come when data is combined with human expertise. The two are not mutually exclusive but should be harnessed together to ensure that the right data is collected, properly interpreted and then acted on in an effective way.

This is especially true is property claims, which are often emotive and rely heavily on human empathy and the human touch.

Owen said, “If my house burned down the last thing I’d want to do it tell a robot. Having said that, without the right technology the human can only go so far. The customer may feel loved but you might not be doing the other things that are really important, like making the right decisions, controlling spend, or recognising the claim is not legitimate.”

Quicker and better

Ultimately, he said, the end goal is quicker decisions and a better claims journey. This is not always straightforward with so many agencies involved in the claim. Data can help, but it needs to be part of a shared ecosystem with analysis revealing that a claim serviced on a single platform can be as much as five times quicker than a claim serviced on multiple platforms.

He concluded, “We need to embrace data and technology and do something with the insights it gives us, but that requires moving away from a blame culture. Which underwriter or claims person will be brave enough to drive change based on the data? The answer is it shouldn’t be down to one person. We need to talk to each and make the decision collaboratively.”

Owen was speaking during his session, ‘Home truths: making claims easier in property insurance,’ at ILC’s Managing General Agents (MGA) Claims Conference 2023, which was held in association with the MGAA and supported by Headline Sponsor Claims Consortium Group (CCG); Gold Sponsors: Activate Group, Carpenters Group, EDAM Group, Enterprise, LexisNexis Risk Solutions, Pulse, Value Checkers, and Wiser Academy.

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