When we continuously improve our customer experience, our business thrives, and we enable our customers to live a good life.
At its core, insurance represents a collaborative approach to risk, and Allstate is the resource broker for this collaboration. By accurately and efficiently assessing and managing claims, we continue to be a force for good and maintain the trust of our valued customers. By innovating, we ensure our business successfully maneuvers the rapid industry transitions due to advances in information technology.
The world’s workforce is changing and the learning and training preferences of millennials are different from past generations. They prefer digital, centralized media. To support our evolving claims team, in 2016, Allstate began implementing our knowledge management system. We customized and designed the system to provide claims employees with uniform information. This includes centralized training content that is palatable to a wide-range of employees. Today, our claims process is increasingly streamlined and consistent. This strategy also:
• Increases employee efficiency, improving customer experience
• Improves the quality of claims handling
• Reduces informal training time
• Reduces redundant resources and effort needed to create, distribute and maintain
We know the customer experience begins and ends with our employees. Our team’s capability to deliver high quality and consistent claims experiences is at the core of driving high customer satisfaction.
Continuous Improvement (CI) is a management system that improves customer experience, agency owner and staff experience and business outcomes by empowering employees to advance their work methodology. The CI deployments have generated excitement and significant impact around employee engagement, customer experience and efficiency dimensions. To date, we have implemented CI in all claims express operations. By year-end 2016, all auto field operations will participate in the CI environment, totaling more than 35 claims offices.
Efforts are underway to deploy a systemic CI model across the remaining claims lines of business. This approach will be piloted at the senior leadership level and include a national deployment strategy and a root-cause problem-solving database. Our goal is to complete the implementation of CI across all claims offices by the end of 2017.
Preventative Home Care
Many of us know of preventative healthcare. In that same vein, Allstate is helping homeowners consider preventative care of their homes. Our Home Checkup program gives our customers an in-depth assessment of their home to help them better understand their risks and provide recommendations of maintenance measures. We tailor the assessment, conducted onsite by an Allstate inspector, to the interests and home care goals of each customer.
Simplifying the Claims Process
We work hard to ensure our claims process is as simple and stress free as possible. By continuously improving our claims process, we drive customer retention and satisfaction. In 2014, we undertook an assessment of our claims process called End 2 End. The assessment found customers prefer interacting with one claims professional throughout the process rather than multiple people. In response, Allstate now assigns a claim owner to each case. The owner is responsible for the entirety of the claims process, including:
• Reaching an agreement on liability with the at-fault insurance carrier and expediting the customer deductible upon agreement
• Informing insureds and claimants when supplemental damage to their vehicles is identified and explaining the impact to repair time and rental car extension
• Incorporating the explanation of medical payment or personal injury protection coverage and process as part of the initial loss fact-gathering contact rather than having a medical specialist perform the explanation
Results of the trial show the average number of claims professionals our customers encountered dropped from 4.5 to 2.1 in 2014. In 2015, we began migrating all of our claims processes to this new model, including our property claims.
Beyond the clear benefits to our customers, we found this process improved our claims handlers’ familiarity with the claims process as a whole. Further, it improves their ability to establish personal relationships with our customers because of their increased interaction. In light of this success, we are committing more resources to continuous improvement in this area.
Quantitative Research and Analytics
Allstate’s quantitative research and data analytics team works to leverage our data management system, NextGen, to identify and prevent risks to our customers. While this system provides our workforce with actionable tasks, the team maximizes its value by applying their models to create milestones, making our risk identification even more proactive.
We also use data analytics to predict and identify fraudulent claims. To this end, we continuously update sophisticated mathematical models developed by our Special Investigation Unit (SIU). In 2015, we submitted 23 civil actions against fraud perpetrators, seeking damages of nearly $69 million.
Improving Access to Information
The accessibility and quality of data continues to improve across the business landscape. In order to capitalize on this megatrend, we created several initiatives that increase our connectivity with customers.
• Connected Home: We offer customer discounts for installing monitoring devices for intruder alarms, smoke detection, carbon monoxide leaks, lighting, temperature level and appliance usage.
• The Allstate Digital Locker®: To expedite claims in the case of an event, Allstate developed The Allstate Digital Locker application, available by phone or internet connection, which allows users to keep a digital list of their personal property.
• Drivewise: Using a mobile app or plug-in device, we can inform our customers when they are demonstrating risky driving behavior. More recently, we modified the program to give cash back to customers with safe driving habits.
Advances in technology continue to open doors to previously unimaginable services. Surveys indicate that our customers are looking for more control of their insurance experience through digital media. By developing the technologies involved in the claims process, we empower our customers to contact us with ease.
While Allstate will always maintain options for a personal insurance experience, many of our customers voice a strong interest in self-service options. To meet the rising demand for self-service insurance, Allstate is improving our online claims experience. Already, we are revamping our online presence by streamlining the process of filing and checking the status of claims.
The rise of audio-visual communication presents Allstate with tremendous opportunities to improve the quality and experience of our claims process. We currently utilize several applications to virtually connect with our customers and vendors to collaborate during the claim’s life cycle including the assessment of damage. We are actively testing new drone technology to potentially deploy to better service our customers, for example, in flooded or hurricane impacted areas where access is limited.
We have an app for that. QuickFoto allows our customers to upload photos of their auto accidents. Using these photos, we can rapidly assess damages and complete the claims process, often within a few days.
Fast Mobile e-Payment
Our Fast Mobile e-Payment system, requiring only an email address or mobile phone number, is the new industry standard for quick and stress-free claims payment. This new digital payment process dramatically cuts wait time and paper waste. Fast Mobile e-payment is faster than electronic fund transfers and is available across the U.S. It works with any bank for all Allstate auto and property insurance claims that have a single payee.