Storebrand, which has been a customer of Itera’s for many years, wanted to make the user experience associated with insurance claims a breeze – both for its customers and its claims advisors. This was the start of an entirely new system for both the submission and management of insurance claims.
The result? There is now a new, re-defined customer journey for Storebrand’s customers when they make a claim, and Storebrand has gained a new claims processing system. Storebrand’s customers are reported to be very satisfied, and they are increasingly making claims more quickly and without needing any assistance. This in turn also means that Storebrand’s claims advisors can spend their time actually processing claims rather than chasing up information. Where previously 56% of Storebrand’s customers submitted their claims online, 80% now do so.
The task was a long-term one. The project started in October 2018, and as of May 2020 a range of different types of claim forms (e.g. for travel insurance, contents insurance and car insurance) and functions have been launched, in addition to the claims management system "Claims" (developed by Genus), which is used by Storebrand’s claims advisors to process insurance claims.
Storebrand’s customers can make an insurance claim in two different ways: they can complete a form online or can get help over the phone. Storebrand has worked on digitalisation for a long time, and a high proportion of claims were already being made via the internet. However, Storebrand was finding that many of its customers were using its phone line to ask questions and to make claims, even in instances where it would have been easier for them to use the online service. This practice was more time-consuming and resource-intensive than necessary, both for customers and for Storebrand’s claims advisors.
An important target for the project was therefore to make the claim settlement processes entirely digital and data-driven. Storebrand wanted to enable more of its customers to submit their claims via the internet, as this would mean its claims advisors would have more time to focus on actually processing claims rather than on unnecessary administrative tasks and data entry.
Increasing the proportion of claims made online also made it possible to automate a significant proportion of the process, e.g. determining whether or not customers have the right to receive a pay-out. This, in turn, helps improve the customer experience, as customers receive a quicker response to their claims.
In addition, Storebrand wanted to make the customer journey shorter and smoother for the user.
As part of the process of developing insights in relation to the entire claim settlement process, an important step was finding out why customers chose to telephone Storebrand rather than to make their claim online.
We wanted to find out whether customers telephoned simply out of habit, whether they had tried online first and not succeeded, whether the claim forms were understandable and, no less importantly, whether they had found what they had been looking for. The answer was a combination of all of these factors, and the user experience for the entire claim settlement process needed improving.
An important finding was that customers were very concerned about making their claim correctly, as people make insurance claims when they have incurred a significant loss so they want to be sure that they will receive proper settlement of their claim. A common misconception is that insurance companies are “out to get you”, and this causes customers to be very concerned to provide all the information that might be required and to ensure that they report claims correctly. This means that they often make an extra call to their insurance company for guidance before making a claim, and call again during the process to find out how their claim is progressing.
An important step towards meeting the target was therefore to develop systems and solutions that would help customers overcome the uncertainty they felt so that they would be willing to take the step of making their claim without assistance. Storebrand wanted not only to help its customers overcome their uncertainty but also to forestall their concerns.
Another finding was that Storebrand’s claims forms needed to be improved in order to encourage more customers to use them. They were not very modern, required a lot of free text, had complex, difficult questions and were not very dynamic. This latter factor in particular often created uncertainty for customers, as the answers they provided at the start of the forms did not influence the questions they were asked subsequently. If customers were asked a question that did not seem to be relevant, they became unsure, increasing the feeling that they needed to telephone the company to ascertain how they should answer.
Itera had two UX designers and four developers working on the project and, in addition to the insight work, developed a new customer interface for Storebrand’s customers:
When carrying out the project, Itera worked product by product with frequent launches, which meant that it was able to integrate lessons from them into the next round. This also resulted in a short route to market and made it fully possible to adapt the solution to the users’ requirements.
The development team included a specialist claims advisor from Storebrand to ensure that Itera created a good solution that met Storebrand’s and its customers’ needs. This approach also gave Storebrand’s employees greater ownership over the new solutions.
Storebrand put the user experience front and centre, and this proved very beneficial.
Storebrand’s customers think it is now easier to make a claim, and feel that they receive good feedback from the claims advisors during the process. The claims forms are simpler and more dynamic, and customers only need to answer questions that are relevant to their claim. This has resulted in more customers using the self-service options and making claims entirely online. Prior to the project 56% of Storebrand’s customers who made claims did so over the internet, whereas 80% now use this option.
The day-to-day work of Storebrand’s claims advisors has also changed, bringing about a much-desired big improvement. While the system they previously used was demanding and not very user-friendly, “Claims” gives them better oversight over claims and enables them to process them more quickly. Because Storebrand’s customers are now much more often making claims online without assistance and providing all the necessary documentation more efficiently online, the company’s claims advisors are not having to spend time chasing up information.
The time it takes for travel insurance claims to be processed (which was one of the first products to be launched in the new solution) has decreased by 54.5%. This also means that customers receive a quicker response to their claims, which they regard as a very positive development.
“We are very proud of the project and of what we have achieved. The dynamic and the team’s collaboration have been particularly impressive, as well as crucial for achieving such a strong result. The team we worked with were a super-talented group”, comments Patrick Røhne, the project manager at Storebrand.
The team responsible for the new claims system. Photo: Storebrand