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Jul 2024

Sedgwick adapts through technology-driven solutions as claims process goes through seismic transformation

Source: Asia Insurance Review | Jul 2023

Soo Kwong WengInnovations in Sedgwick’s offering to motor clients highlight the need for constant adjustment in a rapidly changing industry, said Sedgwick’s Mr Soo Kwong Weng.
With ground-breaking advancements emerging within the claims and insurance industries, in areas such as AI, VR and remote technology, there are endless possibilities in the ways we can reshape how companies operate, reduce risks and enhance customer experiences. However, these possibilities can only be realised if we fully embrace the potential of technological innovation in the sector.
At Sedgwick we are continually adapting in the motor insurance industry landscape as we deal with a high volume of motor claims. We must be focused on innovation that seeks to enhance the overall customer experience but also contributes to safer roads, reduced accidents and more efficient claims processing. As the industry continues to evolve, it is imperative for both claims and insurance companies to embrace these innovations and adapt to changing consumer demands.
Sedgwick’s operation in Malaysia has been at the forefront of innovating the motor claims sector in Asia for years now, always seeking to adapt and provide new ways to meet customer and market needs. One of the ways we have done this more recently is through the opening of our Asia third-party administration service centre, which offers comprehensive first notice of loss (FNOL) and desktop assessment services through options such as a dedicated customer toll free line, branded greetings and customised scripting and workflow to enhance the policyholder’s claims experience.
This service is carried out by a trained team of experts who are ready to assist insurers, customers and policyholders with all types of commercial and passenger vehicles claims. Launched in 2020, the centre’s aim is to provide customers with a much-needed service that guides them more attentively through the claims process which did not previously exist within the Asian market.
Electric vehicles – implications for the insurance industry 
The third-party administration centres is an example of how Sedgwick has led the way in innovating within the Asian claims market, however the industry landscape’s shifting nature means that it’s vital to continue innovating to meet customers and clients’ demands. Currently, the motor claims sector globally is facing the challenge of adapting to meet the growing influx of electric vehicles (EVs) into the market.
The movement towards EVs can be traced back to the Kyoto protocol, which extended the 1992 United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change and saw signatories commit to reducing greenhouse gas emissions, of which combustible engines are major contributor. This, as well as other ESG requirements have generated an upsurge of EVs being produced and sold to motorists and has in turn led to claims handlers and insurers having to reassess how they operate.
The reassessment involves looking at the costs involved with dealing with a claim end-to-end, mainly due to an increase in the cost of various vehicle parts and tech used in an EV, which in turn makes the repairs more expensive. Insurers may need to consider the increased costs associated with EV repairs, availability of spare parts, and specialised repair facilities when setting premiums and coverage limits for EV owners, all of which has led to rapid change.
So how is Sedgwick looking to address the new challenges presented by the rapid adoption of EVs? A lot of it has come down to retraining our claims experts to make sure they can continue to deliver excellent service through this period of change for the industry.
This training includes understanding EV-specific components, battery technology, charging infrastructure, and safety protocols, equipping claims handlers with the necessary expertise to assess and process EV-related claims accurately. Also, claims handlers must collaborate more with specialised experts in the field of electric vehicles, such as EV technicians, engineers, or forensic investigators.
These experts can provide valuable insights during the claims assessment process, helping claims handlers accurately evaluate the extent of damages, repair costs, and potential causes of incidents involving EVs. Whilst this may be less technology driven adaptation, it is still a good example of how we have looked at our operation, taken on board necessary changes and adapted it to meet the changes brought about by EVs.
Sedgwick’s Clarity Connect technology
Another key area that affects the whole sector is fraud. This is not a new issue and has been on claims handlers’ radar for many years. This is where the ‘Straight-thru-claim’ (STC) system comes into play. STC allows for a policyholder to present a video survey of an accident whilst still at the scene of incident, using our Clarity Connect technology.
Clarity Connect is an innovative piece of InsurTech which allows us as the claims handler to remotely visit a site or incident and carry out the loss survey process, without being physically present. This innovation is a crucial step forward in the way that motor claims are processed, as it allows us to monitor the level of damage just moments after an incident has occurred.
Previously, we would rely on an inspection of the vehicle in question following its transportation to a motor repairer’s workshop which can result in further damage and affect the whole process, leading to fraudulent/incorrect claims. This, matched with the possibilities brought about by AI, such as fraud detection algorithms, allows for greater visibility and detection throughout the whole process and is yet another example of tech innovation creating a much more improved experience for all involved.
There are several ways in which technology continues to benefit the claims and insurance industries. At Sedgwick we have made strides in delivering technology led solutions to streamline the motor claims process and deliver a service that produces the best possible outcomes.
Clarity Connect and the use of AI to detect fraudulent claims as well as our ongoing initiatives to ensure our staff is adequately trained to meet the market’s demands highlight our commitment to embracing innovation. A 
Mr Soo Kwong Weng is the deputy CEO of Sedgwick in Malaysia.
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