Meet George Jetson: The impact of robotic process automation in insurance

When I was growing up, one of the cartoons that I was fascinated with was The Jetsons. Originally airing in 1962, the animated sitcom focused on what it would be like for an ordinary family to live in the 21st century.

While the Flintstones lived in a world that was a comical version of the Stone Age – with machines powered by birds and dinosaurs – the Jetsons lived in a comical version of the future, with elaborate robotic contraptions, aliens, and whimsical inventions.

Who could have imagined back in 1962 how accurate some of the depictions would be?

Jane, stop this crazy thing!

The Jetsons were on point. They used computers and web conferencing to communicate; they also had moving sidewalks, treadmills, and a beloved robot named Rosie who performed all the manual tasks to run the family household.

Ah, robots. As we close out the second decade of the 21st century, we’ve finally caught up with the Jetsons. We now have the ability to leverage robotics – even in the insurance industry – to improve productivity and eliminate manual tasks.

Although we don’t have to worry about out-of-control treadmills, we are seeing an uptake on machine processing and automation like never before. Insurers are using technology like robotic process automation to improve transactions and processes like regulatory reporting, claims processing, and document verification.

Let robots do the boring stuff

In fact, robotic process automation was a popular topic at the recent Guidewire Connections conference. From sessions to discussions at booths, RPA and the competitive advantages it brings was top of mind.

Based on what I heard at Connections 18, I expect RPA will play a huge role in the digital transformation of the insurance industry. Here’s why.

Robotic process automation accelerates digital processes by automating manual, rule-based, and repetitive tasks where the human touch doesn’t add any business value. It does so by recording human users as they perform a process, learning how to complete tasks. This frees employees to focus on higher-value tasks like staying in touch with insureds and making sure they are receiving excellent service.

Utilizing RPA, insurers can create a digital workforce, which empowers them to:

  • Increase efficiency and accuracy

Bots can perform clicks and keystrokes faster – and more accurately – than a human, without getting tired or needing to multitask or prioritize activities.

  • Improve information security and compliance

Accessing and processing sensitive data without human involvement reduces the risk of exposure and enables defensible audit trails and chains of custody.

  • Improve utilization of human knowledge

When employees move from repetitive tasks to more exciting, knowledge-based work, they have the time – and information – to expand business relationships.

Strengthening relationships

That last part is key. We need to use technology to give us more time to interact with each other. That means improvements like the ability for insurance professionals to easily interact with information and systems from the field, increased accuracy of that information, and ultimately, better service.

So, if you haven’t yet, meet George Jetson.

Ruth Fisk

Ruth Fisk has more than 25 years of experience working within the insurance industry and is a foremost expert on the practical application of EDMS technology. In her role as Global Director for Insurance at Hyland, she has travelled to more than 90 countries helping insurance organizations to successfully reduce operating expenses, increase efficiency, and positively impact their bottom lines.

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