Exclusive Data: It Takes 21 Communications to Resolve a Typical Auto Insurance Claim
How many communications must an adjuster deal with when processing a claim? Here’s what we recently found by analyzing hundreds of thousands of communications.
If you deal with insurance claims, then you likely realize that managing these claims involves a great deal of communication – both with claimants and with third-party vendors such as assessors, lawyers, and auto repair shops. Managing those claims effectively requires adjusters not only to communicate well, but also to keep track of the critical information from their communications.
To show just how many communications are involved in processing and settling a typical claim, we at Five Sigma have analyzed data covering hundreds of thousands of communications from our U.S.-based customers in recent months. Since our intelligent claims software stands out for automatically recording both incoming and outgoing communications for claims adjusters, this data offers a comprehensive look at the scope of adjusters’ communications with both claimants and vendors.
Taken together, our findings underscore how important it is for claims adjusters to have a comprehensive, streamlined solution for communicating with claimants and vendors.
Auto insurance claims typically require more communications than home or pet claims
Our findings show that the median auto insurance claim involves 21 different instances of communication between a claims adjuster and either a claimant or a vendor. These communications include phone calls, emails, text (SMS) messages, and physical letters.
The figure for home insurance is somewhat lower, with a median of 16 communications per claim. In contrast, the median pet insurance claim only requires three communications.
Email leads the way, but physical mail still plays a major role
Looking at the breakdown of physical mail, email, text messages, and phone calls, we can see that email is the most common channel of communication – accounting for 44% of all communications. Physical mail comes in a close second place, with 37% of all communications.
While phone calls also have an important role to play, they are significantly less common, accounting for 16% of all communications. Only 3% of communication between a claims adjuster and either a vendor or a claimant takes place via text message.
Adjusters send messages differently from claimants and vendors
When we distinguish between claims adjusters’ incoming and outgoing messages, we can see major differences in the breakdown of message types.
Email is the primary channel for communication from claimants and vendors to claims adjusters, accounting for over half (57%) of adjusters’ incoming communications. Phone calls account for most of the remaining incoming messages (23% of all incoming communications). Another 17% of their incoming communications are sent via mail, and the remaining 4% are conveyed via text message.
On the other hand, when claims adjusters reach out to claimants and vendors, physical mail is their channel of choice – accounting for a majority (53%) of all outgoing communications. Another 34% of their outgoing communications are conveyed via email, while 10% of their outgoing communications take place over the phone. Only 3% are delivered via text message.
Claims adjusters communicate more with vendors than with claimants, but not by phone or text message
Looking at the hundreds of thousands of claims adjusters’ incoming and outgoing communications that we’ve recorded in recent months, we can see that 69% are sent between the adjusters and vendors – rather than between adjusters and claimants.
Breaking these numbers down, we can see major differences between various channels of communication. While more than 70% of adjusters’ emails and letters (76% and 72%, respectively) are sent between the adjusters and vendors, the picture is reversed for phone calls and text messages. Specifically, we found that 59% of adjusters’ phone calls are with claimants rather than vendors, while a whopping 91% of adjusters’ text messages are sent between them and claimants.
The big picture: Many interactions are taking place across multiple channels
Looking at our findings, perhaps the most important takeaway is the scope of the communications necessary to process a typical claim. Although the numbers are lower for pet insurance, we found that both home and auto insurance claims in the U.S. typically require more than 15 messages sent between claims adjusters and either vendors or claimants. And those communications are spread across multiple channels – mostly email, physical mail, and phone calls.
Simply put, claims management is a communication-heavy and data-focused field. By automatically recording data on claims adjusters’ interactions, insurers can empower those adjusters to focus more on excelling at the critical aspects of their work and less on painstakingly keeping records of their communications.
That’s why at Five Sigma, our claims management solution is designed to enable adjusters to manage all communications – incoming as well as outgoing – from a single screen. It’s also the reason our technology helps adjusters by automatically recording their communications from all channels – not only emails and text messages, but also phone calls and postal mail.
As a result, our streamlined approach to managing claims adjusters’ communications empowers those adjusters to process claims both accurately and efficiently. Moreover, our technology helps insurance companies to use valuable data gathered from these communications, both about specific claims and about each adjuster’s job performance. By automatically indexing and analyzing these communications, our solution helps insurers to identify important trends and improve customer satisfaction.
How do insurance companies use data to compile claims intelligence and use this information? For a closer look at the role data plays for insurance companies today and where claims intelligence is headed in the future, check out The State of Claims Intelligence 2022.