How we took the pain out of claims

It's the age old question: why does claiming on insurance have to be so painful?
Sean Rowley
Head of Financial Products
Collective Benefits

We all know the drill. You put off claiming for as long as you can. You ring the number provided. You get put on hold, and you wait and wait until someone picks up. Or else you fill in a clunky form and send it off into the ether, hoping to one day hear back.

It doesn’t make sense. In the age of on-demand and always-on, why hasn’t insurance caught up?

When insurance really matters

At Collective, we provide important insurance protections like sick pay, accident pay, family leave and compassionate leave to independent workers like drivers, riders and couriers.

We recently did some research and found that, worryingly, a third of independent workers have no savings at all. That means that when something goes wrong and they need to fall back on their insurance, it really matters that they can actually get their money, and fast. Otherwise, what’s the point?

The same research turned up another troubling stat. Out of 10,000 independent workers with insurance protections like sick pay or accident pay, many had grounds to claim at some point, but only 12% actually had. Two thirds (69%) of those that did had a bad experience, with long waits and piles of paperwork. Something needed to change.

Experience in the age of Uber

There’s another consideration too. The independent workers we protect find work through on-demand platforms. Apps like Uber, Deliveroo and Amazon are known as some of the best brands in the world, and rightly so. Their digital experience is second to none - seamless, simple and intuitive - and that’s the world our users are used to. They manage everything through their phone, from finding day to day work to sorting their finances. Clunky, old-fashioned claims processes simply don’t cut it.

Our answer is almost too simple

After all that build-up, the answer feels a little too obvious. We put the whole process online, and took out anything that wasn’t essential. Easier said than done, right?

The result is a claims process that can legitimately be described as ‘three simple steps’. (Very few things that say that actually are.)

So without further ado...

Someone needs to make a claim. Maybe they’re ill, or just had a baby and need to take some time off. All they need to do is head to their Collective account and:

  1. Tell us what happened
  2. Upload some evidence
  3. Tell us where to send their money

The whole thing takes less than a minute, and once their claim is approved the money will arrive in their account in just a couple of days.

And once a claims process is simple, everything else gets a lot easier too. Over 80% of our users tell us they know what they need to do to make a claim. Plus with so much less unnecessary info, our claims handlers can sift through the data and respond a lot quicker. That means on average we close our claims 92% faster than the industry standard.

“The claim was opened and closed all in one day: all supporting documentation was uploaded without issue, the claim was confirmed and the payment made,” said our claims handler after our very first digital claim. “This is a brilliant example of how the new workflow supports paying valid claims quickly – amazing to be able to receive and pay a claim within the same day!”

But the most important feedback of all comes from the independent workers we serve.

“Thank you Collective Benefits for making things so easy. Really appreciated at this difficult time."

—A courier who recently claimed on accident pay through Collective

There’s always more we can do to improve, but it’s that kind of comment that helps us know we’re on the right track.


July 20, 2021