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Dealing with the Insurance Document Dilemma

insurance application


Today’s tech-savvy consumers expect their insurance interactions to be as frictionless as ordering products through Amazon. Unfortunately, traditional document management processes often result in a less-than-stellar customer experience. Claims and applications are delayed, sales opportunities are missed, and customer frustration eventually boils over.

Missing Information and Costly Mistakes

Beyond the loss of dissatisfied customers, inefficient document management can take a serious toll on an insurance agency. With traditional document processing, errors are frequent. As Insurance Journal points out, “Mistakes by claims professionals were the most common reason for enforcement actions against U.S. property and casualty insurers in 2018.”

Human error is to be expected when staff manually enter repetitive data sets. Mistakes and incomplete information can take an enormous toll on office productivity and the cost of processing delays can quickly add up. When repeatedly faced with not-in-good-order (NIGO) insurance documents, insurance claims and applications are delayed, customers get frustrated, and sales can be lost. Not to mention the additional cost of paying staff to stop and correct those errors. Plus, manual verification and processing of forms can take weeks, rather than days, making it difficult to finalize claims and find time for other tasks. 

There’s also the  issue of compliance. As Insurance CIO Outlook points out, “Effective document management is crucial to streamlining policy buying and ensuring regulatory compliance.” In order to keep up with emerging regulations, like GDPR, insurance agencies simply must find a way to improve their document management practices. 

Taking a Toll on Office Productivity

Cumbersome, manual documentation processes are time-consuming for staff and frustrating for contractors, suppliers, and customers. Many electronic forms go through inefficient lifecycles, moving endlessly between physical, digital, emails, and manual signatures. These inefficient workflows can delay policy creation, as well as claims and payment processing.

In attempt to solve this problem, insurance agencies will often turn to a combination of static and interactive form applications without much success. An electronic form that works well on a desktop computer can often prove useless on a mobile device. And, when it comes to addressing these issues, most insurance agencies lack the time and skill to design custom applications that can do the job.

Streamlining Document Management

So, what should insurance agencies do to address their document management issues? It starts inside the insurance application. Developers of insurance software need to integrate collaborative tools that enable insurance professionals to view a variety of file types securely and collaborate on key documents. Such integrations can help ensure both local and international compliance by enabling staff to:

  • Easily annotate key documents 
  • Leverage verified eSignature technology 
  • Search for specific data sets
  • Redact critical information

When insurance applications integrate software development kits (SDKs), it enables end-users to perform functions like data capture, document cleanup, and accurate optical character recognition (OCR). Since many agencies now use  big data for updating insurance coverage, reducing risk and managing policyholder preferences, they should implement a solution that can effectively manage unstructured data. 

Proper data management requires robust document processing tools to be deployed within current applications. Doing so makes it possible to edit, convert, and align images with structured big data sources to develop business strategies on demand.

Ultimately, using documents embedded in digital processes will make it easier for insurance agencies to maintain compliance, streamline office processes, and minimize errors. And, by reducing reliance on traditional manual processes, staff will finally free up valuable time to improve the customer experience.