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Insurance companies using data collection tools to gain a competitive edge

Paul Newman

April 15, 2013

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Insurance companies face new challenges as they compete in the digital age. Consumers can research rates, contact employees and even sign up for service without meeting agents face-to-face or calling the company's phone number. This can be a blessing because it provides consumers with the convenience to sign up through their preferred channels when they find the best deals.

However, companies that want to leverage these capabilities must be certain to use data collection tools like address management to perform email verification at the point of entry. In fact, a survey of North American insurance companies by Earnix and Dorman Consulting Associates revealed that firms believed they could be more competitive if they improved data collection processes, used better analysis tools and employed more structured processes. 

When insurance companies focus on their data collection tactics, they can be certain they aren't losing any prospects in the pipeline and are providing their customers with the best product options. A recent article in Insurance Tech points out that verification methods are particularly important when firms are supporting online channels.

While insurance providers once relied on staff members to type in customer data, companies are now saving time and money by supporting self-service, the source adds. Unfortunately, this can also lead to a higher error rate if the proper tools are not installed to flag inaccurate or incomplete fields before they are saved and processed. Incorporating the correct measures at the point-of-entry is one way to eliminate mistakes when larger volumes of data are being processed. Another strategy involves deploying a system that regularly cleanses information in its flow throughout departments. 

Establishing a more structured method for data collection and handling can also improve information security and help insurance companies avoid circumstances such as those that recently affected the Investment Industry Regulation Organization of Canada (IIROC). The organization recently announced that an employee lost a personal device that stored 52,000 customers' personal information. 

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