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Spex and PLRB Visit San Antonio

Brett Goldberg | April 15, 2016

We’ll be exhibiting this year at the annual PLRB Claims Conference in San Antonio. It will be our first time exhibiting at this event and we’re looking forward to it. We first visited the PLRB annual event in Indy a couple years ago and felt an immediate connection with the audience. We hope our attendance as an exhibitor will be useful to PLRB members and help provide a better understanding of how Spex improves claims operations for adjusters, contractors and carriers.

Our booth is number 39 for those attending. Or, feel free to “schedule a demo” with us ahead of time and we can arrange to connect at our Meeting Suite or in the Exhibitor Lounge. We look forward to sharing how our solution is helping a number of innovative companies in the industry capture, collect and collaborate on property inspections. Here’s a snapshot of a part of our exhibit booth for the event:

The theme of this year’s annual conference is “Knowledge Unlocks Opportunities.” With that being the primary topic, here are three areas we’re looking forward to exploring and helping other members learn about in San Antonio:

  1. Field Inspection Technologies
  2. Solutions for Improved Claim Handling
  3. Business Intelligence

Field Inspection Technologies

We’re frequently speaking with current and prospective clients who describe growing customer and carrier demands. Policyholders are expecting more from their carriers, particularly during property claims. So, carriers are expecting reduced cycle times from their service partners.

There are multiple approaches to accelerating velocity between the initial inspection assignment and the completion of the estimate (or denial paperwork).
One solution is through advancements in the area of field inspection technologies.
The PLRB Conference has a number of education sessions and exhibitors focused on these solutions including drones, video collaboration and mobile apps. These solutions achieve a number of important objectives for the industry including the rapid capture of more and better property documentation. Today’s solutions enable the efficient transfer of that field documentation to back-office administrators. Modern inspection technologies can geo and time stamp that data to minimize fraudulent activities. Solutions like Spike are even helping innovators capture more accurate measurements for hard to reach or point-to-point locations. There are a number of cool and valuable solutions emerging in this area of insurtech.

Solutions for Improved Claim Handling

Spex clients increasingly share with us the need to think differently about claim handling. The “status quo” isn’t working anymore as pressure mounts to reduce Loss Adjustment Expenses (LAE) and better engage with policyholders. The expectations for a field inspector to understand property inspection protocols, scope building materials, evaluate insurance policies and then utilize complex estimating software are breaking. As today’s average age adjuster or contractor approaches retirement and millennials remain hesitant to enter the insurance employment market, new approaches to claims operations and claim handling are required.

A number of new solutions enable carriers and their service providers to handle claims differently. We know service providers who are taking the estimating responsibility out of the hands of field users altogether. This is sometimes called “desk adjusting” or “central claim handling.” This new approach allows inspectors to focus on inspecting and then desk personnel focuses on policy management, estimate writing and the other important administrative responsibilities.

This division of labor can not only enable efficiencies in day to day operations but present an altogether new employment environment to the industry. Long-time adjusters no longer interested in extensive travel or climbing roofs can provide on-going value from desk positions.
Younger, less experienced workers can enter the workforce faster and with less training or education required to perform field work successfully. It’s a win-win approach for all involved.
There should be several great exhibitor demos and education seminars discussing innovation in this area of the market.

Business Intelligence

It’s hard to identify an industry more reliant on business intelligence (BI) than insurance.
Products are based on risk assessment, which is a fundamentally data driven exercise. We’re helping enable BI value for Spex clients and there will be several other companies presenting about BI and data capabilities in San Antonio.

BI takes on many areas of value in this industry. With such a large and field driven workforce, there is inherent usefulness in better understanding productivity metrics from the field: how long are inspections taking? Was the inspection performed at the correct location? How do loss types affect the quality of an inspection? Not only are service provider admins and executives interested in knowing this information but so are insurance carriers. The carriers, who often have a choice in their service providers, are looking for differentiation today. BI is one of those places to help a service provider differentiate itself.

As the volume of field-enabled BI increases, so too will the value of that data. Innovators can start to evaluate trends that ultimately impact core insurance products and operations. Are certain building materials performing better or worse under certain loss conditions? Is an IA firms’ long-standing protocols still as effective as they once were? BI is not only about data collection by analyzing answers to questions previously unasked.

It’s a great time to be in the insurance market. A $3 trillion market where nearly $50B is spent annually on property claims is reinventing itself. Insurtech is catching on as a theme for investors and entrepreneurs. Our industry will be converging on Texas next week to gather and learn.
We can’t wait to be part of the discussion.

Brett Goldberg
CEO of Spex