Using a Digital Mailroom in Insurance
The stakes are high for insurers to find ways to enhance customer service and improve efficiency.
But inefficient and ineffective approaches to managing claims, applications, correspondence, invoices, and other incoming mail and documents can put insurers at a competitive advantage. Traditional paper-based mailroom processes are time-consuming, error-prone, and inefficient.
The average insurer spends $1.5 million per year to process paper-based mail, Iron Mountain says.
That’s why more insurers are modernizing their mail handling with digital mailroom solutions.
This article explores the benefits of using a digital mailroom in insurance.
The types of documents insurers receive
Despite the push towards digitization, insurers of all sizes still receive a wide variety of documents through the mail from policyholders, claimants, agents, and other stakeholders.
Here are some of the types of documents that many insurers receive though the mail:
- Policy applications
- Claims documents
- Renewal notice decisions
- Underwriting documents
- Premium payments
- Endorsements and policy changes
- Legal documents
- Proof of loss
- Regulatory forms and filings
These documents may be received through the mail, email, portals, or secure file transfers.
Top insurance mailroom challenges
It’s not easy for most insurers to manage all the documents and data that they receive.
- High volumes. It can be challenging and time-consuming for insurers to manage high volumes of policy applications, claims documents, and other incoming mail and documents.
- Too many errors. Manually categorizing and processing incoming mail and documents is error prone. One slipup in how data is keyed, or documents are routed can create downstream problems that impact the customer experience and create compliance issues.
- Growing volumes of data. If you are feeling overwhelmed by the amount of data your organization manages, you are not alone. From policyholder information to claim details, the amount of data that insurers must manage is at an all-time high. Manually processing all this information inevitably leads to higher costs, more errors, approval delays, and data gaps.
- Cumbersome physical storage. Insurers must be able to retrieve documents fast to respond to customer inquiries, auditor requests, or compliance requirements. Physically storing paper documents takes up lots of space, is inefficient, and is prone to lost or misfiled documents.
- Burdensome compliance requirements. Insurers must comply with government, industry, and internal requirements for safeguarding the sensitive personal and financial data that they receive. But ensuring that physical documents don’t fall into the wrong hands is complex.
- Poor tracking. There’s a lot riding on the documents that insurers receive being routed to the appropriate individual or department within the organization. But paper processes make it nearly impossible for managers to know where documents stand in the process.
It’s for these reasons that more insurers are deploying digital mailroom solutions.
What is a digital mailroom for insurers?
A digital mailroom modernizes the way that insurers handle incoming mail and documents.
Digital mailroom solutions for insurers automatically receive, process, sort, and distribute contracts, invoices, and other incoming mail and documents. Here’s how a insurance digital mailroom works:
- Scanning. Physical mail items are scanned and converted into digital documents. Some digital mailroom solutions for insurance use high-speed scanners that process different types of documents comingled and capture document data inline.
- Aggregation. Documents received through email, mobile applications, secure file transfers and other digital means are aggregated with the scanned images for standardized processing.
- Capture. Optical character recognition (OCR), barcode recognition, artificial intelligence (AI) and other technologies are used to automatically extract policyholder information, policy numbers, claim details, and other important information from mail and other documents.
- Routing. Documents are digitally routed to an individual or department with the organization, based on pre-configured business rules. Documents also can be routed to a document management platform or other legacy system. Routing documents electronically eliminates the possibility of lost or misplaced documents and provides real-time tracking.
- Collaboration. Some insurance digital mailroom solutions enable multiple users to work on the same document simultaneously to reduce communication delays and speed approvals.
- Archival. Documents and data are indexed and securely stored in a centralized cloud-based archive. Authorized users can access documents 24/7 from anywhere, using any device.
- Security. Insurance digital mailroom solutions protect sensitive data through access controls, data encryption, segregation of duties rules, and tracking of all actions taken on a document.
These capabilities significantly change the way that insurers handle incoming mail and documents.
Benefits of an insurance digital mailroom solution
Insurers can achieve significant benefits by implementing a digital mailroom solution.
- Improved efficiency. Eliminating the manual tasks associated with handling incoming mail and documents frees staff to focus more time on more fulfilling, higher-value activities. And instant document access and collaboration across departments improves staff productivity.
- Reduced costs. Insurance digital mailroom solutions eliminate the physical document storage, paper and printer consumable costs, manual data entry, and other paper-related expenses that drive up the cost of handling incoming mail and other documents.
- Fewer errors. Typos, transposed numbers, and other errors are inevitable when staff must manually key the data on incoming mail and documents. Digital mailroom solutions use AI, OCR, and other technologies to extract data from documents with a high degree of accuracy.
- Better customer experience. Insurance digital mailroom solutions eliminate the physical sorting and other manual tasks that bog mail processing down. The faster an insurer can process its mail, the better experience it can provide to policyholders and claimants. What’s more, a digital mailroom solution makes information instantly available to stakeholders. Seventy percent to 90 percent of prospects are more likely to buy an insurance policy if the underwriting and application process is real-time, according to research from Cognizant.
- Reduced security and compliance risk. Insurance digital mailroom solutions reduce the possibility of documents falling into the wrong hands or becoming lost or damaged.
- Enhanced information accessibility. The indexing and electronic retrieval built into digital mailroom solutions makes it easy for authorized users to find and access information.
Together, these benefits help insurers succeed in a highly competitive market.
In an increasingly competitive market, insurers cannot afford to overlook the benefits of digital mailroom technology. Digital mailroom solutions help insurers improve efficiency, reduce costs, increase staff productivity, mitigate risk, and deliver a better experience to policyholders and claimants. It’s time for insurers to embrace the advantages of a digital mailroom solution.