Insurers Can Reduce Claims Settlement Costs By Up to 15 Percent, According to Accenture Study

Technology is key to improved claims performance

New York, April 30, 2001 – Innovative technology and workforce training can help insurers reduce claim settlement costs by up to 15 percent and still comply with good market conduct and customer service practices, according to research released today by Accenture, the world’s leading provider of management and technology consulting services and solutions.

The study, based on an analysis of more than 7,000 settled claims and interviews with more than 3,000 claims personnel throughout North America and Europe, concludes that new technology infrastructures are needed to enable claims handlers to work more efficiently and accurately.

“When claims payments and loss adjustments consume nearly 80 percent of insurers’ annual revenues, it’s no secret that improving claims operations can help insurers enhance their profitability and shareholder value,” said Victor Guyan, a partner in Accenture’s Claims Solution Group. “Yet most insurers haven’t achieved a sustainable advantage in claims performance. Insurers can help improve claims performance by replacing existing legacy claims systems with new systems based on an updated information and technical architecture."

Accenture announced the findings, which are contained in a report entitled “Unlocking the Value in Claims,” at the Risk Insurance Management Society (RIMS) Conference in Atlanta, Georgia.

The study also found that claims handlers spend nearly half of their time on routine administrative tasks that have no direct bearing on settlement amounts. “Claims issues have become dramatically more complex and the level of sophistication needed by claims handlers to effectively do their jobs has soared, yet the most commonly used technology tools are still the telephone, copier and fax machine,” added Guyan. “By eliminating time-consuming routine tasks, better technology can help claims handlers execute ’best’ practices and achieve consistent results.”

Accenture’s analysis of the survey results found that property/casualty insurers surveyed are more likely to help improve claims performance by adopting information systems designed to:

  • Segment claims precisely -- Helping supervisors and claims handlers recognize differences in claims characteristics throughout the lifecyle of a claim.
  • Provide updated information -- Enabling claims handlers to quickly learn about exposures related to a claim, such as types of injuries and prospects of fraud.
  • Encourage consistency -- Matching each claim segment regardless of geography, management style, or other inhibitors of effective business practices.
  • Automate routine functions -- Eliminating tedious, routine functions that require no discretion, thereby driving cost out of the process.
  • Educate claim handlers -- Providing claims handlers with the institutional knowledge necessary to execute claims efficiently.
  • Integrate with vendors -- Connecting seamlessly to functions and data offered by chosen vendors, such as bodily injury evaluation and fraud detection.

About Accenture
Accenture is the world’s leading provider of management and technology consulting services and solutions. More than 70,000 people in 46 countries deliver a wide range of specialized capabilities and solutions to clients across all industries. Under its strategy, Accenture is building a network of businesses to meet the full range of client needs — consulting, technology, outsourcing, alliances and venture capital. Accenture’s home page address is

About Accenture’s Claims Solution Group
Accenture’s Claims Solution Group comprises 120 full-time professionals based in a dedicated facility that serves as the center for Accenture’s advanced claims research and technology development. At the facility, Accenture creates and customizes claims solutions and runs end-to-end property and casualty applications for its clients.