Itlscm Gurjeet Bhatia - Indore


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Itlscm Gurjeet Bhatia - Indore

  2. 2. GURJEET BHATIA-INDORE e-Business Strategy in ProgressiveInsurance Creating Value via Mobile Field Service ABSTRACT It is no secret that in every industry, consumer expectations are climbing. To meet these increased demands, companies need to run their business operations more efficiently. The current field service processes are loosing their ability to deliver first-rate customer service. To solve this problem, companies are beginning to invest in mobile field service processes that can serve customers faster and make it easier for customers to do business with them. Progressive Insurance is widely considered a best-practice company in customer Service. For some time, the company has been relentlessly executing against the focal Point of being “Easy To Do Business With.” In order to live up to this reputation, Progressive is an early adopter of and heavy investor in technology. KEYWORDS Mobile Technology, Claims, Insurance, Customer satisfaction, Customer service
  3. 3. GURJEET BHATIA-INDORE INTRODUCTION INDUSTRY BACKWORD Founded in 1937, The Progressive Corporation is the fourth-largest auto insurance company in the United States, with more than 8 million customers. The Progressive Corporation acts as an insurance holding company for 69 subsidiaries, one mutual insurance company affiliate, and one reciprocal insurance company affiliate. The company's subsidiaries and affiliates sell personal automobile insurance and other specialty property-casualty insurance and related services. (Property-casualty insurance protects customers from costs incurred from collisions and physical damage to their motor vehicles and from liability to others for personal injury or property damages from using other’s vehicles.) DESCRIPTION OF BUISNESS Personal Lines This segment writes insurance for private passenger automobiles, as well as recreational and other vehicles. Private passenger automobile insurance comprises preferred, standard, and nonstandard automobile risks. The first two account for about 80% of the U.S. personal automobile insurance market, while the third accounts for the remaining 20%. Progressive actively participates in the market for each of these risks, with the objective of offering a competitive rate for all risks. In addition to automobiles, Progressive also offers specialized personal line products for motorcycles, recreational vehicles, mobile homes, watercraft, snowmobiles, and similar items. Other Businesses The company's other lines of business include the commercial vehicle business unit, lenders' collateral protection group (LCPG), professional liability group (PLG), and motor carrier business unit. These businesses collectively contributed approximately 12% of 2002 revenues.
  4. 4. GURJEET BHATIA-INDORE Distribution Channels Progressive either directly writes the personal lines insurance itself or indirectly sells policies by an agent or broker. The company’s agent channel spans a network of more than 30,000 independent U.S. insurance agencies, as well as insurance brokers in several states and other strategic alliances. Progressive also uses its agent channel to form alliances with other insurance companies, financial institutions, employers and national brokerage agencies. Direct business includes business written through 1-800-PROGRESSIVE, the company Web site, and on behalf of affinity groups. Progressive’s strategy is to become the low- cost provider of a full line of auto insurance products and related services, distributed through whichever channel the customer prefers. Progressive’s Focal Point — Becoming “Easy To Do Business With” Always an innovative insurer, Progressive wanted to make it easy for average people to protect one of their most important investments — their vehicles. Progressive was the first to allow customers to pay their premiums in installments an option that appealed to workers who could not afford annual premiums. ADVANCEMENTS OF COMPUTING ENVIRONMENT (ICT use) The company set a new standard for customer service in 1990 when it introduced, in combination with a full range of personal auto insurance products, the Immediate Response claims service, which is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Help was just a phone call away, any time of the day or night. Progressive’s claims representatives, traveling in Immediate Response Vehicles (introduced in 1994), could even come right to the scene of an accident. The year 1992 brought 1-800-AUTOPRO, a cutting-edge auto insurance rate comparison shopping service. No longer would customers have to spend endless amounts of time
  5. 5. GURJEET BHATIA-INDORE Calling around to compare auto insurance rates. One phone call to AUTO PRO would give customers a Progressive quote and comparison rates for up to three competitors. If the customer was satisfied with the Progressive quote; he could buy the policy directly on the phone or locally through an independent agent. In 1995, the company stepped into the future with the launch of its Web site and became one of the first major auto insurance companies to establish a presence on the Web. By 1997, Progressive was offering real-time online sales of auto insurance to its customers. Taking this one step further, Progressive made it possible for customers to manage their policies online by making payments and changing coverage. In 2000, the company introduced its customers to an easier way to get their cars fixed after an accident. The aim of this new service is to lower the customer’s anxiety level, which is invariably at its highest after the person’s car is damaged. Customers can now bring their vehicles to Progressive’s new claims centers directly following an accident and pick up a rental vehicle. Progressive will prepare the estimate, choose a qualified repair shop, and inspect the vehicle after the repairs are done. This service has reformed the vehicle repair process, raised consumer satisfaction, increased company productivity, and improved the cycle time and the quality of repairs. MOTIVATING FACTORS WHAT CHANGED? Initially slow to change, the decades-old auto insurance industry is finally beginning to adopt new technologies, namely wireless applications. Onboard and mobile technologies create a tremendous amount of possibilities that can benefit insurers and customers alike. In addition, the relative cost of this technology is becoming more affordable and, as a result, more companies are able to effectively utilize it. Claims processing, field force
  6. 6. GURJEET BHATIA-INDORE automation and policy pricing are just a few of the areas that can directly and quickly benefit from the integration and use of wireless applications. PROBLEM STATEMENT According to the Insurance Information Institute, insurers spend approximately $180 billion in claims payments each year. For every dollar spent on auto insurance, roughly 34% goes to claims processing and other claims-related costs (see Figure ). While many Auto insurers have focused on reducing payments for injuries, damage, and operational expenses, very few have found successful solutions for driving down the costs of claims and claims processing. $.34 Claims & Claims-Related Expenses $.24 $.50 Payments for operational Injuries and Expenses Damage Total = $1.08* *Includes interest, dividends, and realized capital gains. Figure: Dollar Cost Breakdown in the Insurance Industry A claim is generated every time an unforeseen accident occurs. Whether drivers are rear- ended in stop-and-go traffic, caught in an unexpected hailstorm, or sideswiped in a parking lot, all the incidents result in a new claim being filed. While the damage may only take a fraction of a second to occur, the chain of events that subsequently unfolds in processing the claim could take months or even years to settle. Lengthy settlements rarely pay off for the consumer and usually result in increased frustrations and bitter feelings toward the insurer. By shrinking the claims processing time frame from months
  7. 7. GURJEET BHATIA-INDORE to hours, the company can boost customer satisfaction and long-term loyalty. Companies can take a traditionally burdensome and exasperating process and turn it into a helpful and satisfying customer experience. Additionally, lowering the high cost of claims processing can immediately affect an insurer’s bottom line and allow the company to sustain a competitive advantage. Yet, because of antiquated mainframe systems, slow-to-change work processes, and the perceived high cost of alternatives, many insurers have been slow to take advantage of technologies that could improve the claims process. Claims have traditionally been a bumpy and difficult process for both customers and insurers. Documentation requirements, company policies, and unexpected circumstances often combine to complicate and delay claims fulfillment (see Figure). Other factors such as lawyers and appraisers only add more obstructions. Claims agents find themselves overloaded with work and sometimes inconsistently addressing similar claims. Figure: Insurance Claims Processes
  8. 8. GURJEET BHATIA-INDORE Even the process itself can create problems of its own. Once a claim is made by a policyholder, the claim is assigned to an adjuster, who alone is responsible for interviewing the parties involved, inspecting the vehicles, and settling the dispute. Because adjusters handle so many claims at once, and because they work a conventional nine-to-five day, claims can languish for days in an in-basket before they are addressed. Rather than provide great customer service, overwhelmed insurance adjusters Shuffle Mountains of paper and make their customers wait on the phone for the “next available adjustor”. Tenuously connecting this lengthy and cumbersome process is tons of bureaucratic red tape. Forward steps cannot be taken until all previous steps are accurately satisfied. Claims adjusters are rarely given the autonomy to solve problems or develop innovative ideas to get around potential obstacles to save time and money. Meanwhile, customer service is nonexistent. Policy Pricing and Segmentation The auto insurance industry has been debating the use of variable-based pricing criteria for decades. Until now, no cost-effective, accurate, and sophisticated tools were available to allow any insurer to test and validate its worth. Most models for underwriting and rate pricing are weak or inflexible. Some insurance companies rely on actuarial analysis of their customers to enable them to Assess risk. They are able to further divide their various segment populations, for instance, safe groups within the 18-25-year-old drivers who are lower risks, such as those who have Ph.D.s. Other insurers have already decided what rules they will use to determine if an applicant is eligible for insurance. Either a risk fits the company's criteria Or it does not. If a particular risk does not qualify, the customer will have to change to meet the insurer's standards, or shop elsewhere for coverage.
  9. 9. GURJEET BHATIA-INDORE Consumers expect insurance rates to vary widely — even by hundreds of dollars — from company to company. Prices for the same coverage differ primarily because insurers Have varying claims experience and different costs of doing business. Auto insurance is priced to cover the costs of accidents that may happen in the future. Companies cannot predict the future, so they use information based on their past claims experience. Since each company has different claims experiences, their rates will vary widely. Likewise, each company's financial goals and costs of doing business (how much they pay to sell and service policies) are different, resulting in the price discrepancies. In simple terms, auto insurance companies price policies to cover accidents, claims, building leases, and other claims-related costs, as well as non-claims expenses such as customer service salaries, advertising, and the price of selling policies. The consumer is at the losing end of this pricing structure, which traditionally leaves very little room for flexibility and places drivers in few categories and rate scales. Desirable drivers are rewarded for a clean driving record, while risky drivers are punished with high premiums. As a result, insurers themselves have segmented into carriers that cover different types of drivers. Many auto insurers refuse to cover drivers considered to be “High-risk,” while other companies specialize in insuring those drivers. e-BUSINESS ROADMAP Clearly, there is a strong business case to be made for improving the claims process using cutting-edge technology to control decreasing margins, rising costs, and increasing competition. While insurers have implemented technology in various degrees, few have turned to mobile technology tools for their claims adjusters. Mobile will help in the following ways:
  10. 10. GURJEET BHATIA-INDORE • Improving Adjuster Utilization Efficiencies gained through adjuster initiatives can be Easily measured and provide a high ROI. If adjusters can be reached throughout the day (anywhere and anytime), additional appointments can be made on the fly, resulting in an increased caseload. The customer’s information and location can be transmitted to an adjuster's mobile device that directly links the adjuster to the policyholder. In addition, if online access is granted through a wireless component, directions to the site can be gained through a resource such as Map Quest. Such connectivity not only affects the ease with which an adjuster handles daily workloads, it starts a domino effect of efficiency throughout the organization. • Reducing Call Volume Expediting the claims process translates into a direct decrease to the large volume of calls that customer service representatives receive. If claims are handled more quickly, customers will call less frequently with inquiries about their status. In addition, with tools such as e-mail and instant messaging services communications, a customer can be updated on her claim’s status instantly. • Enhancing Accuracy of Data Another benefit of enabling claims adjusters to enter information in real time is that, not only is the arduous task of data entry from paper (and the mistakes that occur when it is entered) eliminated, but carriers become equipped with a very robust database of information that is updated in real time.
  11. 11. GURJEET BHATIA-INDORE DESCRIPTION OF STUDY SOLUTION True to its reputation as an innovator, Progressive has been an early adopter of and heavy investor in information technology. When the wireless wave came along, the company was predisposed to think about how it could use wireless technology to its advantage. Progressive decided to use mobile technology to tackle four major problems in the auto insurance industry: Claims Processing, Field Force Automation, Variable Pricing and Customer Satisfaction. Mobile Claims Processing and Field Force Automation At the heart of Progressive’s innovative business performance is Immediate Response, its Speedy claims service. Before implementing Immediate Response, Progressive’s claims Process was inefficiently and lengthy. Today, its representatives are available 24x7. When an accident is called into Progressive by one of its policyholders, an adjuster is Dispatched to the accident scene with a laptop, intelligent software, and the power to Make on-the-spot decisions. The result is faster, less expensive and more profitable Service. In fact, Progressive can perform several tasks at the scene of the accident that Would normally take other insurers weeks, or even months, to complete (see Figure). Figure: Transactions in the field
  12. 12. GURJEET BHATIA-INDORE The Mobile Claims Process. The first step of Progressive’s Immediate Response claims Process is designed to be quick and flawless, with a continuous flow of information between the customer, Progressive's central database, and the local claims operation. When a claims representative is dispatched to an accident site, the corresponding claim number is radioed to the rep, so the customer’s policy and information can be downloaded onto the rep’s laptop. However, this smooth hand-off did not become possible until Progressive's Information Systems department developed Claims Workbench, the software behind the hand-off. Initially, reps relied on cell phones to execute Immediate Response. They had to call dispatchers repeatedly to relay data or to retrieve coverage information from the mainframe. If reps did not return to the office right away to update a file with their estimate, the job would not get done until the end of the day or the following morning. With more than 2,000 Immediate Response Vehicles (IRVs) on the road nationwide (Progressive’s now famous white vans with the company logo painted on the side) being dispatched to accidents, repair shops, and salvage yards, Progressive had to reinvent the claims dispatching process. Its solution was to enable each vehicle with a wireless laptop and digital camera. Now, the IRVs can respond to any accident within moments of a Customer’s first call to report an accident (see Figure). Figure: Progressive's Mobile Claims Architecture In fact, the IRVs are constantly on the road looking for accidents. Progressive has shown Up at the accident scene, processed the claim form, and handed the insured a check all right at the crash site.
  13. 13. GURJEET BHATIA-INDORE Mobile Pricing and Customer Satisfaction To maintain its competitive edge, Progressive is adopting innovative pricing models. One approach is to capture real-time customer driving behavior data. In August 1998, Progressive began testing a new product that bases auto insurance premiums partly on when, where, and how much a vehicle is driven. The product, Autograph, requires the installation of a GPS device, a cellular phone, and a crash data recorder in the user's car. A recorder in the Autograph equipment tracks the car's movements every six minutes. Once a month, the company's computer calls the car to find out where it has been. This information is then used to set the premium for the month. At the month's end, customers receive a bill that charges them for their actual driving histories (see Figure). Figure: The Autograph GPS Tracking System The Autograph program sprang from Progressive’s reasoning that its customers were less likely to get into an accident driving in rural, remote areas than heavily trafficked Interstate metropolitan areas; accordingly, it developed a better database of risk using mobile feedback and location sensitivity. At the same time, Progressive saw its
  14. 14. GURJEET BHATIA-INDORE customer Relationships improve — its personalized portal let customers go in and see their records, their driving history, and their relationship with Progressive. With the Autograph system, some of the traditionally fixed consumer costs now become Variable costs. Rather than use broad categories for its policyholders, Progressive can take into account the average monthly distance customers drive, how safely they operate their vehicle and where they commute. This shift can save the customer money; less driving overall and less risky driving in particular can both directly reduce costs. This type of pricing saves low-risk drivers from subsidizing high-risk drivers, allows high-risk drivers the opportunity to improve their status through safer driving, and gives customers more control over the type of policy pricing they select. Customers who used Autograph in the test pilot program conducted in Houston, Texas, paid up to 25% less in automobile insurance each month Additional Autograph features, such as tracking stolen vehicles, gives customers a sense of personal security and were an added benefit of the technology. For Autograph to be successful, Progressive must effectively utilize the information collected from customer tracking. Preferably, the company will use this information to set its customers’ insurance premiums to match their risk and driving habits and placate the fears some have about what the company could do with such private information . Autograph technology gives Progressive a competitive advantage over the insurers not using similar technology and underwriting techniques. Progressive could more accurately identify and attract low-risk, low-mileage drivers, leaving higher-risk drivers to the other insurers. Deploying this sophisticated technology to get a better understanding of its customers and the insurance market is consistent with Progressive's strategy of staying ahead through a first-mover advantage.
  15. 15. GURJEET BHATIA-INDORE Progressive has also put the power of mobile technology into the palms of its customers. Recently, the company announced its latest online development: making auto insurance services and information from available on Web-enabled cellular phones and hand-held devices from anywhere in the world, at any time. This technology gives consumers even more control of their auto insurance policies and information .Once again, Progressive is the first to adopt and deploy technology that helps simplify the auto Insurance industry from the customer’s perspective. To help make this project work, Progressive is using Wireless Application Protocol (WAP) technology to allow Web-enabled phone and hand-held device users to log on to early wireless functionality from includes the ability to locate a nearby independent agent by entering a zip code, to contact the company to report a claim, to receive an insurance quote, and to service an existing account. Future developments may include enabling customers to view information about accounts, coverage, and vehicles and even be reminded when repairs are complete at an auto body shop. The company has made significant investments and must carefully examine the cost/value of being first. Strategic initiatives cannot be realistically pursued-or even funded-without steadfast support from the executive suite. The degree to which a strategic mobile data initiative is successful, or fully implemented, can be traced to the level of commitment that exists with VP and C-level executives.
  16. 16. GURJEET BHATIA-INDORE OUTCOMES Tangible Benefits With the help of the wireless modem and laptop, the program allows reps to perform up to 20 separate transactions in the field — everything from entering police-report information to downloading specific car part costs and repair estimates. The ability to instantly move information back and forth between a laptop and a mainframe and keep claims moving toward resolution gives Progressive a major marketplace advantage. Furthermore, the company’s Immediate Response service has boosted profits through the elimination of inspection and repair delays, improved customer morale, decreased risk of Fraud, and lowered monthly premiums. Intangible Benefits Wireless technologies also afford Progressive several intangible benefits: • Extending the reach of the company, allowing it to mobilize more workers and move service delivery closer to the customer, • Permitting the company to provide more personal, face-to-face service to customers through location services, • Giving mobile workers more account-specific information to enrich customer interactions, • Fostering greater and quicker communications between company personnel and customers, • Allowing mobile workers to offer more services and conclude more transactions in Real time, • Expediting the dispatch and provisioning of service from field workers, and, • Providing more accurate, convenient, and streamlined service by collecting data at the Source and eliminating rekeying steps. Strategic Benefits Progressive's vision was to collapse the cycle time for claims processing by going right to the vehicle to process the claim. Ultimately, this will reduce exposure to litigation, the company’s loss adjustment expense, and the length of time its clients are forced to rent a car.
  17. 17. GURJEET BHATIA-INDORE Some customers and consumer groups have raised concerns over Progressive’s use of Autograph. While the company maintains that the information gathered is used strictly for deciding insurance rates, some fear what could happen if the information got into the wrong hands. Could the information be sold to third party groups who are interested in your shopping habits? Does Progressive have a moral or legal responsibility to divulge information if one of their customers is accused of committing a crime while driving? And consumers need to consider the trade-off: are potentially lower rates worth more than compromising personal privacy? LESSON LEARNED SPECIFICS TO COMPANY In the extremely competitive insurance industry, constant improvements in customer service are critical to value capture. In addition to significant initial and ongoing cost savings and the increased productivity by reducing drive time and eliminating steps in the communication and documentation processes, Progressive has derived many other benefits from its mobile solutions. • Increased efficiency — Representatives have time to call on additional customers and Provide timely follow–up due to self-service. • Improved customer response — Dispatchers communicate in real time with adjusters in the field and have access to up-to-date and historical customer, vehicle, and fleet information — all at the touch of a button. • More calls completed on the first visit —Adjusters have on-site access to technical Data and inventory information, such as diagnostics, schematics, and diagrams. The Need to carry manuals and customer lists was eliminated. • Improved payment cycle — Checks are automatically initiated as soon as jobs are Completed.
  18. 18. GURJEET BHATIA-INDORE • Up-selling and cross-selling insurance policies — Progressive proactively notifies Customers of quick quotes or rate changes and helps them calculate how much coverage they need. The Progressive Corporation is taking a long-term strategic (rather than tactical) approach to improving customer service. Progressive is investing in mobile technology to acquire, serve, and retain customers. The investments are wringing out inefficiencies from its customer-facing and back-office processes and directly affecting the company’s bottom line. Progressive Insurance is deploying mobile field service to streamline its claims processes and boost customer satisfaction. Progressive’s claims representatives can perform up to 20 different transactions in the field on a single site visit. In addition, it highlights a potentially profitable application of mobile in one-to-one pricing of insurance services. The return on investment (ROI) from technology investments is quite positive. Progressive is growing much faster than the rest of the auto insurance industry, and enjoys profit margins of 8%. This is in stark contrast to its peers, which have been losing money due to underwriting losses over the past few years. TRANSFERABLE TO OTHER COMPANIES/MANAGERS The Progressive case study is a testament to the competitive advantage that companies derive from taking an unconventional approach. The end result is impressive: Progressive is growing much faster than the rest of the auto insurance industry — its market share has grown 4.5% over the past 10 years while many other insurers are struggling to maintain their customer base. Its net income in 2002 rose 62%, to $667 million, on revenues of $9.5 billion, up 30% from the previous year.
  19. 19. GURJEET BHATIA-INDORE The Progressive Corporation has streamlined the claims process within the automotive industry so much that it may be unrecognizable to longtime drivers who are used to waiting months to be reimbursed for a claim. Other insurance companies can also follow progressive insurance “brick-and-click” model i.e. Progressive equips its agents with wireless laptops and a complete claims workbench; the agents are dispatched to accident sites by the call center; the agents coordinate the required services (tow truck, car rental, body shop); and the agents conduct a damage assessment and cut a reimbursement check on the spot — all of which can be coordinated in minutes. Customer service is vital to value creation in the insurance industry, particularly in auto insurance, which is highly competitive. Despite the focus on customer service, customer satisfaction levels are at all-time lows, with claims and other critical customer-facing processes bogged down by paper trails, missed phone calls, erroneous data, and other process inefficiencies. Mobile field force automation is a “must have” for insurance companies streamlining their claims processes. CONCLUDING COMMENTS By adopting and deploying mobile technology, insurance companies can gain lower claims costs, less litigation, greater efficiencies, and increased customer satisfaction. Increased customer satisfaction results in improved customer retention. In an industry where customer churn is costing insurance companies a lot of money, this is a significant development.
  20. 20. GURJEET BHATIA-INDORE E-Mobile technology is becoming a significant part of the insurance industry’s landscape. Traditionally, insurance companies are used to dispatching adjusters into the field to conduct inspections and start the claims process; thus, it is not surprising that insurance field service claims adjusters have been early adopters of mobile Technology. Companies like progressive insurance that follows “brick-and-click” model are far more successful than “click-and-click” model following companies and definitely gets a competitive advantage in business. Mobile field service applications have moved from the “nice to have” category to the “need to have” category. Mobile communications are on the cusp of the next big step, promising new applications and services that will change the way people live and work. The integration of the Internet, mobility and communications at the device, service and transport level creates a new set of business opportunities. The business challenge is bring together the three worlds with services that customers will pay for. The longstanding insurance industry can effectively reinventing itself through the use of mobile technology.
  21. 21. Mobile technology can unlock value and deliver ROI through improved customer service and reduced costs. The intelligent use of mobile can potentially change insurance pricing strategies forever. THANK YOU FOR YOUR ATTENTION