Graham Newman, European Product Marketing Manager, FINEOS
The final day of the conference began with an interesting double act from Zurich Insurance. Suzan van der Kerk, Global Life Chief Claims Officer and Michael Dalcher, Global Life Claims Performance Officer gave a detailed insight into the challenges and opportunities of building a coherent and efficient claims strategy for 22 countries across the globe. They made the point very clearly that although there may be quite large variations in practice at the end of the day a claim is a claim is a claim and therefore it is clearly possible to develop best practices and achieve claims excellence everywhere. With such a wide ranging claims operation on multiple continents it is likely that someone, somewhere is doing something, some part of the process, really well. The trick is to identify those best practices and discover ways of disseminating them to all areas so they become the norm rather than the exception. Suzan and Michael took us step by step through their “House of Excellence” that was designed to bring together the very best and build, in a clear and logical way, claims processes and exponents with the best practices and procedures. All this has to accommodate the understanding that one size does not fit all, so this is not merely a process of imposing centralised processes on all areas, but must have flexibility and sensitivity to local variations built in. A difficult task, but we heard that Zurich is clearly succeeding.
Derek Corbett, IT Project Manager and Colum Flanagan, Health Claims Manager of Friends First presented their case study on how they have streamlined their claims processing for the income protection line.
Against a background of substantial growth in Income Protection market share over the last decade – their Income Protection claims portfolio grew by over 50% in the last 5 years, and a desire to retain their excellent reputation for superior claims management Friends First had some issues to overcome. Their legacy systems were unable to meet their demands and their value-add activities were not being fully maximised.
With the introduction of the FINEOS Claims system helped them to achieve some specific key benefits, among which are:
- Enhanced Claims Management Capability
- Workflow and Case Management
- Improved Efficiencies and Cost Savings
- Enhanced Control and Security
The FINEOS Claims system enables Friends First to deliver on their claims philosophy of paying valid claims for the right amount and for the right duration and has helped to cement their position at the leading edge of Income Protection Claims Management in Ireland and also provided them with a platform for the future development of the claims proposition to meet requirements.
The final session of the open conference was a discussion panel on organisational change, titled: Organisational Change – Does it Really Need Managing? We had a panel consisting of Karen Kelly, Manager of Business Project Team at Assurant Employee Benefits, Michael Whelehan, Head of Claims Operations for FBD Insurance, one of Ireland’s largest P&C insurers, Rob Haithwaite, Executive Director, Injury Claims Management of Manitoba Public Insurance and our very own Mary-Christine Nolan, FINEOS Corporate University Manager. This was a panel discussion I chaired and it elicited a lot of interest from the conference and brought forth plenty of ideas. So, I shall explore the ideas it generated in a further blog this week.
The public part of the conference was then over, but not the involvement. The afternoon concluded with the Special Interest Groups meeting with their FINEOS representatives to discuss their specific needs and vision and for FINEOS to obtain first hand – and first class – input to its Line of Business product roadmaps. There is a strong commitment from FINEOS to meet its customers’ needs and these sessions are invaluable in fully understanding what those needs and priorities are so we can better meet them.
So, the 6th. Annual FINEOS Claims Summit drew to a close during the afternoon. It has been a fascinating three and a half days and we have heard some really interesting and stimulating presentations and speeches. With its theme of Achieving Claims Excellence the conference has provided a valuable insight into the great strides that the industry is making in meeting that aim. It gave a great opportunity to share current thinking, pose new ideas and build the road map to the future.
If you are a FINEOS client who was not able to make it to this year’s conference, or are not currently a FINEOS client but may be considering working with us then I highly recommend that you consider making a date in your diary – whatever physical or electronic form that may take – to come to next year’s Claims Summit. The venue is voted for by the clients; I suspect that North America or Canada may be hosting us next year, but wherever it is the blend of intellectual ideas and practical experience, the breadth of coverage across classes of business and the sheer, world-wide experience of senior insurance and claims executives from 50 organisations, over 10 countries, four continents and both hemispheres made this a uniquely valuable experience.