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Suncorp to invest $50m in insurance claim processing upgrade

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Suncorp to invest $50m in insurance claim processing upgrade

Suncorp is investing in the improvement of its digital insurance claims lodgement and tracking processes as customers continue to gravitate towards online solutions.

The company will invest $50 million into upgrading the entire claims process over the next 12 months.

Chief operating officer for insurance Paul Smeaton told a Standing Committee on Economics last week that part of the investment includes improving its comprehensive online experience for digital lodgement.

“The [current] ratio is around 20 percent [of claims] lodged online, [and] 80 percent lodged more traditionally in contact centres,” Smeaton said.

“What we've found particularly during Covid is this move towards doing things digitally.

“How do you make that experience as good as the call centre experience? We're investing quite a lot of funds in that regard."

Smeaton said the improvements will “satisfy customers' need” as well as make Suncorp “more effective and efficient as an operation.”

It’s expected the investment will help cut operational costs which will “ultimately flow" into its pricing and policy structure.

A Suncorp spokesperson told iTnews that the company is "prioritising digitisation initiatives" to deliver improved experiences for customers as part of its strategy.

“Suncorp’s future investment in new technology will enable a faster and more efficient claims process and improved customer experience during disasters,” the spokesperson said.

“Suncorp is currently reviewing its claims data to establish the best use of future investments,”

Priorities include the use of AI and machine learning for digital lodgement and tracking of claims plus the establishment of an express claims management process to self-fulfil simple claims.

Other priorities include the use of AI and machine learning to conduct cash settlements, and the improvement of webchat and collaborative browsing ​for better customer support.

“Over the last three financial years, Suncorp has seen continued growth of its online and 'zero touch' claims processes and we anticipate that this will continue," Suncorp's spokesperson said.

Part of the zero touch process is Suncorp’s AI-powered bot Watson, introduced to assist with online car insurance claims.

In Suncorp’s 2018 financial year results, seven percent of claims were completed online while four percent were done through the banks ‘zero touch’ process.

By 2020 these numbers doubled to 14 percent online and eight percent for its zero touch lodgement.

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