“Approximately 40% of our claim payments in 2019 reached our customers through methods other than check. We have cut claim payment issue to receipt time by 5 days and realized over $1 million in cost savings. The flexibility and speed of the InsurPay platform meets customers’ needs and expectations, helping us to deliver on The General’s mission to make life easier for our customers. The customer feedback has been outstanding! We have seen our Net Promoter Scores increase 5 points in the 2019 performance year, specifically due to the digital improvements we have made.”
– Molly Cook, Claims Director, The General
Entering the Digital Age of Insurance
It wasn’t that long ago that the idea of performing a damage appraisal without having a person physically go out to inspect a vehicle seemed an impossibility to claims folks at The General ®. Today, however, the Nashville based company not only has a mobile app that enables customers to more easily buy insurance, obtain digital ID cards and file claims, but their customers can receive on-demand support via chat functionality instead of relying upon phone calls.
Innovation in technology has truly taken Property and Casualty insurers by storm. The resultant disruption has forced the industry to think differently about data, product offerings and the services that customers want. Anticipating this, The General implemented Guidewire’s ClaimCenter in 2015, a robust claim system that would serve as the foundation for their digital roadmap into the future. Leveraging both their innovative digital strategy and the capabilities of ClaimCenter, The General would be able to realize an optimization to claim operations that would include advanced adjudication processes, end to end claim management, integrated data analytics and customer focused enhancements.
“Since they already had Guidewire validated accelerators developed for ClaimCenter, we knew we could get the integration done quickly. We were able to customize our customer portal with easy to understand explanations that would help our customers learn the differences among the various payment methods and select what was best for them. The InsurPay team was flexible, engaged, and handled all of our requests with a sense of urgency.”
Molly Cook, Claims Director, The General
Wait…did you say…“Wait for a Check?”
Having started their digital transformation journey, The General soon realized that they couldn’t give their customers the full digital experience they were demanding without also modernizing their claim payment system. How could they allow customers to send in their insurance premiums digitally on the front end, but then when misfortune strikes and they file a claim, essentially tell them ‘Your claim payment check is in the mail. Please allow 7-10 days for receipt’?
Realistically, they couldn’t, especially when 70% of their customer base uses a digital device at the point of sale and includes unbankable customers and insureds predominantly 18-36 years of age. The General made the decision to focus on digital claim payment transformation as part of their Digital Enhancement Roadmap, with the goal of leveraging the capabilities of ClaimCenter by integrating a digital claim payments platform that could support paying anyone, anytime, by any method.
InsurPay: A Comprehensive Digital Payment Platform and Guidewire Solution Partner
With digital claim payment transformation as their primary roadmap focus in 2018, The General selected Invenger Technologies and their InsurPay platform for their digital claim payments solution. Being a Guidewire Select Partner definitely influenced The General’s decision to select InsurPay. They knew they could be confident that Invenger had the capabilities and experience necessary to easily and quickly integrate the InsurPay platform with Guidewire’s ClaimCenter, through the use of validated accelerators. They also knew that InsurPay was a comprehensive cloud-based SaaS platform that was simple and easy to use, with a crisp customer portal that would be branded for The General. Implementing the integrated solution took only 12 weeks.
The Paper Check World: Challenges and Inefficiencies
Prior to switching over to InsurPay, the paper check process presented many challenges for the company across departments, including not only Claims, but Accounting, IT, and Compliance as well. All areas were struggling with inefficiencies. Since check print only occurred one time per day through a centralized print process, payment issuance activities drove claim department activity. Time zone differences added further complication. Once checks were printed, the administrative work began. Staff would secure signatures from authorized company representatives and place checks into envelopes for mailing.
The EOB Attachment Challenge
Medical Payment and PIP related claim disbursements were yet another challenge. These claim payments require an Explanation of Benefit (EOB) document to be attached to the payments. Since checks printed from one central location and EOBs from another, Medical/PIP claim checks would be sent overnight to an administrative assistant located in the EOB office so that they could then be matched together for mailing. In the world of paper checks, overnighting payments rapidly became the only way adjusters could quickly get claim payments out to customers in need.
Advantages of Having Insight, an Integrated Solution and a Great Partner
Due to The General’s partnership with Invenger, the business gained visibility into expense that had not previously been exposed under the older processes. While the business knew there was inadequacy in its check print and mailing processes, Invenger was able to provide additional detailed reporting to The General team. Taking swift action, The General was able to reduce overnight expense by over 65%.
Together with Invenger, they were able to design enhancements to the document management system and ClaimCenter that allowed them to attach documents, such as EOBs, to any method of payment in InsurPay via a document ID. Today, the InsurPay platform handles the EOB/Payment match process, saving significant manual effort, resources and expense for The General, allowing these resources to be reallocated toward more value-added activities and initiatives that result in a much better experience for The General’s customers.
What To Do When The Payment Is Too Fast
With the new digital InsurPay solution in place, customers selecting Direct to Debit funds transfer have claim payments transferred immediately to their debit card. That is unbelievably amazing when you’ve been accustomed to a 7-10 day waiting period for paper check arrival. But hold on…what if there happens to be an issue or mistake with the payment amount? In the situation of a payment error, bound to happen at some point, that long waiting period for check arrival had actually been advantageous for the payor. It gave the payor additional time to recognize an error, quickly reverse it before it reached its destination, and send out a replacement check. But now with the immediacy of the digital payment, what could be done to resolve the issue?
The General quickly got to work designing a customization to ClaimCenter that would give claim adjusters real-time visibility into the InsurPay payment status, allowing them the ability to immediately initiate the stop payment process. Today adjusters can make claim payments and corrections whenever they need to, and customers can select the payment method of their choice – EFT, Direct Deposit, Pre-Paid Card and traditional check payment if still preferred – and no claim payment is ever considered ‘too fast’.
Digitizing Vendor Payments – A Huge Win for The General
Invenger’s already established relationships with large national vendors, such as lienholders and rental car companies, was very attractive to The General from the beginning, but they had no idea what a huge success digitizing vendor payments would be for them. Due to Invenger’s existing vendor relationships, streamlined InsurPay Vendor Portal, and diligent vendor enrollment practices, over 50% of The General’s vendors have enrolled in EFT claim payments. “Our vendor digital adoption rates have been a huge win for us, and Invenger has been instrumental in this success,” said Molly Cook, Claim Director.
Vendors select the payment method they prefer, including EFT. Using the vendor portal, they receive, view and download claim payment and remittance information directly. All vendor enrollment and management is handled by Invenger, allowing The General to dedicate its resources toward keeping their promise of exceptional insurance coverage and world class service for their customers.
The Road Forward – Innovating Together
Today, the claim payment flexibility and speed offered at the General is undeniable. The improvement in customer experience has been substantial. Since first creating their digital transformation roadmap, they have achieved significant cost, effort and resource reallocation that have allowed them to improve their mobile app, introduce 2-way texting, and experiment with Robotics Process Automation (RPA). All of these achievements have led to a 5-point increase in customer promoter scores, further reinforcing growth and retention strategies.
Now that they have witnessed first-hand exactly what’s possible, The General is excited to continue on their digital journey, expanding the use of innovative new technologies to keep improving the experience for customers. And as their innovation partner on this digital journey, Invenger will be there with them, exchanging ideas and collaborating on transformative new initiatives that will propel
them both forward.
“Invenger is an industry leading company to partner with. From the RFP process to our post-sales relationship, the InsurPay team has been phenomenal to work with. They have partnered with us every step of the way to understand what we needed and how we were trying to solve business inefficiencies. They made it all happen in a timely fashion. To this day, they work with us on regulatory changes, collaborate on innovation, and provide us with tremendous service. Their partnership is outstanding. We love the InsurPay team!”
– Molly Cook, Regional Claim Director at The General
BENEFITS AT A GLANCE:
- Over $1 Million Annually Including 66% reduction in overnight mailing expense
Payment Issue to Receipt Reduction:
- 5 Business Days
Digital Claim Payment Adoption Rate:
Vendor EFT Adoption Rate:
Other Enabled Digital Transformation:
- Robotics Process Automation (RPA)
- Mobile FNOL Reporting
- Virtual Damage Estimating
- Automated Customer Communications
- 5 Point Increase in Net Promoter Score (NPS)
Client spotlight: The General
Founded in 1963 and part of the American Family Insurance group of companies since 2012, The General is a licensed insurance agency writing predominantly direct-to-consumer business in 47 states with 6 locations nationwide. Headquartered in Nashville, TN, the company has a rating of “A” from A. M. Best and is well known for its five-star military general mascot and its brand ambassador, basketball legend Shaquille O’Neal.
The company specializes in ‘high-risk’ insurance, offering auto insurance to drivers who may have difficulty obtaining insurance at a reasonable rate, due to a history of driving violations or accidents, insurance lapses, or less than perfect credit.
The General takes pride in its community involvement and commitment to helping others. It is a company dedicated to its vision of giving their customers a superior experience and making life easier for those they meet.