I read with interest Liz Hartley's piece about insurers' profitability being hit by soaring claims (6 February, Insurance Times).

The Datamonitor research is very useful and expands on what most insurers already know, that spiralling claims costs are bad news for insurers and policyholders alike.

Ms Hartley says that insurers' take-up of integrated claims processing systems has not been as healthy as vendors might wish. However, as the Datamonitor statistics show, the main problem doesn't relate to high administration costs that would be solved by new processing systems, but to rapidly rising claims payouts.

To address this issue and get rapid return on investment, insurers need to be looking at systems that enable proactivity and consistency across their personal injury claims portfolios.

I agree with Ms Hartley that insurers are under pressure to cut costs and are subsequently finding it difficult to get budgets for large IT projects.

To tackle this issue, we've just introduced a pay-as-you-go pricing scheme that charges the use of the system to each case. This allows the savings made by deploying the solution to pay for the implementation on a file-by-file basis.

This simplifies budgeting and lets insurers fast track the deployment of this web-based claims system.

It is in the interests of both insurers and claimants to settle claims fairly and equitably and I believe that the answer lies in deploying targeted personal injury claims solutions.

COA understands the severity and recovery implications of over 20,000 medical conditions, including injuries, treatments, complications and pre-existing conditions, and 14,000 occupations.

Making this level of information available to the desktop and providing management information about the multiple dimensions of claims portfolios is the first step towards enabling proactivity and achieving higher levels of consistency.

Adopting a dedicated personal injury claims management solution provides the opportunity to settle claims more quickly and consistently the aim of every insurer and the possible answer to spiralling personal injury claims.

David Smart
Business development director
Insurance Services Office

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