Before we can discuss how the on-demand market can influence various insurance efficiencies, we need to address the trend towards on-demand labor.
This new labor force is growing substantially, and we need to consider how it is disrupting an industry rooted in the “back in my day” way of thinking. Let’s first get clear on the various monikers assigned to the group of workers known as the on-demand workforce.
While some refer to this group of an estimated 45 million American workers as the 1099 economy, the sharing economy, the gig economy, and freelance workforce, it's clear that by any name, this workforce is made up of non-W2 and non-traditional employees. Or, what is often referred to as 'independent contractors' for tax purposes.
The Composition of the On-Demand Workforce
For those who may be unfamiliar with the makeup of the on-demand workforce, there are many statistics available as a result of in-depth surveys of this group of non-traditional workers.
A survey completed in June 2016 by Burson-Marsteller, The Aspen Institute, and TIME, measured responses from 3,000 on-demand workers. The results which have profound implications for traditional employers are as follows:
- Over 45 million Americans have worked in the on-demand economy – Accounting for 22% of the total workforce.
- 42% of adult Americans or 86.5 million have used at least one service offered by the on-demand workforce.
- Of the workers surveyed, 64% expect their financial future to improve, compared to only 47% of the general population.
- Over 51% on-demand workers responded that their finances have improved over the past year, compared to 34% of the general population.
- 61% of the workers surveyed believe that that on-demand economy companies care about their workers.
Out of all the responses received, we believe that those listed above represent a clear picture of the on-demand workforce and why it will continue to grow.
The ability to decide when to work, what kind of work you prefer, and where you work from, represents the giant carrot at the end of the stick for more American workers to join this already significant workforce.
Insurance: It Affects All Consumers
We can discuss the insurance industry, especially property and casualty, because of its enormous size and its resulting effect on the general public.
No other industry significantly affects every American adult, every day, like the insurance industry.
Since insurance is based on a promise to pay in the event of a covered loss, the claims process is most important to the consuming public and is typically the most important single event that can affect the relationship between the insurer and the policyholder.
As such, this important process should be as uneventful as possible. In reality, an insurance claim can either make or break the relationship between the parties of an insurance contract.
Where Insurance Fails
Ask any vehicle owner that’s had an accident to describe their experience in a word; too often the answer is “stressful.”
Traditional insurers do not understand that time is measured differently in the 21st century because of technology. Even when this difference becomes apparent to senior staff members, most dig in their heels as they consider the additional cost of streamlining their claims process.
Simply put, senior insurance managers need to know what they don’t know.
What they need to know is that by inserting on-demand workers in the claims process, efficiencies can be gained, and money saved.
Modern customers demand efficiency, choice, and ease of access. This is no longer a nice-to-have in today's digital economy. You must provide this to your customers, or be at the wrong end of disruptive industries like fintech and insurtech.
External Claims Resources and Modern Insurance
The claims process that some insurers employ poses serious challenges because of time constraints and having to depend on a claimant to provide a significant portion of the information required.
Realistically, policyholders can drag their feet providing needed claim documentation and then rate the claim adjuster poorly because their perception is the settlement took far too long.
Insurers are learning that they can overcome these challenges by embracing the talent provided by the on-demand workforce. Understanding that efficiencies must be implemented because of broken traditional processes, many insurers have come to rely on external claims resource companies like WeGoLook that provide on-demand services that can significantly reduce the time required to adjust claims.
Regarding customer experience, utilizing on-demand workers in the insurance supply chain makes perfect sense.
Why hire an entire staff of highly-paid claims adjusters to complete mundane tasks that can be associated with standard insurance claims. Why be subject to W2 employees having very little to do when claims are slow and then becoming overwhelmed when a catastrophe arrives?
Or, why not supplement traditional workforces with external claims resource workers who are flexible, available, and spread across the country.
External Claims Resources: A Case Study
WeGoLook, an eight-year-old external claims resources company, brings needed efficiencies and cost-savings benefits to the table for both large and small insurers. They do this by inserting on-demand workers into the claims process quickly and seamlessly.
It's a new approach in the supply chain, whereby external claims resources can be added into insurance processes seamless through customized dashboard or APIs. When an external resource is needed, insurers only need to click a few buttons to dispatch that on-demand worker to the physical location to report on the required information.
Simple as that!
A sample of the external claim resource services an auto insurance company can take advantage of are:
- The carrier’s claim handler places an order on the custom dashboard and chooses the service they require: (1) photos of the vehicle, (2) photos and inspection of the scene of the event, (3) salvage retrieval, (4) police report retrieval.
- A representative from WeGoLook will call the on-site contact/policyholder to confirm the address and item information, and then schedule an appointment.
- The WeGoLook contractor, or "Looker," arrives on-site and captures the data needed for the service or task.
- The data is submitted via the secure mobile WeGoLook app and reviewed by WeGoLook staff for quality assurance.
- The completed report is then sent directly to the claim handler.
These five practical steps completed by an external claims resource via WeGoLook not only speed up the claims process, it reduces the costs for the insurer by lessening the need for higher-paid W2 employees.
On-demand workers and external claims resources are available where and when you need them. This enables insurance carriers to reduce payroll costs, improve their bottom line, and remain flexible in the new digital economy reality.
And, just as importantly, leveraging external claims resources speeds up the claims process thereby increasing customer satisfaction.
In an age of immediate gratification, this is necessary for any business model to thrive.