With a constantly changing claims landscape, Allianz Insurance must continue to innovate its services in order to meet its customers’ needs and expectations, says chief claims officer Graham Gibson
Was 2017 a busy year for Allianz Insurance?
Graham Gibson: Last year was a landmark one for Allianz. It’s been a very exciting time for our business as we work together with LV= to establish our joint venture, which will see Allianz become a top-three general insurer by 2020.
The partnership brings together the expertise and experience that our two brands have gained in the commercial and personal lines markets. Underpinned by a solid investment in technology, automation and data driven initiatives, our customers can look forward to excellent customer service, an increased product offering and greater innovation in the years to come.
The other big industry news of the year was in February, when the lord chancellor announced the Ogden discount rate was being cut from 2.5% to -0.75%. It is right that seriously injured people are provided with an appropriate and fair level of compensation. However, this change in rate has led to a significant rise in cost of personal injury claims across the market, essentially leading to increased premiums being paid by customers and costing the NHS billions.
How is Allianz changing the way it manages processes and settles claims?
Gibson: We know that with a constantly changing claims landscape, we must continue to innovate our services in order to meet our customers’ needs and expectations.
Last year following an extensive review, Allianz made the decision to combine its commercial property and household claims units to create one property claims team in Milton Keynes. We believe there were clear strengths and opportunities in making these changes, enabling our customers to benefit from a claims service that suits their requirements, whatever the future brings.
In terms of looking to the future, we are making significant investments in a range of technologies, automation and data-driven initiatives. We are also changing the way we think as a claims function and shifting the mind-set of our people towards becoming digital, tech savvy and data driven. This has become an important part of our recruitment process so that we are fit for the future.
What kinds of digital projects are you undertaking to modernise the Allianz claims function?
Gibson: This year is set to be very exciting for our claims business as we are currently in the midst of an extensive number of projects and technology trials, which will further modernise our services. One recent example of this is our implementation of ClaimCenter version 9. This has been a really exciting project for us because we were the first insurer in the world to upgrade to this platform. The change has introduced new features that will allow us to explore new additional digital functionality, with the potential to enhance the system and our service even further.
You recently joined the Insurance Fraud Bureau’s board. What do you hope to achieve in this role?
Gibson: Fraud is ever present in the insurance industry and as criminals continue to use more sophisticated techniques, we need to come together to identify them. I’ve always been a big supporter of the Insurance Fraud Bureau’s work and I share its commitment to tackle insurance fraud in all forms. I hope that sharing knowledge will enable us to improve our combined efforts to tackle fraud.
How is Allianz working to combat claims fraud itself?
Gibson: We have a dedicated, highly skilled fraud team and we take a proactive approach to reducing fraud in the industry. They undergo a rigorous training programme and continuously look to use new technologies to help identify inconsistencies. Last year, we made fraud savings in excess of £62 million, which demonstrates not only the scale of the problem, but the excellent skills of our fraud teams. Detection remains a key priority for the business this year because these savings ultimately help to reduce premiums of honest policyholders.