Taking the paper out of paperwork

How do you think outside the box when you’re buried under the paperwork that’s piled inside it?

That’s the question the Petline Insurance Operations and Technology Solutions (TS) teams faced when an unexpected influx of claims meant that some customers were waiting longer to have their cases settled. Knowing there were worried pet owners out there depending on time-sensitive information wasn’t sitting well with the support team, an animal-loving bunch who pride themselves on excellent service. Plus, with the necessary focus on data entry to keep up, other important projects had to be put on hold.

“I see my role as having a direct impact on our customers’ lives because we support the quality of life of their pets, who are members of the family,” explains Eric Graeb, TS Manager at Petline. “When a customer has a claim, that’s when they need us most. Their pets are injured or sick, and they need to make decisions about their care quickly. The sooner we can let them know they’re covered for necessary procedures, the better.”

Eric’s team had already been brainstorming about the best way to automate paperwork when Definity partnered with Google Cloud — the first partnership of its kind in Canada. The timing for opening the door to Google’s advanced data analytics, artificial intelligence, and machine learning was perfect. It was, Eric explains, ‘the final brick’ that fell into place to build their solution.

Through a combination of Google’s optical character recognition, AI learning, and their own creative thinking, the team was able to come up with a way to drastically reduce backlogs within just two weeks of implementation. The best result was that customers were now experiencing faster turnaround times, an enormous relief for them and the claims support team.

Another big win was that decreasing time spent on the rather monotonous task of data entry left more space for our teams to innovate. “We’re already working on ways to improve other processes and save time and money,” Dana Warsaba, Team Lead for Claims Support Operations, says. “The team is more engaged than ever.”

Eric and his colleagues in TS couldn’t agree more. “There's a lot of opportunity for innovation at Definity. We have the freedom to suggest possibilities and develop new ways of doing things to improve our customer experience. This focus on exploring ideas and then ‘going for it’ is helping us deliver on our promise of making insurance better,” he says.

Definity’s investments in state-of-the-art technology have sparked other data-driven changes throughout the company, helping to implement solutions that can grow as the demand does. “This means we’re able to enhance service quality while remaining agile in the ever-changing environment that is insurance,” Eric notes. “And we’ve only scratched the surface.”

The benefits of enhanced efficiencies and more responsive systems are evident in virtually every area of the business, including customer experience, employee satisfaction, broker support, and even the insurance products and services we’re able to offer. Of course, there’s always a certain degree of risk that comes with new technology, and, as an insurance company, Definity takes risk seriously.

That’s why, in 2021, we developed a Data Usage Ethics Standard, an ethical framework that governs everything we do around machine learning, automated decision-making, analytical models, systems, and tools. It ensures that our data collection and usage continue to be in step with both privacy legislation and industry best practices.

Committing to a set of ethical principles also offers our customers and brokers greater confidence in the fairness of our pricing and claims practices. Most importantly, it enables Definity to continue to innovate, design completely new solutions, and redefine insurance.

After all, why limit yourself to thinking outside the box when you can eliminate the box altogether?

How do you think outside the box when you’re buried under the paperwork piled inside it? When Petline Insurance faced an unexpected influx of claims to process, they solved the issue of slow turnaround times with some old-fashioned ingenuity. And some not-so-old fashioned technology.