6930 Farmers Ins Cs


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6930 Farmers Ins Cs

  1. 1. Microsoft Windows Server System Customer Solution Case Study Insurance Company Streamlines Claims Processing with Web Services–based Solution Overview “Web services give us a great deal of agility. Our Country/Region: United States Industry: Financial Services managers can make decisions for the good of the business without worrying about whether technology Customer Profile The Farmers Insurance Group of can keep up.” Companies is the third largest home and Matthew Matter, Director of Strategic Initiatives, Farmers Insurance auto insurer in the United States. Headquartered in Los Angeles, California, The Farmers Insurance Group of Companies, the third largest home Farmers provides a range of insurance services to more than 10 million and auto insurer in the United States, wanted to expedite households. automobile claims processing and improve the customer’s Business Situation experience after an accident. Although Farmers had implemented Farmers wanted to streamline its claims many standards and efficiencies in its claims-settlement process, management process to eliminate inefficiencies. It wanted to monitor repair some aspects were still manual, paper-based, and complex. shop performance, make better use of Farmers turned to Microsoft® Certified Partner ProcessClaims and claims staff, and quickly add new functionality to key systems. its material-damage management software, ClaimsPort. ClaimsPort integrates seamlessly with Farmers’s claims-processing system Solution The ProcessClaims ClaimsPort solution, through use of the Microsoft .NET Framework. The automated, based on the Microsoft® .NET Framework, Web-based solution gives Farmers the ability to remotely monitor has automated Farmers’s claims- processing system, providing an all-digital repair facilities, eliminate manual handoffs, reduce cycle time, and workflow and the ability to track make the claims-settlement process more satisfactory for performance. customers. Benefits  Four-hour claim settlement  Greater staff efficiencies  Greater customer satisfaction  Improved repair shop oversight  Increased business agility
  2. 2. Microsoft Windows Server System Customer Solution Case Study Insurance Company Streamlines Claims Processing with Web Services–based Solution
  3. 3. Situation “However, there was no data integration For insurance companies, making claims between the body shops and Farmers. We settlement as fast and convenient as wanted live data interactions to eliminate as possible is imperative, because the likelihood many delays as possible between the of the customer changing companies multiple stages of estimation and repair decreases significantly with a positive work.” experience. Farmers also wanted the ability to analyze The Farmers Insurance Group of Companies, and compare the estimates, repair the third largest home and auto insurer in the completion times, and other attributes of United States, provides home, auto, various repair facilities so that it could business, and life insurance, as well as recommend the top-performing facilities to financial services, to more than 10 million customers who requested them. Farmers households. Farmers continuously strives for tracked this information by using greater efficiency and productivity as to spreadsheets and other simple tools, but the maintain a competitive edge in a crowded company still did not have timely access to marketplace. the detailed information that it needed. In 1992, Farmers took a major step in Lastly, Farmers wanted the ability to improving its claims process when it created electronically review all claims information in the Farmers Circle of Dependability (COD) a central location so that it could accelerate program. Through this preferred vendor the estimation and payment of small, routine program, Farmers identifies repair shops that repairs and allow field adjusters to focus their focus on quality and customer service. Shops valuable time on more complex repairs. admitted into Farmers’s COD meet certain equipment and staff-training requirements, In summary, Farmers was searching for a agree to provide estimates in a digital format, solution that could: complete repairs in a timely manner, and provide a positive customer experience.  Improve management and connectivity to Through this program, Farmers has been able approved repair facilities. to expedite the settlement process with  Automate workflow to reduce internal minimal intervention by Farmers staff. touch points.  Fulfill Farmers’s specific performance However, even with an approved set of repair expectations. shops that adhere to Farmers high standards,  Provide more robust data analytics. the claims process remained manual and  Integrate seamlessly with internal paper-based. Communications about each enterprise systems. claim traveled from department to department at Farmers, and then from Farmers to body shops to customers, often as Solution faxes, phone calls, and paper documents. Farmers evaluated the products of the market-leading material-damage “The Circle of Dependability program was a management companies and chose good first step in eliminating a great many ProcessClaims of Manhattan Beach, unknowns and inefficiencies from claims California, for several reasons. processing,” says Matthew Matter, Director of Strategic Initiatives at Farmers Insurance.
  4. 4. “The ProcessClaims solution has great seen how an ASP environment combined with workflow capability as well as great statistics- a Web services architecture can provide the collection capability,” says Mike Hickey, flexibility we need to protect our technology National Director of Auto Physical Damage for investments,” Matter says. “Equally Farmers Insurance. “The ProcessClaims impressive was the ability of ProcessClaims software also provides tremendous to deploy such a mature and robust customization abilities, which we required to integration in only 90 days.” integrate the solution with our claims- processing system. It also has the ability to The Microsoft .NET Framework is an integral integrate with a variety of third-party component of the Microsoft Windows estimating software packages, which is ServerTM 2003 operating system and provides important to us because it increases the a programming model and runtime for Web number of body shops that we can work services, Web applications, and smart client with.” applications. ProcessClaims, part of the Microsoft ® ProcessClaims created ClaimsPort by using Insurance Value Chain, provides a .NET and the Microsoft Visual Studio® .NET configurable standards-based solution that 2003 development system. ProcessClaims can be applied to diverse business processes evaluated both Visual Studio .NET 2003 (in without the cost and lengthy development particular, Visual C#® .NET 2003) and Java; cycles of large-scale, custom integration in the end, C# proved to be the superior efforts. Insurance Value Chain solutions allow language due to better performance, insurers to offer new products and serve scalability, development tools, and ease of current policyholders more quickly and more conversion. efficiently. These solutions also address privacy, security, and compliance issues, “Integrating our product with Farmers’s making it easier for carriers to comply with claims management system was a breeze,” myriad federal and state regulations. says Simon Politakis, Chief Architect for ProcessClaims. “Using Visual Studio .NET, we Faster Integration with Web Services created XML schemas that defined the data Another thing Farmers liked about the format to be exchanged between our ProcessClaims solution was its use of Web respective systems; a Web service for services. Web services are programmable Farmers to use in sending its data to us; and application components that can be a client to call a Web service to send the accessed over the Internet with standard appraisal, photos, and other supporting Web protocols. Farmers wanted to use Web documents back to Farmers. The Microsoft services and the Microsoft .NET Framework .NET Framework provided us with the classes to extend the functionality of its current we needed to quickly and easily implement enterprise claims systems and to integrate security and error handling,” he adds. “Also, ClaimsPort into its claims system in a fraction because Web services can be used of the time and cost of traditional synchronously, there was no need to create development methods. control log files.” Web services also enabled Farmers to create ClaimsPort runs on the Microsoft Windows a solution that operated on an application Server 2003 operating system, part of the service provider (ASP) model and was thus Microsoft Windows Server SystemTM easy and cost-effective to deploy. “We’ve integrated server infrastructure software. The
  5. 5. application stores information in a Microsoft automatically to the most appropriate SQL ServerTM 2000 database. company representative. That individual can then make notes and communicate with the Rethinking and Redesigning the Process shop—all electronically. After approval of the Following the implementation of the repair estimate, the claim is routed ProcessClaims technology, Farmers has automatically for payment processing. redesigned how it handles claims in its COD program and reduced the time required to The shop makes the repair, returns the car to process them. When a customer telephones its owner, and closes the claim. ClaimsPort Farmers with news of an accident, the call then consolidates all the documentation for center representative retrieves the the claim in an electronic document and customer’s account information from sends it to Farmers for archival in the FileNet Farmers’s claims-processing system, called document management system. the Customer Restoration Network (CRN). The ClaimsPort solution is tightly integrated with At each stage of the claims process, the Farmers’s CRN system so that company solution provides each user with a list of representatives have one easy-to-use predefined tasks, time limits, and actions to interface for accessing and recording all facilitate the user’s daily activities. Because claims information. the solution uses Web services at all integration points, the transfer of data After the customer service representative between adjusters, repair shops, estimating records the accident details, they make a software packages, and other parties is easy repair shop assignment in CRN and send to implement. pertinent loss information by means of Web services to ClaimsPort. ClaimsPort, Management receives reports detailing not simultaneously and in real time, electronically only estimate content, but also appraisal notifies the repair facility and internally performance, auditing performance, and directs the claims volume among the performance reports on all groups using appropriate Farmers personnel. Within its ClaimsPort. With these reports, Farmers can centralized claims-processing environment, monitor and compare the performance and Farmers has created work groups that turnaround times of its repair shops, claims specialize in handling specific types of claims. representatives, and field adjusters. The repair shop, which also accesses ClaimsPort through a browser, receives the assignment and is ready when the customer Benefits arrives at the shop. The shop then digitally Moving claims processing to a standardized photographs the damage and compiles an configurable solution has automated estimate. Farmers’s old manual, time-intensive process; enabled rapid, electronic transfer of The repair shop uploads all the details about data from party to party; reduced cycle time; the estimate—including photos, labor rates, and given Farmers a way to compare and parts costs, and so on—into an electronic file thus improve the performance of repair and sends the file to Farmers for approval. shops and claims representatives. The Web Before any Farmers personnel even see the services architecture also gives Farmers estimate, it is run through a customized set increased business agility by giving the of business rules that flags any irregularities. company a way to extend outdated This tool allows Farmers to route the estimate
  6. 6. quot;ClaimsPort allows us to applications that can’t adapt quickly to market needs. “Our response time to simple claims is now better measure the within four hours, thanks to the Process- overall service that Metrics for Comparison and Improvement Claims solution,” Hickey says. “ClaimsPort One consistent unified process provides the allows our claims personnel to organize their repair shops are quantitative data and analytics that allow day and more efficiently utilize their time.” providing so we can Farmers to monitor and compare the performance of repair shops and claims Of course, all these efficiencies translate into make better business representatives for the purpose of continuous cars being returned more quickly to decisions in choosing improvement. Farmers’s customers. “We know that with ClaimsPort we are approving estimates faster facilities.” “The repair shops are an extension of and paying shops faster, all of which Mike Hickey Farmers,” Hickey says. “If customers are contributes to getting customers their cars National Director of Auto Physical Damage unhappy with a vendor, they’re unhappy with faster,” says Matter. “This application has Claims Farmers. ClaimsPort allows us to better allowed Farmers to be much more responsive Farmers Insurance measure the overall service that shops are to customer needs.” providing so we can make better business decisions in choosing facilities.” Heightened Business Agility Farmers has designed a best-in-class solution Process Improvements for Shortened Cycle that extends its CRN claims management Times application. “The Microsoft .NET Framework By automating its claims-resolution process, connects applications such as ClaimsPort to Farmers has been able to make several big applications to help companies like organizational and process improvements Farmers improve their business model faster, that would otherwise have been impossible. less expensively, and more effectively than Previously, the company’s COD claims- can be accomplished by any other means,” processing business model was organized by according to Paul Farber, Chief Executive geography. The new technology has allowed Officer of ProcessClaims. Farmers to change its model to achieve significant gains in productivity. Now Farmers In addition to the claims-processing solution, can receive claims centrally (in Oklahoma Farmers and ProcessClaims have just City, Oklahoma) and push them to any completed a rental invoice application that available resource. As a result, Farmers can allows rental car vendors to post bills to a now handle an increased volume of claims portal. The bills are then automatically with the same staff. passed to the appropriate person at Farmers for approval and then to accounts payable for Farmers has the ability to examine and rate payment. “We’ve been able to reduce our claims by using automated rules. rental car payment process between 30 and Representatives in the Oklahoma City office 40 percent,” Hickey says. “We couldn’t have handle small, routine claims electronically. done this without Web services and the Farmers’s personnel can view the new claims Microsoft .NET Framework.” that they will be addressing that day and sort the claims according to complexity. The “Web services give us a great deal of agility,” representatives can review and approve Matter says. “Our managers can make minor repairs to shops without involving field decisions for the good of the business adjusters, maximizing the use of those without worrying about whether technology valuable resources. can keep up. We no longer need to hew to a
  7. 7. For More Information two-year release cycle for major applications. Microsoft Windows Server System For more information about Microsoft The development time is so fast and easy Windows Server System is designed to products and services, call the Microsoft with Web services that we can continuously support end-to-end solutions built on Sales Information Center at (800) 426- roll out new features rather than adhere to Windows Server 2003. Windows Server 9400. In Canada, call the Microsoft annual rollouts.” System creates an infrastructure based on Canada Information Centre at (877) 568- integrated innovation, Microsoft’s holistic 2495. Customers who are deaf or hard-of- approach to building products and solutions hearing can reach Microsoft text telephone that are intrinsically designed to work (TTY/TDD) services at (800) 892-5234 in together and interact seamlessly with other the United States or (905) 568-9641 in data and applications across your IT Canada. Outside the 50 United States and environment. This allows you to reduce the Canada, please contact your local costs of ongoing operations, deliver a more Microsoft subsidiary. To access information secure and reliable IT infrastructure, and using the World Wide Web, go to: drive valuable new capabilities for the future www.microsoft.com growth of your business. For more information about ProcessClaims For more information about Windows Server products and services, call (310) 937- System, go to: 4040 or visit the Web site at: www.microsoft.com/windowsserversystem www.processclaims.com For more information about and services, visit the Web site at: www.farmers.com Software and Services  Technologies  Microsoft Windows Server System − Microsoft .NET Framework − Microsoft Windows Server 2003 − Web services Enterprise Edition − Microsoft SQL Server 2000 Partners  Microsoft Visual Studio .NET 2003  ProcessClaims © 2004 Microsoft Corporation. All rights reserved. This case study is for informational purposes only. MICROSOFT MAKES NO WARRANTIES, EXPRESS OR IMPLIED, IN THIS SUMMARY. Microsoft, Visual C#, Visual Studio, Windows, the Windows logo, Windows Server, and Windows Server System are either registered trademarks or trademarks of Microsoft Corporation in the United States and/or other countries. The names of actual companies and products mentioned herein may be the trademarks of their respective owners. Document published June 2004