Guidewire Debuts ‘Autopilot’ for Automation-First Claims Approach

Speaking at Connections 2020, Diego Devalle, Guidewire’s Chief Product Development Officer, said that Autopilot seeks to flip a highly manual claims model to make manual processes the exception.

(Guidewire’s Chief Product Development Officer Diego Devalle during the Connections 2020 virtual event.)

As part of its Banff cloud platform release Guidewire Software (San Mateo, Calif.) has launched Autopilot, a cloud-based claims automation service built to allow insurers to follow an automation-first approach to claims. Diego Devalle, Guidewire’s Chief Product Development Officer described the new capability in a session of the vendor’s Connections 2020 virtual event, Claims Reimagined: Guidewire’s Vision and Strategy.

While last year’s Connections event focused on innovations related to Guidewire PolicyCenter, this year the vendor focused its innovation experts on claims servicing and specifically claims automation, related Devalle in his introductory comments. ClaimCenter, Guidewire’s claim processing system, has long supported straight-through processing for more basic kinds of claims, such as auto glass replacement, commented Devalle. However, the company has been working on automating a wider variety of claims, including those that are very complex.

“That’s why today we’re very pleased to introduce Autopilot, a cloud-based claim service that works with ClaimCenter to automate claims handling,” Devalle said. “As [Guidewire CEO] Mike [Rosenbaum] said in his earlier keynote, there may be no bigger opportunity for improving customer experience and decreasing cost than automating claims in insurance. If last year was about innovating to bring insurance product to market faster, then this year our focus is on settling claims faster—and that’s Autopilot.”

Inger Lise Angelskår, Director, Finance & Development for Norway, Tryg.

Autopilot emerged out of significant interaction between Guidewire and its customers who raised a frequent theme of “taking automation to the next level,” according to Devalle. One of those, Scandinavian insurer Tryg (Copenhagen) has accumulated experience customizing ClaimCenter to enable claims automation. “But they wanted to do more to reduce claim servicing costs and meet the high expectations of their customers,” he said, introducing Inger Lise Angelskår, Tryg’s Director, Finance & Development for Norway.

Making Claims Automation the Rule

“In terms of claims handling it needs to be super-fast, but it’s also about efficiency and keeping claim costs down,” commented Angelskår. “The way we have been thinking for quite some time is that automation is the rule and manual handling is the exception—and this is of course the way that guidewire Autopilot has been built. We run everything automatically unless there is an exception where we need a human being.”

Tryg aspires to reach half of its claims being handled on a no-touch basis, according to Angelskår. “If we include partial automation, we want 70 percent of all the processes we are running to be done automatically,” she elaborated. “It’s really exciting to see the direction that Guidewire is heading in.”

Guidewire’s Devalle responded, saying that Tryg’s approach is clear: automate claims by default and do manual handling by exception. “That’s exactly our strategy at Guidewire,” he added. “Flip today’s claims model that is mostly manual, with the goal of automating as much as you can.”

Devalle explained how Autopilot can support that goal by likening the service to a rail line. Traditional claims handling is like a rail line with multiple stops that represent manual processes. Systems such as ClaimCenter take the claim from stop to stop. However, when ClaimCenter is used with Autopilot, the service determines whether a claim can be processed automatically or must be handed off to ClaimCenter for a workflow including manual stages—with the possibility of being handed back to Autopilot for a further automated journey.

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Anthony R. O’Donnell // Anthony O'Donnell is Executive Editor of Insurance Innovation Reporter. For nearly two decades, he has been an observer and commentator on the use of information technology in the insurance industry, following industry trends and writing about the use of IT across all sectors of the insurance industry. He can be reached at [email protected] or (503) 936-2803.

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