Openly is the insurtech that’s disrupting the insurance industry with a modern, technology-driven approach to claims management. Through an innovative use of technology and a dedicated team of experts, Openly provides a seamless, customer-centric claims experience that’s remarkably efficient.
Claims have historically been processed through a mix of technology and human touchpoints. By leveraging the latest technology and working with a carefully curated network of partners, Openly has made it its mission to create a claims process that is as easy as possible for policyholders, agents, and the claims team alike.
Building a claims organization
Openly’s approach to claims management isn’t only about utilizing technology to streamline the claims process, it is also about building a claims organization around highly experienced and knowledgeable employees who can effectively support policyholders in their time of need.
Led by Gina Reyes, Openly’s Vice President of Claims, the claims team was built strategically. “I applied the lessons I learned over my career to build the claims organization. I initially brought on people with whom I had previously worked, who worked well together, and who balanced each other’s skill sets,” she says.
It wasn’t long after that Reyes and the initial hires realized more headcount was required to handle the complexities of a claims organization. To further the goals of the business, Reyes intentionally sought out well-trained and experienced claims professionals– so experienced that the team has an average tenure of 18 years for adjusters and 22 years for managers.
Every manager hired had previous experience as an adjuster. “They could all understand, identify, and empathize with adjusters,” Reyes says. “They know what it's like to work with customers, deal with complex liability issues, and handle busy periods.”
The strategy of hiring experienced claims team members has been beneficial for Openly and had a positive impact on policyholders.
The Openly customer experience
Reyes recounts a recent catastrophe that inundated insurance providers with a high claims volume.
“During Winter Storm Elliott, phones started ringing like crazy. From Christmas Eve through December 26th, Openly’s claims team had 30 out of 50 people working—of their own accord. On December 24th, they were already contacting policyholders and getting vendors deployed. A lot of other companies didn’t react as quickly, and by Christmas Day, their customers were facing 7-10 day waits for vendors. I was proud to see how many of our people were willing to work. It wasn’t required, but our claims team knew people were in need.”
With each catastrophe, like Winter Storm Elliot, technology improves and the Openly claims organization develops broader knowledge of the current environment. As part of its ongoing efforts to evolve the customer experience, Reyes notes that there is still a lot to improve on.
Luckily, there is technology to help with that.
A digital transformation
Until the last decade or so, claims inspection methods were a mix of human interaction and a (rather limited) use of technology. Recently, there has been a shift toward utilizing technology to streamline processes. Not only has this resulted in a better overall experience for policyholders, but it has allowed insurtechs like Openly to gain a foothold in the market.
One of the contributing factors to this shift in claims management is an acceleration of digitization. During the COVID-19 pandemic, traditional inspection methods became difficult and, in some cases, next-to-impossible. Fortunately, Openly has carefully curated a network of vendors, including Hosta a.i., a remote property assessment application.
“Sending an adjuster is a last resort,” Reyes states. Using artificial intelligence and machine learning, Hosta a.i. accelerates the claims process, and allows Openly to reach policyholders at their own comfort level, and without the need to send an adjuster to assess the property damage.
In the event of a claim, Openly sends policyholders a Hosta a.i. link that guides the homeowner through a photographic assessment of the damage to their property, without the need to download an app or use special equipment. The photos are then uploaded to Hosta a.i. for analysis. Hosta a.i. then creates floor plans and CAD models—and even identifies construction and fabrication materials. Through a seamless integration with Openly’s estimating system, adjusters can then estimate and resolve claims quickly.
“Our customers care a lot about their homes. They want them to be put back to where they were before the loss, and Openly prioritizes that.” With traditional inspection methods, adjusters have to schedule a time to meet with homeowners, which can be especially difficult for those who do not work remotely. But with Hosta a.i.’s guided assessment, the process can be done at any time.
“It’s more convenient and very easy for customers. A lot of customers are still hesitant to allow people into their homes, so Hosta a.i. has provided a great alternative. It’s cost effective and a win-win for everybody.”
Reyes is right. Openly has seen cycle time reduced by over 25% and allocated loss adjustment expenses reduced by more than 50% on average thanks to Hosta a.i.’s technology. Policyholders have also given a thumbs up to the technology, with net promoter scores 8 points higher when Hosta a.i. is administered.
Evolving the claims process
Reyes is focused on the future. “As we continue to grow, we are focusing on specialization within our organization. Currently, our organizational structure is quite basic, but as we scale, we will begin to focus on sub-specialties within our claims department. This will allow us to provide an even higher level of service to our customers by having experts in different areas of claims handling.”
At the end of the day, Openly is focused on providing the best possible experience for its customers. Regardless of technological advancements, or how large Openly grows, the commitment to providing an excellent, efficient, and informative claims experience remains a priority.