Guest Column | March 4, 2021

How Field Service Management Can Support Third-Party Administrators

By Samir Gulati, ServicePower

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Insurance organizations, including property and casualty, health, and home warranty providers, are increasingly relying on qualified and high-performing independent adjusters in addition to their employed ones to achieve greater operational success. The Society of Professional Benefit Administrators estimates that 60% of U.S. workers with non-federal benefits are in health plans using third-party administrator services. The implementation of third-party administration (TPA) and field service tools offer flexibility, agility, and scalability to market demand and is the key to modern-day claims, warranty, and workforce management. Insurance organizations need digital solutions that enable safe and efficient field adjuster management capabilities more than ever. It is important to understand the tools that are available that will meet all your organization’s needs.

Customer Access

In an era of digital communications, customers are looking for easy access and transparency in their insurance requests. Field service management platforms offer customer portals that act as digital self-service solutions for all TPA clients. Enabling the end user to self-schedule adjuster appointments and have full visibility into the claims process improves the service experience, leading to increased revenue and customer satisfaction. Since TPAs interact with clients on behalf of a primary organization, a centralized consumer portal allows for continuity in customer interactions and organization claims processing. Companies that have implemented customer-facing field service solutions, like AIG and Safeware, have experienced a 27% increase in net promoter scores and a 30% increase in customer satisfaction ratings.

TPA organizations are often viewed as an extension of an insurer’s claims departments, meaning it is critical to provide excellent customer service when managing a third-party workforce. TPAs need to show consistency when dealing with customers, providing quality assurance metrics and cost analysis to prove claims are being handled professionally and amicably. Customer portals set field adjusters up for success with mobile solutions, connecting adjusters with TPAs and facilitating real-time status updates, location tracking, and digital communications, resulting in improved compliance and reduced risk.

Operational Success

TPAs have distinct responsibilities such as managing contracted adjusters and scheduling the most qualified workers for each job. They therefore must have access to the appropriate technology to increase the efficiency of claims processing and adjuster route optimization. Automated dispatch software enables businesses requiring additional service capacity to intelligently manage and assign jobs to a contracted workforce. Insurance organizations that deploy a workforce that includes third-party adjusters can expand their service capacity and improve their overall customer experience. Intelligent integration of third-party service contractors increases operational visibility, offers more delivery flexibility, and improves profit margins.

Dispatch solutions streamline service workflows and scale operations as demand changes, automatically assigning jobs to employed, third-party, or blended workforces based on criteria-based scheduling. AI-enabled schedule optimization dynamically creates schedules, reduces the cost of claim inspections and adjustments, and improves field adjuster efficiency, productivity, and utilization. Additionally, real-time availability updates minimize turnaround times and status updates of work orders, allowing TPAs to increase operational efficiencies and dispatch jobs directly to their partner OEM workforces.

Claims Management

TPA organizations can also use field service claims solutions to automate claims adjudication, prevent fraud, and reduce payment processing turnaround time. Field service management software allows TPAs to use intelligent auditing systems and data-driven algorithms for warranty, property and casualty, and other insurance needs.  Contracted adjusters can collect relevant data on a single dashboard equipped with analytical capabilities that can be used to monitor business performance and track invoices.

Field service management systems integrate warranty claims so that TPAs can customize audit platforms to meet their client’s unique warranty requirements. TPA organizations, like Centricity, use automated claim adjudication with built-in validation and audits to improve efficiency and protect warranty reserves. This end-to-end claim system improves visibility and reduces the turnaround time on payment processing, allowing administrators to increase productivity and reduce costs.

As the "gig economy" grows, insurance companies are increasingly using third-party contractors in their labor models to meet customer demand, which falls to groups other than human resources to hire, onboard, manage, dispatch, and pay. TPA organizations can utilize field service management software to seamlessly dispatch work to a network of third-party adjusters, track the job status, easily receive claims from servicers, and automatically issue payments in a timely fashion, while delivering exceptional customer service on behalf of the primary insurer.

About The Author  

Samir Gulati was appointed Chief Marketing and Product Officer at ServicePower in 2017, where he is responsible for all aspects of Marketing and Product Management, including market strategy, product roadmaps, demand generation, product marketing, and corporate marketing. Samir brings over 25 years of experience in global product and marketing leadership roles in technology companies.