What is an FNOL?
FNOL stands for first notification of loss, and is usually the first step in the insurance claims process. It is the initial report made to an insurance provider following loss, theft, or damage of an insured asset. It plays a crucial role in the claims management process as it is the first point of contact between the insured and the insurer.
Historically the first notification of loss process is a manual, call centre-based service requiring extensive data gathering, but they can now be digitised. A digitised FNOL is referred to as an e-FNOL – Electronic First Notification of Loss or digital FNOL.
Digital First Notification of Loss systems leverage technology to automate and streamline key aspects of the claims management process. They provide a centralised platform for policyholders to report claims, insurers to gather information, and adjusters to evaluate the claim and determine an appropriate course of action. These systems have revolutionised the claims management process by eliminating manual and time-consuming tasks, increasing access to real-time data, and enabling insurers to make informed decisions promptly.
Functionality can allow e-FNOLS to be accessed by the claimant so that they can upload correspondence and evidence of the claim.
Why is a digital First Notification of Loss important?
- Faster claims processing – One of the primary benefits of digital FNOL is its ability to expedite the claims processing timeline. Traditional paper-based FNOL processes often involve multiple manual steps, including filling out paper forms, mailing or faxing them to the insurer, and waiting for confirmation. This leads to delays and potential errors in the information provided.
With a digital First Notification of Loss system, policyholders can report their claims online or through mobile apps, eliminating the need for physical paperwork. The system can automatically validate the provided information, reducing the likelihood of errors or missing details. Additionally, the automated nature of digital First Notification of Loss allows insurers to receive and process claims in real-time, enabling them to initiate the claims assessment and settlement process more promptly.
- It improves the customer experience – by making claims processing easier and quicker, an e-FNOL will allow claims handlers more time to provide empathy and support for their customers. Additionally, the more information received the quicker claims can be settled. How the First Notification of Loss process is handled and the speed in which claims are settled can make or break a customer experience, and a good experience can result in customer loyalty.
- It empowers the Claims Handler – by providing streamlined and immediate access to essential claim information, expediting the claims process..
- Reduces double keying/improves accuracy – Digital FNOL systems significantly improve accuracy and efficiency in claims management. By eliminating manual data entry, insurers can reduce the risk of errors and ensure that accurate information is captured from the start. Moreover, these systems often include validation checks to verify the completeness and accuracy of the information provided, minimizing the need for follow-up inquiries or additional documentation.
Furthermore, digital FNOL enables insurers to automate various mundane tasks that were previously done manually. This includes claim assignment, data extraction, reserve setting, and fraud detection. By automating these processes, insurers can free up valuable time for claims adjusters and enable them to focus on evaluating complex claims and resolving issues promptly. Overall, this leads to improved efficiency and faster resolution of claims.
- All information about the incident is received in one hit – all required information can be specified on the FNOL, and the fields can be set as mandatory fields to ensure that all information is gathered in one fell swoop, which again improves claims handling efficiency and service.
- Will reduce the cost of claims handling – statistics show that claims processing represents the single largest cost to insurers, so finding ways to speed up the process, reduce paper-based workflows and better manage the volume and complexity of claims will save money.
- Enhanced security – Digital FNOL systems offer enhanced security compared to their paper-based counterparts. Traditional FNOL processes involve the exchange and storage of physical documents, which can be at risk of loss, theft, or damage. On the other hand, digital FNOL systems provide secure and encrypted platforms for policyholders to report claims and insurers to manage and store claim-related information.
These systems often feature robust security measures, such as secure data transmission protocols, encryption, access controls, and data backups. Additionally, digital FNOL allows insurers to implement authentication mechanisms, such as two-factor authentication, to ensure the security and privacy of the reported information. By adopting digital FNOL systems, insurers can mitigate the risk of data breaches and safeguard sensitive policyholder information.
How can Alphatec help?
The aim of all Alphatec’s software solutions is to improve, streamline, and manage work processes better. Features of our ClaimControl software include task automation, workflow management, notifications and reminders, time recording and task allocation, at a glance work in progress and much more.
We can configure a bespoke e-FNOL for your organisation. This form can be linked to your own intranet / website, so that when data is entered, it directly populates the claim record. The e-FNOL can be claim type specific, so that once you have entered the claim type, only fields relevant to that claim type appear. Furthermore, the e-FNOL can be accessed via a client portal on your own website and your clients can enter the data themselves, view updates, status changes, and upload correspondence and evidence. Customer can also run their own detailed reports on a self-service basis via the client portal.