The growth of the on-demand workforce is having an increasingly transformative impact on the insurance market and particularly in the claims arena – and the Great Resignation is increasing that potential.
As many of those leaving full-time positions seek a more flexible way to work, Meredith Brogan, president of WeGoLook, talks about how this shift will bolster the talent pool of the gig economy, from which Crawford draws almost its 45,000 ‘Lookers’ for its WeGoLook workforce.
Meredith, who has led WeGoLook for three years, is already seeing how the shifts in employment preferences and growing efficacy of digital tools are strengthening an operation that has already enabled Crawford and its clients to improve turnaround times and operational efficiency.
“What we’re seeing with the Great Resignation, is that while some adjusters in the industry are resigning employee positions, they are joining networks, like WeGoLook, as talented workers look to introduce greater flexibility in the way they work,”
She added that WeGoLook had initially taken a simple approach – carriers dictated the data capture and Lookers followed specific instructions. That has evolved with the increasing availability of more skilled workers, and new technology capabilities.
“We recognize that we have many highly skilled individuals in this network of 45,000 people,” Brogan said. “Partly because of the Great Resignation, we are now able to deploy more qualified individuals, such as roof inspectors, to deal with specific aspects of claims.”
Some carriers were initially reluctant to embrace the concept of the gig economy for claims management, as they were dubious that on-demand workers could gather the same quality of relevant information as trained field adjusters. Advanced technology used by the Lookers has helped to assuage those concerns.
“The traditional data collecting is all done through the app,”
Meredith said. “The great thing about the technology is that it almost forces the capture of the right data. If they follow the app, the chances are they will do a great job.
“We've also partnered with third parties to do 3D modelling. Our Lookers simply take eight photographs, and we can then create a full 3D model of the property. It’s effectively turning these Lookers into inspectors who can capture the type of data that you need to finish your claims.”
Video collaboration between Lookers at the loss site and adjusters at their desks, communicating live, further strengthens data capture quality, particularly in more complex claims scenarios. “In effect, it means our adjuster has eyes on the ground in real-time, and they can direct the Looker, so the adjuster can capture what they need,” she noted.
Brogan identified several benefits that WeGoLook currently delivers to carriers and policyholders, including:
- Faster turnaround times, with reports completed within 1.6 days of loss notification, on average.
- The geographical reach of WeGoLook means that on average a Looker is available no more than 11 miles from an inspection site, reducing travel costs and meaning insurers can reach remote areas quickly, which is important given that 55% of Crawford’s assignments are in rural areas.
- The process allows faster processing of straightforward claims, freeing skilled adjusters to focus on more complex claims and spend less time travelling.
- During surge events, Crawford gets boots on the ground in impacted areas to gather information quickly.
WeGoLook also feeds into Crawford’s growing data solutions platform. Digital Desk, its smart claims triage capability, capitalizes on WeGoLook’s data-gathering capacity by processing the incoming information and prioritizing claims to ensure efficient use of skilled loss adjusters.
“Digital Desk takes claims information on the front end and puts it through our triage model to determine the best path forward,” Meredith explains. “And we’re using AI technology in the background, which continues to learn about the optimal path for a particular claim given the scenario, and I think that's really going to help carriers.”
Looking further ahead, she sees a bright future for on-demand services. “There’s interest on the carrier side and the resource side,” she said. “With the population aging, we have so many brilliant, experienced people, who maybe don't want to work full time. The gig economy allows them to be deployed as often as they want. Our technology provides a notification that there's a job in their area and they can choose to accept it or not.
“The policyholders love it too because they can then schedule visits outside traditional working hours. So, I believe on-demand services will most definitely continue to expand.”