Paper or Paperless: No Longer a Question for the Insurance Industry
August 10, 2020
The insurance industry is well-known for its loyalty to paper. Contracts, policy statements, bills, benefit booklets–you name it and it’s printed. The industry is also known for being highly competitive, requiring insurers to find ways to standout in a crowded marketplace. One way to accomplish this is by offering paperless billing. It allows insurers to manage documents more efficiently and securely, which gets an enthusiastic thumbs up from the compliance department! And, it also lets policyholders choose how they want to receive/view bills and statements, which for many consumers today is online. For insurers looking to differentiate themselves from their competition, ditching paper could be an easy, cost-effective solution.
Sign Here, Sign Here, and Sign Here
Documentation is the cornerstone of every insurance organization. No surprise then that it has traditionally been an industry that relies heavily on paper. Day-to-day operations still involve many time-consuming manual processes and of course lots of paper forms, agreements, contracts, and claims submissions. Though privacy and adherence to compliance regulations is top of mind for everyone in the industry, wrangling all of that paper makes it difficult to comply. The expectation is that documentation requirements will continue to increase in the future, furthering the need for insurers to find an effective and secure way to manage all of this information. Going digital definitely ticks the boxes from an information management perspective. On top of enhanced security and privacy measures, paperless billing also delivers a significant savings opportunity. When you dig into the difference between issuing paper versus electronic documents, research has shown that there is a per bill savings of 53 cents.1
Attract the Right Attention
Competition in the insurance market is fierce, making it even more important to find ways to stand out. Historically, insurance companies have competed on price and the quality of services, but insurers would be smart to start looking at e-billing and payment because it can be a major competitive advantage. As consumers grow increasingly more comfortable with paying bills online, insurers have an opportunity to reduce their reliance on paper which has a wide range of benefits including greater flexibility for customers, better for the environment, and it’s easier to manage and retrieve digital documents. When it comes to convincing customers, ease of use and convenience both go a long way in building loyalty. By shifting the focus away from price and instead prioritizing customer experience, insurance companies are sure to get the positive attention they’re looking for from customers.
Upgrade Data Management Tools
Insurance companies capture a large volume of highly sensitive policyholder data on a daily basis. To keep that information safe, there are strict regulatory requirements they must abide by. Many insurers today are struggling to meet those requirements because they’re still supporting siloed legacy systems that lack integration. In its 2020 Insurance Regulatory Outlook, Deloitte recommended developing a more comprehensive information governance program that addresses data management and privacy challenges, replacing systems of record that have been the cornerstones of insurance companies for decades. It further suggests that choosing a cloud-based customer experience management system allows insurers to overcome some of their integration hurdles while making payment processing easier and ensures policyholder information is secure.
Improve Customer Satisfaction
Consumer preferences are continually evolving and along with that come increased expectations. E-billing is a hit with many customers because it makes it easier for them to receive and pay their bill using whatever payment channel suits them best. A digital platform also allows them to receive and review communications like agreements, policy documents, and claims in their preferred communication channel. All of this adds up to a more seamless, integrated customer journey that enables customers to engage with their insurer quickly and directly.
COVID-19 Will Have a Lasting Impact on Billing & Payment Trends
Many industries have already witnessed changing customer preferences due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Because consumers are looking to minimize trips to payment centers and reduce contact with high-touch surfaces, e-billing has become a very popular option. As we continue to weather this crisis, it is expected that demand for e-billing will rise as customers seek more convenient options for managing and paying bills and prepare for instances where they may be unable to collect their mail due to illness or self-isolation.
There’s No Downside
The benefits of reducing the insurance industry’s reliance on paper are immense. From an organizational perspective, switching to paperless billing helps streamline business processes, and provides enhanced data security which improves compliance with data privacy regulations. From a customer perspective, it allows for easier and more efficient communication and boosts customer experience, helping to build a more loyal customer base. For those insurers who have been slow to embrace paperless, now is the time if they want to be on the right side of compliance while still meeting customer expectations.
Want to learn more about how the KUBRA iDoxs® Suite can help you make a smooth transition to paperless billing? Request a demo today.
- Chartwell, 2019 Billing Payment Survey data.