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Digital transformation

Digitizing Auto Insurance Claims: Improving the Customer Experience

Auto insurers should prioritize improving the auto insurance claims experience by moving as many pieces as possible online.
April 15, 2022
3 min

Many aspects of the auto insurance process are related to a situation that a person hopes to never find themselves in. From a minor ding on a new car to an accident involving multiple vehicles and police reports, most people have little experience in filing an auto insurance claim, and appreciate any part of the process that is intuitive, efficient, and transparent. 

Auto insurance claims are not known for their quick and easy process. People are relieved to have insurance, but are concerned about getting through the process quickly and smoothly so that they can fix their car (or the other person’s car) and move on. But they’re often faced with a long, back-and-forth process requiring reams of paperwork that needs to be signed, notarized and mailed to numerous parties.

The traditional claims process has been filled with customer experience pitfalls:

  • Long wait times on the phone
  • Appointments and documents required from multiple parties
  • The need to notarize documents
  • Long turnaround times between submitting a claim and getting a refund

Luckily, many auto insurance carriers have prioritized improving the customer experience, and JD Power reports that customer satisfaction has increased four years in a row. The study finds that the insurance agencies that have created the best “low touch” experience have the highest rate of satisfaction. A low touch auto insurance claim experience means that the claim can be processed from start to finish with the fewest interactions and least amount of time spent. In a good low-touch claims process, there is less time on hold, less exchanges with a customer service rep, and less complexity when it comes to providing the right documentation for the claim to be processed.

A major part of this customer service improvement has been to move as many pieces as possible online. The digital transformation of the auto claims experience has included innovations like mobile apps that allow people to submit a claim from their phone and even AI-driven estimates based on claims photos that can be submitted digitally. 

Upgrading the auto insurance experience

Car accidents can happen any time of day, any day of the week. It’s no wonder that many people are happy to know that with most major auto insurance providers, they can submit a claim online, via a smartphone. 

While submitting a claim on a mobile device can start the process off smoothly, there are still many auto insurers that have additional claims steps that haven’t moved online. For example, insurers may still require people to collect physical paperwork, fill it out, get it notarized, and send it in the mail. This speedbump caused by partial digitization not only dramatically slows down the claims process, but it also provides a disjointed customer experience.

A study published by McKinsey notes that automation can reduce the cost of the insurance claims process by 30%. Every new step that can be digitized and automated improves overall ROI for auto insurers.

What’s more, bringing the claims process fully online can reduce the total time from 31 days to 11 days — a tremendous improvement. In a process that includes filing police reports, talking to a claims adjuster, getting a car fixed, and waiting for a refund, every day saved is a major customer service win. 

Online notarization for auto insurance claims

One of the major reasons why auto insurance companies have continued to require paperwork to be sent in the mail is because of the notarization requirement on certain documents.

In these situations, when consumers are particularly stressed out and in a hurry to settle a claim, enabling online notarization can be a game-changer.

Online notarization is the process of notarizing documents digitally through an online notarization platform. Documents are uploaded electronically, and customers are connected with a live notary via video conferencing technology. Customers can get documents notarized 24/7 from anywhere, and within minutes. Using an online notarization platform like NotarizeSM makes the process easy, secure, and 100% digital.

The benefits of online notarization go beyond time savings. It means less paper needs to be printed, fewer documents get lost in the mail, and people don’t need to travel to find a notary public available in their area.

Getting to 100% online auto insurance claims

Auto insurance companies have dramatically improved their use of technology to make the customer experience easier and faster. The “last mile” is to bring the paper-based part of the process online, too. With online notarization, it’s possible for auto insurance companies to create a truly 100% digital claims process, which is a major competitive differentiator and a win for customers.

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