Insurance Adjusters Go Mobile
Today’s insurance agents and customers are demanding access to services via mobile devices—a demand that will only continue to grow. Mobile technology can streamline many facets of customer-company interactions; yet, insurers often buy wireless devices for the wrong reasons and deploy them ineffectively to the workforce. To deploy a mobile solution that will deliver a low total cost of ownership (TCO) and high return on investment (ROI), insurers should consider work environments, device reliability, connectivity and IT support.
I recently discussed this topic in the May issue of Best’s Review magazine. Claims adjusters often serve as the “face” of the company and are expected to respond to claims onsite in a timely manner. Mobile computers provide agents with real-time access to information and contacts. Mobile technology also addresses process improvement and smarter management by reducing the need for double data entry. An appraiser with a mobile device can enter data into estimating software right at the source – a vehicle, disaster site or customer’s home. Wireless connectivity allows the report to be uploaded in real time and reduces the claims processing cycle time.
Mobile computers must map to agents’ and adjusters’ needs based on their work flow and work environments. Insurers should consider the size and weight of a device, connectivity and functionality. To maximize efficiency, appraisers need a device that is extremely portable. It is critical that wireless connectivity is embedded, because external wireless cards are a common point of failure and are easily lost. Convertible tablets or tablets with docking stations are ideal for agents who spend time on the road. With agents constantly on the move, their laptops often bear the brunt of the daily grind. Drops, bumps and spills are commonplace, so having rugged and durable mobile technology is vital to reliability and job performance.
With any mobile technology investment, insurers must aim for a solution that will improve productivity and function reliably over a long period of time, and look beyond just purchase price. Engaging the field workforce early on and listening to employees’ needs will create interest in the new solution and expedite the company’s ROI.
Let us know how you are leveraging mobile technology in your organization by leaving a comment below.