Zurich is testing robots to speed up claims processing, according to a Reuters news story. The global insurer is applying artificial intelligence (AI) to evaluate personal injury claims, the bread and butter business for many Zurich panel counsel law firms.
Pilot tests of AI software systems have reduced the processing time for personal injury claims from an hour to as little as five seconds, according to Zurich Chairman Tom de Swaan. Test applications started in March, with the review of medical records and similar claims paperwork.
Zurich reportedly has saved 40,000 hours in work time as a result of the initial AI evaluation, according to an article in ClaimsJournal.com. Based on this successful outcome of early testing, the insurer plans to increase the use of artificial intelligence systems.
The accuracy and efficiency of the overall software increases as more claims that are reviewed, according to Zurich, due in part to continual software enhancements designed to handle normal claims variations.
Implications for Zurich Panel Counsel Members
Insurance defense law firms that are struggling to build a personal relationship with claims executives are likely to be stymied by this automated approach. Zurich panel counsel members will want to be alert to how the use of AI may change the file review process, although automated reviews might take a while to gain noticeable momentum. Medical records are central to litigation claim files involving auto accidents, slip and fall injuries, and workers’ compensation, among others.
The use of artificial intelligence is part of a larger trend toward the adoption of “big data” or data analytics within the insurance industry.
Claims professionals are becoming increasingly adept at the use of technology, due to forces at work within the organization, a shift to younger generational workers, and continual cost cutting pressures.
Data security and data privacy are related concerns. New York was the first state recently to require insurers to report data breaches and protect customer information by encryption, access controls, and other mechanisms. (See our blog post, NY Cyber Security Rules Start March 1.)
While many insurance defense law firms are not able to keep pace with these technical forces, they should at least maintain an awareness of the trend and an understanding of what is going on with their particular carrier clients.
Zurich Insurance Group is a leading multi-line insurer that serves customers in global and local markets. It offers a wide range of property and casualty, and life insurance products and services to individuals, small businesses, and mid-sized and large companies, as well as multinational corporations.
In North America, Zurich is a leading commercial property-casualty insurance provider serving the global corporate, large corporate, middle market, specialties and programs sectors.
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