Insurance Support Offshore Outsourcing: Services to Grow your Business

Insurance support offshore outsourcing is the subcontracting of typically non-core insurance activities to a third party. These activities include day-to-day back-office tasks like policy checking, data capture, data entry, archiving, insurance customer service, insurance IT helpdesk, and many others. Cost pressures, regulatory changes, legacy IT systems, and a fiercely competitive global market are pushing many companies to offshore outsource insurance support. Another driver for the growth of outsourced insurance services is the consolidation of regional and national insurance providers. To be able to focus on core competencies and business growth, insurers find that they must let go of non-core functions to specialists.

Many firms see insurance support outsourcing as both a cost reduction and strategic business tool; some companies outsource support functions to gain competitive advantage while controlling costs, while others outsource support to extend the functionality of their in-house insurance departments. By offshore outsourcing routine insurance functions, the company can reduce operating costs, streamline internal processes, improve speed to market of insurance products, improve cash flow, improve customer service, and become more agile. Insurance support offshore outsourcing also frees up time so that internal staff can focus on core activities that drive revenue.

The insurance industry was one of the first to outsource business services. The market is very mature, and most clients focus on value derived from insurance support offshore outsourcing engagements. In its infancy, outsourcing in the insurance sector was driven by companies seeking ways to improve efficiency and reduce costs. Today, companies work with insurance providers to drive innovation and improve the customer experience in a cost-effective way. According to an industry survey, more than 60 percent of companies already outsource some business processes, and more than 50 percent are looking for vendors specializing in key areas. About 85 percent of companies in the life insurance and annuity industry currently outsource some elements of their IT function.

How an Insurance Support Offshore Outsourcing Provider Can Help

Insurance providers have moved up the value chain in terms of their offerings, but most vendors still provide transactional and insurance support services to their clients. Vendors apply sophisticated technology and best-in-class processes to streamline existing data/document processing and customer care workflows. For example, an insurance support vendor may provide document validation and editing services to fill out missing information in new policy applications and ensure accuracy and completeness of all forms. Document checking speeds up processing and reduces the amount of rework for insurance carriers. The vendor may also provide onsite or off-site digital mailroom solutions that process insurance documents (electronic and paper) at the front end for immediate data capture.

A third party provider can be a powerful ally for an insurance firm in the process of digital transformation. According to a study, one out of three life and annuity carriers is seriously considering replacing their legacy administrative systems. Maintaining and training people to use outdated systems not only requires significant investment; they also slow speed to market for new products and inhibit business growth. The absence of a modern administrative platform can put off 21st century customers used to fast service and multi-channel systems. Third parties offer many technology solutions that address these problems. Mobile and digital document intake is an example, which can reduce processing time by up to a week, making it easier for agents grow the business.

Customer Service in Outsourced Insurance Support

Customer service is another area where insurance support providers can improve organizational efficiency. Today’s insurance buyers are more demanding and savvy, and they want individual, personalized attention. However, only a few insurers have arrived at the level of customer service they seek. Third party insurance support vendors use their expertise to capitalize on customer loyalty. The vendor can deploy agents and helpdesk staff to improve customer experience and engagement across all touch points. They also help insurers deliver exceptional service across the organizations, and not just in one functional area.

Sourcefit Philippines Outsourcing Blog: Insurance Support Offshore Outsourcing

Offshore Outsourcing Insurance Support Services

Most insurance companies prefer flexible outsourcing arrangements that allow them to select the specific services they need and scale up or down easily. Insurance support services offered by third parties range from back-office and IT to front-facing customer support. Support services can be bundled or unbundled depending on the client’s needs. Some commonly outsourced insurance support services include:

Document Processing

Insurers often process high volumes of documents every day. There is a need across the industry for accurate and fast processing of paper and electronic documents (claims, invoices, applications, etc.). Service providers use the latest document processing technology and optimized workflows to help insurers save time and resources. Providers are capable of processing all types of documents and claims, including medical, travel, workers’ compensation, life, public liability, and many others. All mail and correspondence from the insurer’s customers are processed onsite or offsite. Mail contents are sorted by branch and prepared for scanning in batches. Faxes and emails go through the same system to extract data needed for claims processing. A third party document processing service allows claims to be processed on the same day they are received.

Document Management

The document management process involves tracking and processing incoming and outgoing documents. Document management software provided by third parties is usually integrated into the insurance company’s enterprise content management system. The document management software monitors and tracks all electronic and digitized insurance documents within a department or throughout the organization. After insurance documents are processed, internal or outsourced staff can search for, edit, save, download and track documents using the management software. Password protection is used to ensure that data is secure, and permissions allow certain documents to be locked to meet compliance standards. Using third party document management services improves security, control and tracking, and reduces the risk of lost documents.

Digital Mailroom

A digital mailroom service converts insurance documents into digital form using high-volume scanners, manual data entry, and electronic data capture systems. Digitized documents can be easily stored, retrieved and delivered quickly to the people who need them. Third party digital mailroom services improve the efficiency of inbound and outbound mail workflows, increase visibility and control, reduce operating costs, and save time through the use of automated systems and intelligent data capture. Digital mailroom services can be done onsite or offsite.

Customer Support/Call Center Services

Insurance firms understand that customer experiences greatly impact sales, underwriting, claims and profitability. Many top-performing insurance companies in the U.S. are also known for their excellent customer service. A study showed that 72 percent of customer satisfaction scores was related to customer service components, while only 28 percent was related to the price of the product. However, it can be difficult for insurers to interact with customers in a seamless way and provide timely and accurate service without the right technology and processes.

Insurance Support Offshore Outsourcing: Customer Service

Third party providers help insurers coordinate multichannel customer support centers and provide real-time information to clients using advanced workflows and integrated technologies. For example, systems for sales, underwriting, claims and billing are linked together to enable quick information sharing and simultaneous customer support. For discrete systems, the vendor may manage customer support only for the claims system, while customer support for other policy system is retained in-house. The goal of the service provider is to create a flexible and customizable infrastructure that gives customers the information they need in a timely manner.

Finance and Accounting

Third parties provide finance and accounting (FAO) services to insurance companies to streamline processes, reduce payment cycles, reduce errors, and eliminate bottlenecks. FAO services include purchase order management, invoice reconciliation, exception handling, travel and expense processing, remittance processing, cash posting, and refunds. The FAO process begins at the digital mailroom, where inbound financial documents are scanned and imaged for data capture, and then integrated into the firm’s enterprise content management system. By working with a third party that handles FAO services, insurers can improve their daily cash flow, invoice access, and compliance. FAO solutions can also reduce late-payment fees, labor costs, and turnaround times.

Disaster Recovery and Business Continuity

The goal of disaster recovery and business continuity services for the insurance industry is to help insurers resume normal operations quickly after disasters. The third party may provide the services of claims and disaster management professionals to assist clients with planning and developing recovery and continuity procedures, or it may handle the management of the disaster reconstruction program to achieve recovery goals quickly and effectively. Third parties can help with accounting and reconciliation of project costs, tracking documentation files, performing site visits, and by providing technical support. Other disaster recovery services include end-to-end financial recovery planning, financial documentation, internal controls, risk management, program assessment, disaster closeout, and audit resolution.

Underwriting Support

Third parties provide support services to maintain accuracy and efficiency throughout the underwriting process. Underwriting support services include quote preparation, data processing, message processing, data modeling, data entry, data manipulation, risk capture, technical processing, quality assurance, slip/risk verification, and contract certainty.

Insurance Sales and Marketing Support

Sales and marketing support services for insurers are intended to uncover new business opportunities and drive revenue growth. Sales and marketing services include insurance internet marketing, email marketing, social media marketing, search engine optimization, and insurance telemarketing/sales. Internet marketing services attract online insurance prospects and help grow the client list, while telemarketing services increases lead conversion and the number of qualified leads. Social media marketing engages existing clients and prospects through social medial channels.

Insurance Support Offshore Outsourcing: SEO, PPC Internet Marketing

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