How Intelligent Automation Streamlined Life Insurance Claims Processes

January 20, 2021 / Intelligent Process Automation, Life Insurance

automate the life insurance claims process


Given the range of documents involved and a sometimes lengthy timetable, it’s in an insurance company’s best interest to automate the life insurance claims process. In so doing, they can reduce costs while shortening cycle times and improving customer satisfaction. 

Anatomy of a life insurance claim

Life insurance claims are something of a special breed, given their sensitive nature and sometimes uncomfortable questions that must be examined as insurers investigate each claim to ensure its legitimacy. 

That means poring over the original life insurance application to ensure its accuracy, ruling out the possibility of the claimant providing false information. The company must also make sure premium payments are up to date.

Many policies include clauses stating the company is not required to pay a death benefit in the event of suicide, and it can take up to two years to rule that out. Similarly, any suspicion that a beneficiary committed homicide has to be examined, which can mean a lengthy investigation. Many policies also stipulate no payment is due if the claimant died while committing a crime. 

Then of course there’s the run-of-the-mill documentation to consider, including the death certificate and life insurance claim form. 

Applying automation to life insurance claims

All of this adds up to reams of documents of various types. Traditionally, employees examined each document, classified it, pulled pertinent data, and manually input it into a downstream claims handling system.

But intelligent document processing solutions change that equation. Such solutions automate the life insurance claims process by “reading” documents related to the claim, automatically extracting pertinent information and inputting it into the claims handling system. 

Such a tool goes beyond robotic process automation (RPA) or template-based automation tools that use optical character recognition (OCR). Those tools are good at extracting data from highly structured content, where the same data is in the same place every time. But they fall short when it comes to unstructured content, which describes most of the documents involved in the life insurance claims process. 

Beyond the death certificate, which should use the U.S. Standard Certificate for Death, there’s plenty of variation in the various forms involved, including healthcare data and any ongoing investigations. But an intelligent automation tool will handle the gamut of documents, extracting all pertinent data and leaving humans dealing with the critical work: how to deal with each claim.

Related Article: How Intelligent Automation Helps Insurers Streamline Enrollment Processes

Indico Intelligent Process Automation

So, how do you identify a “good” intelligent automation tool? That’s a topic we examined in this previous post, but one crucial attribute is to have a sound base model with many data points. Our Intelligent Process Automation platform is includes more than 500 million data points, enabling it to understand human language, including the context inherent in each document. 

Insurance companies can customize the model to automate the processing of life insurance claim documents. Labeling a few dozen actual documents is enough to train the model on what information to look for. IPA will find and extract that information even if the document format changes – a huge differentiator from RPA and templated approaches. 

It’s not unusual for life insurance companies to see an 85% reduction in process cycle times, a 4x increase in process capacity and an 80% reduction in employee resources using Indico’s IPA platform – all while improving the accuracy of the process. 

See How MetLife Found $100 Million in Value Through Hours Saved by Applying Intelligent Automation to Unstructured Documents.
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