Aegon has launched a tele-claims service allowing customers to file all of their details with the insurer without filling in a single form, which it says could halve the time it takes to pay out on claims.
Customers have the option to call a claims assessor who will gather all of the information needed to process the critical illness (CI) or terminal illness (TI) claim.
The assessor will also be qualified to discuss and explain policy definitions and answer customer queries relating to their claim.
Aegon says results from a pilot is carried in the three months to mid-January showed using tele-claims cut the average time for a claim decision to be made in half, from ten weeks to five.
"The only time the customer will be asked to write on a form is when we send them back the claims information for them to sign to say it is correct," says Matt Rann, head of underwriting and claims at Aegon.
Aegon's tele-claims service is Rann's brainchild. Having suffered a serious illness, and experienced difficulties in claiming on a CI policy, he decided the process needed streamlining.
He says: "By obtaining all of the relevant information over the phone and providing a more personal approach we are making the whole process easier and quicker for our customers, reducing the stress of completing paper-based forms at what is no doubt a difficult time for the customer making the claim."
Rann says initially advisers were suspicious of the new service, and early figures suggested policy-holder take-up of around 40%.
However by the end of the pilot, this figure had soared to around 90%, with an average customer take-up of 69% over the three month period.
Aegon says the service, currently only available for critical illness and terminal illness claims, will soon be rolled out for income protection, waiver of premium and permanent disability claims.
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