Spotlight on last year’s winner: Allianz Australia

The Mansfield Awards 2020

As voted by you, Allianz Australia was the winner of last year’s Gold Mansfield Award for overall excellence in claims. Allianz was also the recipient of the Personal Lines insurance award and the SME Property and Casualty insurance award.

With the Mansfield Awards coming up on the 23rd of July, we spoke to Allianz to find out more about outstanding claims processes.

Approach to claims management

Allianz’s core goal is to deliver a claims service experience that is valued as part of the purchasing decision by its customers. Dedicated to being there for its customers in the moments that matter, Allianz recognises that claim time is the reason its clients purchase insurance.

Allianz has a philosophy of continuous improvement in its claims functions, providing customers with flexibility in how its claims are lodged and managed. Its focus is to understand every touch point and resolve customer requests at first point of contact – leading to a positive customer experience regardless of the outcome.

To provide its customers with the support they need, when they need it, Allianz has a dedicated claims team of more than 550 Australian-based skilled staff, as well as offshore capacity. This provides greater coverage across more time zones, while also being particularly useful in the aftermath of a major weather event. With this coverage, Allianz can devote more resources to customers; helping them get back on their feet, all the while allowing it to effectively manage any surge in claim lodgement applications.

Impact of the current climate on claims

The Australia-wide bushfires had a significant impact on Allianz’s customers, its claims teams and the overall number of claims it reported.

During this challenging time, its claims teams worked tirelessly to support and respond to its customers impacted by the bushfires, helping them get back on their feet. Allianz’s key initiatives included increased staffing for answering customer’s calls and attending and assisting customers at numerous bushfire recovery centres.

Allianz also made available complimentary, confidential counselling support to customers and their immediate families affected by the bushfires. Calls were handled by Assure Programs and bookings could be made 24/7. For more information about its response, visit: https://www.allianz.com.au/my-allianz/bushfire-support/

In addition to this, Allianz was impacted by several major storm events. For each of these events, it scaled up resources and rapidly opened hail assessment centres, allowing customers to lodge claims and have their vehicles assessed and repaired quickly.

This year, the COVID-19 pandemic also had a significant impact on Allianz’s people. In the space of three weeks, it was able to transition its entire Customer Services workforce (more than 1,000 people) to a work from home environment, as well as managing the shutdown of its offshore support operation. Allianz banded together and was able to bridge the capacity gaps caused by the loss of its offshore operation; borrowing staff from other divisions with previous claims experience, which enabled it to continue serving its customers with minimal disruption during this period of upheaval.

Allianz’s award-winning claims process

Across all of its operations, Allianz considers customer service to be of the upmost importance. It strives to provide a market-leading customer experience through expert underwriting, policy support service and claims management for its partners and customers.

It also believes in taking a global view of best practice, leveraging Allianz SE digital solutions and technical excellence programs to upskill its people, all the while providing customers with state of the art technology solutions.

Allianz provides its customers with various options to engage with it, so they can use those best suited to their needs, including:

  • 24/7 claims notification – customers can lodge a claim online or by telephone at any time
  • Experienced Australian-based claims handlers supported by its offshore services
  • Access to an extensive network of repairers and suppliers.

Its customers also have the ability to lodge domestic comprehensive motor claims online, making the claims process simple and easy in the moment that matters most.

This delivers the following benefits:

  • Seamlessly accessible via its Broker Claims Dashboard
  • Immediately provides a claim number
  • Provides a liability determination and excess payable when sufficient information is provided
  • Additional lodgement channel for brokers available 24/7, helping to reduce their need to call
  • More efficient process, with questions relevant to the customer’s claims.

Achieving continued claims excellence

Allianz is continuing to evolve its claims management processes, ensuring it puts the needs of its customers first. Building transparency to allow its stakeholders to provide direct and immediate feedback on its services has been central to this process.

This is why Allianz rolled out its Five Star Survey in 2017, which allows every person it deals with throughout the claims process; from the customer and repairer through to the loss adjustor, to tell it what it’s done right or where it can improve. This feedback gives Allianz the ability to continuously learn and make improvements to its claims management services. Allianz has continued to build on its customer feedback mechanisms, launching a new, state of the art complaints handling system. The new system enables it to log and handle complaints with ease, while also helping Allianz perform root cause analysis of complaints to continuously improve its customer experience.

One of the key initiatives in Allianz’s ongoing claims improvement plan was the launch of its Next Gen Claims program in 2017. The claims program is based on three principles:

  • One touch: customers make one phone call and one phone call only to resolve their claim
  • Better insights: using insights to resolve claims issues before the customer is inconvenienced
  • Repair benefits: creating efficiencies and insights to repairers to improve the repair process.

This program brings to life a new way of fulfilling claims quickly and easily whilst harnessing new technology and improving the work of Allianz’s staff. In the last year, Allianz has delivered a new online motor lodgement experience, a streamlined motor total loss process and a new Broker Claims Dashboard that enables brokers to view active claims and lodge domestic motor claims. Allianz has also significantly upgraded its support services to its claim teams, expanding its learning and development support as well as investing in and upgrading its data capability to drive better customer outcomes.

But it’s not just technology that makes for a great claims experience; the capability of Allianz’s staff is also critical in this area. For staff, this has meant ongoing education and accreditations, including global standard accreditations for senior casualty claims staff. It also means maintaining a strong customer focus, and this is an area Allianz’s team has excelled in throughout these times of change. Allianz has remained focused on soft skills – the people skills that can make all the difference for customers facing stressful times.

For personal lines, Allianz has found having empathetic frontline staff that are understanding of each situation and solution-oriented imperative. SME property and casualty also requires strong relationship management and communication skills to fully support brokers and their customers.

With all of this in mind, Allianz has undeniably been incredibly successful in achieving claims excellence, gaining commendable results at last year’s Mansfield Awards and consistently delivering brilliant outcomes to its customers.

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