The insurance industry has a deserved reputation for conservatism and its customers wouldn't want it any other way. But this has its drawbacks as well, particularly when it comes to work practices which can be very out-dated. Irish fintech company Docosoft saw this as an opportunity and its highly innovative Claims Management System (CMS) is now the clear leader in the highly competitive London insurance market.
"We started looking at claims management systems for the London insurance market as far back as 2009," says Docosoft head of development Anthony Freeman. "The systems in use were quite antiquated in terms of the processes used. They all ran on a centralised system which was using very old technology. Companies used spreadsheets for claims handling and there were lots of inefficiencies. We figured we could do something about that."
Up until that point Docosoft had been a document management specialist and already had some customers in the London insurance sector. That experience gave them insights into the shortcomings of the existing system.
“We wondered why it wasn’t possible to talk back to the centralised system – communication was one way,” Freeman notes. “Companies also had to duplicate a lot of efforts on their own systems.”
Docosoft set about dealing with those issues and other shortcomings of the systems in place at the time. “The insurance market doesn’t like change and there were other claims management systems out there but we did what nobody else was doing,” Freeman explains. “We worked with customers to find out what they wanted and developed a solution that would make life easier for them. It is a solution built for claims handlers by claims handlers.”
He points out that the other systems in use at the time were very much like spreadsheets. “One of our customers has said that with their previous system, handling one claim required 18 actions, seven separate systems, and eight processes. We’ve revolutionised the claims handling experience for the industry by integrating everything together. We have reduced it to one system which offers a one-stop-shop for claims handling.”
One of the key advantages of the Docosoft system is that it eliminates the dependence on the centralised system. “If the centralised system went down you couldn’t do anything,” says Freeman. “The Docosoft system operates independently and writes back to the centralised system whenever it is live. We have taken away the requirement to process everything through the centralised system which uses 30-year-old software and is very slow.”
This isn’t universally popular, he notes with a laugh. “We have had to apologise to some customers for allowing them to continue working when the central system was down while everyone else was in the pub.”
But the benefits are clear. “Our solution delivers real competitive advantage,” he says. “It reduces claims turnaround times by up to 50 per cent. Insurance is a very competitive market and all the companies are effectively selling the same thing, so an improvement in claims handling times is very important.”
Docosoft has now captured 25 per cent of the London claims handling systems market and the business is growing rapidly. "We are number one in London and the company is going from strength to strength. We have grown from three employees in 2009 to 26 today. We have another three or four major new customers lined up and are actively speaking to more than 15 other companies who don't yet have a claims management system. We are also looking at expanding into other markets like Japan, Singapore, Honk Kong and the US."