How AI is changing the claims industry – for the better – Insurance Business

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How AI is changing the claims industry – for the better | Insurance Business America

Yet there is one factor to fear…


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AI is coming for the insurance industry – whether your company is ready or not. Speaking to Insurance Business, Wendy L. Madevu (pictured), vice president of property, specialty, and casualty claims at Swiss Re Corporate Solutions, said that the tech is already having a big impact on daily operations.

“AI solutions have had a big impact on improving claims management,” Madevu said. “Using information from claims data, we’ve been able to collect large amounts of data, allowing for improved workflows and opportunities to reduce time and costs.”

The Claims Brain is the AI-powered brainchild of Swiss Re Corporate Solutions risk team. A foundational reservoir of claims data serves as the epicenter for enhanced claims analytics – through it, predictive models for subrogation and counter-fraud have emerged, empowering the system to recognize keywords and phrases, maximizing opportunities for recovery.

And it’s a gamechanger for the industry.

As Madevu told Insurance Business, The Claims Brain uses AI to recognize keywords and phrases, with the goal of maximizing opportunities for recovery. This innovation has significantly impacted file handlers, enabling them to oversee the collection of salvage and other subrogation opportunities more efficiently, ultimately aiding in fraud prevention, positively influencing the bottom line in terms of expenses and recovery.

One factor to fear – inflation

However, despite the progress that has been made thanks to AI, Madevu acknowledged one notable threat – inflation, which poses a significant threat to the cost of claims, which are simply costing more than initially planned.

“Things like catastrophic losses have been a major focus,” she told IB. “Natural disasters are becoming more frequent, more severe and  the cost to replace things has spiked. Claims expense continues to see an increase resulting in higher costs of material and labor. Supply chain disruptions have also had a significant impact.”

For instance, if a contractor fails to price a tender bid taking inflation into consideration accurately, there can a major issue when it comes to claims repair costs.

“Costing time on the actual claim  is where we are seeing longer repair times because of this type of situation,” said Madevu. “We’re trying to practice a realistic way of setting our claim reserves. We’re focused on combating the claims inflation by setting them in a timely manner and negotiating prices for repairs and labor – really putting an infrastructure in place to keep close track of the claims.”

And when it comes to the realm of effective risk management practices, Madevu is quick to stress the importance of stakeholder involvement – an involvement which aims to protect the organization’s brand and reputation during catastrophic events, minimizing losses and safeguarding the bottom line.

“One of the things that we’re really driving home with regards to effective risk management practices, especially since COVID, is keeping the stakeholder involved in every step from the beginning – with clear communication which is really key to what we need to do,” she said.

Bringing women to the forefront

Stakeholder involvement also ties into broader industry trends – specifically looking at the role of open dialogue when trying to reshape the sector. Because in an industry where male dominance has historically prevailed, Swiss Re is taking steps to change the narrative, aiming to create opportunities for women in senior management positions.  

“Our program is called POWHER – a play on power her,” said Madevu, with the program actually pairing female talent with female leaders in Swiss Re. “This is really important, of course, because it’s great to see examples of female leaders in the business world. It suggests that there’s a place for women in senior management positions,” she said.

“In this industry where it’s very male driven, it was nice to see that Swiss Re is trying to change the way insurance is seen – trying to give women a place in senior positions.”

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