April 25, 2012
The insurance industry is dynamic and changing every day, and with advancements in technology, many insurance companies are improving their level of efficiency. Instead of relying on manual systems to handle business operations, many insurance companies are instead relying on insurance automation to do the job for them. With current insurance market trends, more and more insurance companies are starting to automate many of the processes that they engage in on a regular basis.
What is Insurance Automation?
Insurance automation is a process that involves leaving some regular functions up to automated systems. Instead of having employees engage in these activities, they have automated computer systems that handle the functions. This makes it possible for employees to focus on other areas of business and allow the automation systems to handle the rest.
One area in which many insurance companies rely on automation is in claim processing. When an insured has some kind of damage that he needs to be reimbursed for, he must file a claim. While some insurance companies still have call centres and agents that file claims, others set up automated systems to handle this task. With these automated systems, customers can file a claim on the insurance company’s website or call into a phone number. If a customer calls the phone line, you will talk to an automated system that will ask them for information such as his policy number and details about the claim. At that point, the information will be entered into the claim tracking system so that an adjuster can be assigned to the claim and begin working on it. This cuts down the amount of labour that it takes to run the insurance claims coming in.
In addition to handling claims in this manner; many insurance companies also lead to follow a process through an automated system. For example, when a claim has been handled, the insurance company may want to check back with the customer to make sure that all of his problems were handled in a professional manner. An automated system can mail out a survey or send one via email to all of the appropriate customers at the right time. Sometimes, an automated phone system can be used to call all of the customers in a particular area. This makes it possible to check back with customers on a regular basis to make sure that they are being taken care of in a timely manner.
When it comes to using insurance automation, insurance companies can use a number of different systems and tools to make their jobs easier. They can cut down on costs by eliminating some jobs that employees traditionally had to do. Because of the improvements in technology, it is possible to save money on labour costs and get things done more efficiently. Insurance companies have to walk a delicate line to make sure that they don’t try to automate too much so that they seem like they are getting away from a customer-centred position. Otherwise, automation can play a valuable role in the industry.
Lloyds is the world’s specialist insurance market providing insurance services and information about insurance market trends in over 200 countries and territories.
Tags: auto insurance
, Car insurance
, Policy Paper
March 30, 2012
Car insurance rates shouldn’t be a mystery. Carriers always look at the same binary metrics when quoting a rate. They can’t ask certain personal questions — like your medical history or financial holdings — but they can home in on other data points that traditionally give them a strong idea of your risk profile.
By knowing exactly what the insurance carriers are looking for, you can position yourself beforehand in order to save money on your policy.
Clean up your credit. Credit scores are a big part of your risk profile. Remember, FICO scores, while helpful to consumers, were originally designed as a tool created by banks to assess your likelihood of defaulting on a loan. The score can also be used more broadly (and subjectively) to determine whether or not you’re a high-risk driver, and therefore more pricey to indemnify.
Look into a group policy.The most common is a collective policy with your spouse and/or your children. Covering three people under one policy is much less expensive than it would be to take out three individual policies. The carriers know that the more customers the merrier, and are happy to give a rate cut to accommodate your group. Group policies can also cover you and your same-sex partner, your roommates, friends, etc. For somewhat old-school industry members, car insurance carriers are pretty open-minded about what constitutes a group for a policy.
Pick the right car. If your car has poor safety ratings and is susceptible to theft insurers are going to charge you more for coverage; Mercedes Benz and Jaguar vehicles often fall into this category. If you’re serious about saving on car insurance seek out safe cars that thieves will have no interest in stealing. The Honda Accord is usually a safe bet.
Shop around. While all insurance carriers look at the same metrics to arive at a quote, most weigh certain factors differently. Some might be extremely keen on your credit score, while others will focus on the type of car you drive. If you don’t like the rate someone quotes you, feel more than free to look around to get a sense of the market. Don’t accept the first offer you get; chances are someone can beat it.
Be female.This one is in jest of course. Nevertheless, women do pay less for car insurance because they traditionally make fewer and smaller claims to carriers. Men also tend to drive more aggressively and there less safely.
The process of arriving at an auto insurance quote is a science, not an art for the carriers. They know exactly which metrics cause a spike or decrease in the rates they will quote. Different carriers quote different prices only because they weigh factors differently. Nevertheless, these are the sacrosanct metrics by which you are judged and if you’re looking to spend up to $25 less each month on car insurance it’s best to focus on them now.
Larry Kuhns is a staff writer at CoverHound, where smart shoppers find insurance.
Tags: auto insurance
, Car insurance
, financial planning
March 18, 2012
You ever get that nagging feeling that there is something you should remember to do, but you’re not sure what it is? This can apply to many things in life, but in this case we’re talking about auto insurance. According to Susan Combs, president of Combs & Company in New York City, people “tend to get complacent” with their auto insurance. Reviewing your auto insurance policy annually is a good way to make sure you’re getting the coverage you need at a price you can afford.
Circumstances Change Over Time
Even if you found a good deal on auto insurance when you first signed your policy, circumstances can change. If you overlooked something or made a few errors or omissions on your initial policy, those changes can carryover to the next year. Many insurance companies give you the opportunity to make changes in your coverage once a year. If you assume there is nothing wrong, however, you are not likely to change anything. Some changes that may affect your auto insurance needs include:
• Purchase of new, fuel-efficient car that may make you eligible for certain discounts.
• Sale of a second vehicle that is still listed on your coverage, meaning you are paying for a vehicle you no longer have.
• Additional drivers on your policy may no longer need to be on your policy. This usually includes a former minor who now has his or her own policy.
• No longer driving your car as much as you once did. This could make you eligible for discounts for putting fewer hours on your vehicle.
• Purchase of a new car. If you update to a more recent model year, you could be eligible for discounts since new cars tend to have fewer maintenance issues.
• Discounts you weren’t eligible for at the time your policy started. This typically includes safe driver discounts that you may be eligible for if you had no accidents during the coverage year.
Too Much or Too Little Coverage
A common error people make on their auto insurance policy, according to Combs, is to have too much or too little coverage. If you get auto insurance coverage with the same company that provides your health and life insurance coverage, you’re likely duplicating some of your coverage. You may save money by combining all your policies with a single company. To determine if you have too much or too little coverage, take a look at the types of auto insurance you have and who is covered under your policy.
Take a look at what type of coverage you have. Common types of auto insurance are: liability, collision, comprehensive, uninsured motorist and underinsured motorist. Additional options include rental reimbursement and emergency road service. When it comes time to consider changes to your policy, look at which coverage options you are using and which you are not. Granted, the purpose of insurance is to protect against the unexpected, but you still may be able to eliminate some coverage options. If you already get emergency road service from a AAA membership, for example, there is no need to have the same coverage with your auto insurance.
Who Is Covered
Auto insurance typically covers you and your spouse, legal drivers under the age of 18 and other licensed drivers who have permission to use your insured vehicle. If circumstances have changed, there is no reason you should be paying for drivers who no longer use your vehicle. Conversely, if you have a child who just turned 16 and is driving, you may want to add them to your coverage. This could save you money in the event of an accident while they are driving your car. Adjusting coverage as needed can reduce your premiums – and that makes for a happier driver.
Author Sandy Landsford is an accountant and blogs for carinsurance.org.uk, a site where you can get cheap car insurance. Get a quote today!
, auto insurance
, Car insurance
, financial planning
March 15, 2012
There are many reasons to get your car insured. Leaving your car uninsured is not only illegal in most states, but also leaves both you and your vehicle extremely vulnerable and at a disadvantage. Although it can be expensive, it is the smartest thing to do, and also the right decision to make in order to protect you and follow the law. The arguments against getting car insurance are far weaker than the arguments for getting insurance and staying insured.
Perhaps the Most Risky Thing you do all Day
You should have insurance because of basic auto safety reasons. According to sources like Forbes Magazine, “getting behind the wheel is the riskiest thing most people do every day,” since over 40,000 people a year die in car collisions, and car accidents are the largest killer of people from the teen years to the thirties. There are even more car accidents a year if the fatalities are not calculated, so you can imagine that the number is very high. If you get in a car accident and do not have insurance, you can pay thousands of dollars whether it was your fault or not. For most people, this can put a major stop to important plans and drain their savings, causing stress and inconvenience.
Well, it’s the Law
Car insurance is mandatory in most states in the US. That means that it is illegal not to have insurance for your vehicle if you are driving it on the public roadways, so if you do not have car insurance, you are most likely breaking the law. If you are pulled over and cannot show proof of insurance, the fines and penalties are not only inconvenient, but often very expensive. If you contest in court, or if you are given a court appointment, it can also be extremely time consuming to wait for your hearing or appointment at the courthouse. If you don’t want to break the law, or be penalized through fines and potential court time, it is vital that you have car insurance.
Auto Accidents are Extremely Common
Insuring your vehicle is also something that should be high on your list of financial priorities, since the frequency of accidents makes it likely that American citizens especially will experience a collision at some point in their lives. With other types of insurance, such as home insurance, you may never have to speak to your insurers. However, many people end up needing the help of their auto insurance company pretty often.
Purchasing a Policy
If you have never bought insurance before, it can seem like a daunting task, and many people put it off, thinking that they will be alright for a little while longer. However, if you get pulled over or even worse, get in an accident, you will immediately regret waiting to buy insurance coverage. Since auto collisions are so common, it will likely happen at some point, even to good and careful drivers. Looking into insurance through helpful sites like those run by the Insurance Information Institute can also help ease your mind about your decision. This site and many others exist to help you learn crucial information and help you make decisions about your insurance coverage with the best knowledge possible.
Insurance is important, not only for covering the potential repairs to your car should you be in a collision, but also for protecting you financially and legally if you are pulled over, if your car is stolen, and many other unforeseen events that could happen to anyone. Even though you will have to pay monthly premiums for most insurance, staying within the law and saving money if you are in an accident will give you a peace of mind that is invaluable, and definitely decrease the negative effects of anything bad that might occur.
Ellen Cho works for InsuranceSwami.com, a leading provider of quotes for low cost car insurance and information about general consumer insurance plans.
, auto insurance
, Car insurance
, financial advice
, personal finance