Sjóvá Uses Visual Claims to Improve Service and Lower Carbon Emissions

Iceland is unlike any other place on Earth.

The North Atlantic island is the most sparsely populated country in Europe. The majority of its 385,000 residents live in, and around, the capital city of Reykjavík. The rest make their home in more than 100 towns and villages located mainly around the coast.

Iceland is an ancient land of glaciers and volcanoes, with long dark evenings lit by the Northern Lights.

But it’s also a place where pipes burst in the middle of the night. A place where cars sliding on ice cause accidents and too much snow can collapse a roof.

In other words, it’s a place where people need insurance in case things go wrong.

That’s where Sjóvá comes in.

The Company: Innovative insurance in the “Land of Fire & Ice”

Sjóvá is a leading Icelandic insurer, offering personal and commercial policies. The company is headquartered in Reykjavík, with branch offices located across the country.

Sjóvá has been on the forefront of innovation and technical development within the insurance industry.

In 2019, they were open to learning about technology solutions that could improve both customer and employee experiences when they connected with SightCall.

The Challenge: How to serve better from anywhere… at any time?

Sjóvá wanted to make their claims process faster and more efficient.

Here’s an example of a typical claim for the company…

Most Icelandic homes are kept warm with geothermal heating which involves moving water through the home. When a homeowner has issues with plumbing, the problem needs to be resolved quickly.

Sjóvá processes thousands of claims each year for broken or damaged pipes.

Previously, when a Sjóvá customer called to report a broken or damaged pipe, they would reach an agent. That agent would collect as much information as possible over the phone before contacting a plumbing specialist and dispatching the plumber and an agent to the site.

Adjusters and experts often had to allow for significant travel time, especially if the location was in a remote location. And most claims could only be started after visual confirmation on-site, which meant the homeowner was left waiting for both the agent and the plumber to arrive.

The longer it took to file the claim, the higher the risk of increased loss, costs and compensation for the customer. Slow resolution led to unhappy customers.

The biggest challenge for Sjóvá was finding a way to get better information instantly. Doing so would help make the claims process faster and more efficient.

"Our goal was to unify the customer journey and the claims process… SightCall was a brilliant solution."

- Ólafur Þór Ólafsson Head of Claims

The Solution: Faster and more environmentally friendly claims service

Sjóvá added SightCall Visual Support to their claims handling process. They also created a domestic claims team, based at their headquarters, to help leverage the remote visual support platform.

Today, customers who call in a claim can initiate a video connection with a Sjóvá agent via SightCall, which the company customized as a white-label service they call Insight.

Agents can use Insight to guide customers in collecting images, video and other vital information to immediately start the claims process.

“It’s hugely beneficial for decision making,” said Head of Claims, Ólafur Þór Ólafsson.

The ability to remotely put an expert eye on-site at the First Notice of Loss proved to be a huge advantage.

By getting a preliminary visual on the problem, the company could quickly determine next steps and get a quick read on the viability of the claim. It helped Sjóvá decide how fast they needed to respond.

With visual context provided by SightCall, the company can better prepare the specialists who arrive on site. And those specialists can communicate back to Sjóvá´s headquarters using the same remote video tool, which can also relay data such as measurements, signatures and serial numbers.

Sjóvá’s domestic claims team also provides a 24/7 emergency hotline for clients, who can initiate a remote video call with an agent.

SightCall has helped transform the speed and effectiveness of Sjóvá’s response and allows customers to file a claim in a couple of hours instead of days or weeks.

In 2022, the company estimated that approximately 25% of all property claims were handled through remote services.

The Sustainability Side Effects: Cutting costs and saving the planet

While Sjóvá’s initial motivation was to clear cases faster, deploying SightCall helped them win some national recognition for sustainability.

The company earned the 2022 Environmental Initiative of the Year Award for their remote inspection solution, Insight, and for promoting the environmental benefits of windshield repair versus windshield replacement.

Performing remote video inspections helped them dramatically reduce travel costs and time.

“If we compare the average savings over the last few months, it can be estimated that more than 100,000 km of driving has been saved since the solution was put into use at the beginning of 2021. In this way, the emission of more than 15 tons of C02 has been prevented.” - Icelandic Confederation of Business

Members of Sjóvá leadership received the award in October 2022, presented by the President of Iceland.

“We want to take advantage of the opportunities we have in innovation and product development to improve our service to customers while taking into account the environment and the interests of society as a whole,” wrote executive director of claims Elín Eiríksdóttir. “We see this recognition as an incentive to continue vigorously on this path, and we truly intend to do so."

Today, reducing global impact remains a key part of Sjóvá’s mission to provide quality, innovative service to its customers.

Ólafsson also noted a small change in the employee interviewing process.

“Before, WE were interviewing the applicants, and now they are interviewing us!” he said. “They want to know what we’re doing [in terms of sustainability] … because they are not going to work for someone that is not complying.”

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