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Rules engines help insurers weather staff turnover

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Insurers should capture their business practices in a standardised rules engine system, minimising the risk of losing key corporate knowledge if employees resign, PBT Group local GM of data and analytics Will Erskine says.

This automation can help insurers survive the current skills shortage in the industry, which is encouraging movement of talented employees.

Mr Erskine says most insurers store business rules in multiple locations and "many exist largely in the heads of the people who act on those rules”. Some rules are hard-coded into disparate technology systems.

“Similar rules may exist in more than one place but not all variants are updated when business processes or legislation changes,” he said. “The result can be a mishmash of rules data across an organisation with no central repository and therefore no streamlined, consistent methodology about how the rules are accessed and applied”.

This means the nuances of an individual claim’s treatment often “depend on the interpretation and implementation of those rules by individual claims assessors”.

PBT’s RulesLab system standardises rules that “reside within people’s heads,” he says, managing them all together within a low-code expert system. Rules are applied consistently, identifying simple claims and flagging those that are more complex, likely to be more costly and require greater attention.

Using RulesLab avoids inconsistent customer experiences, sluggish updating of business rules, duplication of manual input and loss of corporate knowledge if key employees leave, he says. It can also identify potentially fraudulent insurance claims.

“Using artificial intelligence, RulesLab frees employees from labour-intensive, repetitive tasks, enabling greater speed, consistency and quality in the outcomes of decision making,” Mr Erskine says.