Insurtechs’ digital capabilities will enhance the industry

09 March 2021

3 minute read


Director, Donna Scully, has been speaking to Modern Insurance Magazine about what value insurtechs are bringing to the claims process during the Covid-19 pandemic, especially with the backlog in claims and closure of the courts.

The pandemic has underlined how the insurance industry’s technology affect the resilience of its operations. The speed with which insurers have adapted to remote operations and adopted digital channels is a sign of its resilience, as is the ability to maintain a fast-paced product innovation pipeline. Despite the new challenges associated with the pandemic and remote working, many insurers will continue to innovate quickly.

Insurtech capabilities and technology talent can enhance insurers’ products, services, and customer experiences at a time when digital capabilities are a necessity. Insurtech start-ups are in demand for insurers looking to link into already developed digital capabilities and mature processes for a better digital experience.

Technology has been applied in several areas to mitigate the impact of Covid on the claims process.  All stakeholders, including insurers, were able to move large sections of their workforce to homeworking at very short notice. The technology initially creaked a little on occasion, as you would expect, but generally speaking the industry was able to provide continuity of service despite the emergency situation that we find ourselves in.

The courts were less able to cope with lockdown.  While there have been well publicised problems in the criminal justice system, the civil courts have also suffered.  It is taking longer to get claims issued, claims progress more slowly through the system, and many hearings have been adjourned.   All these factors extend the time taken to conclude litigated cases, increasing cost and delay for all concerned.

One of Carpenters insurtech products, Injury Resolver, has helped to alleviate these difficulties. It operates in partnership with forward thinking insurers to “privatise“ the court process.  The result is an assessment of disputed damages at levels almost identical to those achieved at contested stage three hearings, but more quickly at significantly reduced cost.

Another technological development that has helped to reduce the impact of Covid on the claims process is the advent of remote medical examinations.  There was a concern back in March 2020 that the prohibition on remote medical examination would prevent the progression of claims, leaving insurers unsure of the appropriate reserves on thousands of cases. The introduction of remote medical examinations reduced this blockage and enabled the majority of straightforward claims to proceed.  A high level of cross industry cooperation meant that reports could be produced and cases could proceed.

The initial data available suggests that the insurers’ early concern, that remote examination would lead to claims inflation, has not been borne out.  While the data needs further investigation, it suggests  that prognosis and claims cost has reduced through remote examination when compared to a physical appointment. 

Donna Scully
Director, Carpenters Group


Credit: Modern Insurance Magazine