Tech expedites insurance claims
Crop insurers are in the midst of the largest claim year on record, both in terms of the number of claims and the size of indemnities. Estimates run as large as $25 billion in crop insurance payments to producers across the U.S., resulting from the historic drought of 2012.
Last year, as drought unfolded, it became apparent that the crop insurance industry needed to prepare for the anticipated large volume of claims. The industry prepared in several different ways, including working directly with farmers to ensure they understood what documentation was necessary to process claims. Also, farmers were educated that the claims process is a cooperative effort between the adjuster, agent and producer, and everyone needed to help.
• New tech adopted by crop insurance industry helps speed up services.
• Mobile technology is assisting adjusters and agents with the claims process.
• System can dramatically shorten the time from filing to receiving a check.
“At Archer Daniels Midland Crop Risk Services we also reviewed all of our processes to identify where we could streamline our efforts to enhance efficiency and speed up the claims payment process for customers,” says Greg Mills, ADM Crop Risk Services president.
“This review resulted in the introduction of new mobile technology to assist with the claims process,” he adds.
According to a survey ADM conducted in 2012, approximately 78% of producers in the United States use a mobile or smartphone device to conduct farm-related business. So, why not have the crop insurance agents and adjusters use mobile technology as well?
Digital claims processing
ADM CRS began using advanced technology solutions two years ago when it introduced Aeros, an easy-to-use processing system that integrates all of the functions of claims, mapping and document management for ADM CRS agents, adjusters and customers. Uploaded documents are processed and routed electronically, eliminating the need for printed documents.
Recently, ADM CRS released two mobile applications that allow agents and adjusters to upload information on the go. The AerosExpress system, which includes AerosExpress (Agent and AerosExpress) Adjuster, was developed by ADM’s own software engineers and is only available to ADM CRS agents and adjusters. “The new applications are packed with a number of powerful tools to assist insurance agents and adjusters who are on the move,” says Mills, “allowing them to provide faster, more efficient delivery of crop insurance services for our customers.”
AerosExpress–Agent is an Apple iPad app that lets agents easily view policy and claim information, create and edit documents, electronically sign documents, and access documents available in the ADM Aeros system. The app is installed directly on the Apple iPad device, so agents can create, edit and sign documents offline, and then upload them to the ADM Aeros System whenever it’s most convenient.
AerosExpress–Adjuster is an Apple iPhone app that allows ADM CRS adjusters to view and organize claims, take photos of damaged crops, map damaged acres of the fields, find contact information, and take notes after a call all from the palm of their hand. It also uploads all of the information into the Aeros system, which is then accessible by the insurance agent.
The key benefit of this technology, says Mills, is that the system dramatically shortens the claim process, from filing to receiving the check. Since the first product in the Aeros line was introduced two years ago, average claim processing time has been reduced by 11 days. To learn more, he suggests visiting www.admcrs.com.
These apps are just the latest examples of how this company and others are investing in technology and the future of the crop insurance industry. “Additional technology is being developed to continue improving the competency and speed of crop insurance services for customers, agents and company personnel,” says Mills. “In a world where technology advances at lightning speed, this is truly just the beginning.”
Source: ADM Crop Risk Services
This article published in the March, 2013 edition of WALLACES FARMER.
All rights reserved. Copyright Farm Progress Cos. 2013.