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Interview with Robin Challand

Robin, you have been in position as Claims Director for almost a year and before that you headed up the IT function for Ageas. Is the experience you have gained in these two roles especially advantageous as you scan the ClaimsTech horizon? 

Of course I’m going to say yes. While I’m sure you wouldn’t expect me to say
anything else there is an obvious benefit in understanding both changing customer
requirements and the evolving technical landscape. The point where these roads
meet is our opportunity to park ClaimsTech in to our customer journey in an
appropriate way. Looking at our roadmap in this way also stops us being seduced by
new technology that doesn’t follow the route our customers would want us to take.

Where do you see the greatest need and opportunity for smart use of ClaimsTech in the next couple of years?

To most effectively ClaimsTech must be deployed as an enabling tool, not just as
another step in the claims notification process. To me gearing up our enabling tools
means more than offering our customers just the option to self-service their claim; I
can see some clear opportunities on the horizon for Artificial Intelligence (AI). The
ability of these systems to learn mean that it could be used in a way that aids our
decision making and smooth out the claims experience for our customers.

Do you foresee any obstacles along the way for widespread adoption of new technology developments in the claims space?

Aside from the usual obstacles of legacy systems and unanswered questions on ROI
times we now must consider Data; both its management and the availability of skills
to analysis it. We must also resist temptation to opt for short-term fixes to solve
operational issues as these are rarely able to evolve with the changing technology
landscape.

There is some talk already of the possible over-hype of the supposed disruption and real change that ClaimsTech developments can bring. How do you view this debate?

There is of course the inevitable hype around new products and some of these
solutions do seem to have forgotten about customers and their needs. For me it’s all
about understanding the problem you are trying to solve and remembering that
whatever you introduce should benefit customers as much as the company. If you
follow this mantra you won’t end up on the wrong track.

Ageas have already deployed some elements of AI and Automation with the use of Tractable in the motor space. How is that going?

The AI and Automation tools you mention are working well. We have found that they
not only significantly increasing the speed of internal process but have driven
improvements to our customer service.

What’s next for Ageas?

A number of system and process improvements are in development. Unfortunately
all are still under wraps and so I can’t talk about them at the moment. This will
always be the case ‘though as we’ll never stop looking for a way of driving emerging
technology to meet our customer’s evolve needs.
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