In an era of mechanization, minimizing human error has become a common goal for all industries. Insurance in particular, focuses around the processing of large scale data pools. The data is gathered by multiple employees at a granular level and is sent upwards for verification and approval. The problem with information-intensive processing manually is the probability of an incorrect entry.
Other than information gathering issues, archaic hand processed systems are time consuming to digitize. With multiple data pools, finding specific records is just as difficult. Additionally, while the organization grows, changes in regulations and policies are bound to happen and must be translated down.
Addressing these concerns is easier with the incorporation of machine learning or automation. RPA or robotic process automation is the simplest structure to introduce. It is projected that 72% of all organizations will incorporate some degree of RPA into their business processes over the next two years. We can safely say this endeavor will encourage firm organizational benefits.
What is RPA?
Robotic Process Automation or RPA uses inputted structures centered around logic to offer quicker responses to business queries. RPA’s introduce a software or “robot” that is able to;
- Understand Applications for Smooth Data Processing
- Conduct Data Editing and Movement
- Generate Responses that don’t require Manual Intervention
- Automatically Engage in Communication with Digital Systems
Within financial sectors, COOs were quick to adopt RPA strategies as part of a streamlining process. With Robotic Processing centering around logical frameworks at all times, the margin for error is reduced significantly if not eradicated. Since errors within this field normally create larger scale problems down the line, prevention is definitely more important than solution.
RPA and Insurance
- RPA has offered leaps and bounds in terms of business efficiency. Repetitive tasks can be charged to, essentially, an artificial intelligence workforce.
- Software bots can be built or configured without the need for coding. The bots are able to execute basic computing or “low value addition” tasks that are important but time consuming.
- Insurance bots are able to process individual fields of data across the multiple systems employed by an Insurance company.
- Select RPA applications such as Blue Prism and UiPath are able to replicate human tasks down to a foundation level. This includes clicking, cutting, copying and pasting.
- Insurance companies function on intricate operations and require strong connectivity between systems. Insurance companies are able to boost performance by almost 50% through the reduction of mundane activities.
- Robots are able to conduct simple tasks in Insurance. These include;
- Opening, logging in and toggling between the multiple applications used by the Insurance company.
- Move data from spreadsheets to the core systems, sometimes using a “copy paste” mechanism.
- Fluid movement of information between core systems.
- Invoice processing to pull data and create information banks.
- Email processing to pull data and move to core systems.
- Ensure files are moved from desktops or computers used by employees to the main server or core system.
- Pull information from the internet or other information repositories.
- Use data to create reports through automated calculations.
Costs and Benefits
There are a number of risks associated with implementing RPA systems;
- Operational Risks – In terms of staff concerns with replacements and robot inefficiency without consistent updates.
- Compliance Risks – Insurance robots are not governed by compliance rules, they require human monitoring for activity execution unless the process has been mapped in depth, from start to finish.
- Quality Risks – While bots help cut down the time of labor intensive tasks, if data is not organized correctly before processing the results will be incorrect. The robot is able to move data from one location to another and understand the values being transported, however an incorrect input will not be addressed. The standardization of processing must be well detailed before implementation.
- Ethical Risks – Assessment of the investment into human or digital automation must be weighed. Implementing higher or unnecessary automation would only decrease human staff morale. A healthy mix of the two will not only incentivize higher quality output but assist with reducing costs and improving profitability.
Risks and benefits are a part of every business endeavor. The benefits of introducing RPA into an insurance firm are definitely considered to be heavier than the costs. Advantages of Robot Process Automation include;
- Faster Claim Processing
- Easy Policy Cancellation
- On Boarding is an Easier Process; only instructional inputs a required for the new recruits
- Increased Data Accuracy
- Processes are Standardized
- Assistance with Legacy and New Systems; bots can be trained to function across all systems including old existing systems and translate this information to newer ones.
- Easy Transitions to using bots with their simple to use frameworks.
They key to the success of RPAs revolves around strong and detailed frameworks. The robots can be programmed to conduct activities that do not require additional thought, just execution. It would be in an organization’s best interest to maintain a healthy blend of human intervention into the RPA system. This ensures the bots are working the way they need to and leaves minimal room for potential errors to arise. Additionally the bots must be programmed to identify possible issues in data pools. An alert mechanism must be added to communicate the same and allow human intervention to rectify the error.
RPAs in general are a great addition to mechanize an Insurance organization. The investment reaps returns almost as quickly as it is implemented.
Older industries could greatly benefit from the introduction of new practices to increase efficiency and effectiveness. The Insurance business is static in process. This means activities can be repetitive in nature and could be executed without much thought. Enter RPAs. Robotic Process Automation offers a multitude of easier processing options including faster management of large data pools and improved information accuracy. While the initial investment cost may be a little heavy, the easy to use frameworks provide fast returns on investment.