Collaboration and data sharing between insurers and health professionals will have benefits for both parties, in addition to improving the customer claims experience, according to GlobalData Financial Services.
Vitality Life is rolling out a new claims service where serious illness and income protection policyholders submit a claim via a phone call with a qualified nurse who is trained to manage claims.
The new service, which is provided through claims specialist MorganAsh, will reduce the need for further medical evidence by talking to a trained medical professional. Meanwhile claims will be paid out faster by removing the traditional process of filling out paper forms. Overall the service will greatly improve the customer experience at the point of claims, where insurance is tested for its worth.
There must be an incentive for qualified nurses to be trained in claims management, such as extra pay for their added responsibility. While the service is beneficial to Vitality and its customers, it could attract controversy as to whether a nurse’s time should be used for claims management, as the media has long been highlighting NHS staff shortages.
However, it is logical for insurers to increase communication and collaboration with medical professionals. Health services already have evidence and information that is needed for customers to submit claims, and so insurers should work to join up their services to streamline them. For example, Vitality collects health data about customers through wearables. The insurer could share this data with medical professionals, which would help provide a greater view of a customer’s health and wellness outside of doctor appointments. There is also potential to use this data to monitor patients remotely.
Getting medical records and evidence is a slow part of any claim. Vitality has put forward a solution that could increase efficiency and enhance the customer experience. We are already seeing examples in other insurance markets of claims triggers coming from someone other than the customer, for instance delayed flights in travel insurance.
Vitality has made a good step by using nurses with medical knowledge within its claims process. In the future, medical professionals could have the ability to submit claims directly to an insurer instantly at the time of diagnosis – without any need for customer interaction.
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