PZU’s sales network is organized in a manner that ensures sales effectiveness along with high quality services. In Poland, the PZU Group boasts the insurance market’s most extensive network of sales and service outlets.
At yearend 2017, the PZU Group’s distribution network included the following:
Scale from 1 to 3, where 3 means the highest share in gross written premium.
Claims and benefits handling
For clients, claims handling is the ‘moment of truth’ when the quality of the product purchased from an insurer is tested. Satisfying client expectations during the claim handling/ case handling process is the key to building PZU’s client relationships. For this reason, the PZU Group took a number of measures in 2017 to streamline and shorten this process.
In Poland, claims and benefits handling is carried out in 6 competence centers operating across the country. It is founded predominantly on electronic information and is not tied to the insured’s place of residence or the insurable event. The competence centers handle specific types of damage, which is conducive to stricter specialization and boosts client satisfaction. These units specialize, without limitation, in handling claims arising from property, motor or personal damage, claims reported by corporate clients, benefits, damage involving in the theft of personal vehicles or claims handled as part of the direct claims handling (DCH) service. A separate unit deals with technical issues related to claims arising from motor or property damage. A similar claims handling model is in place at PZU Estonia where there are 3 competence centers. Centralized among them is only the handling of certain types of damage, such as personal injuries, large property damages and marine damages. In other Group companies operating in the Baltic states and Ukraine, the claims handling process is entirely centralized.
How to report a claim?
PZU was the pioneer of DCH on the Polish insurance market. Currently, DCH is executed in two forms: at an individual level or under the agreement worked out by PIU. At the moment, DCH is provided by entities accounting for nearly 70% of the motor TPL insurance market, as measured by gross written premium. The said agreement, which is based on a lump-sum approach, has dramatically simplified the settlement of claim payments between insurers. PZU also maintained its own DCH solution previously introduced for clients injured by insureds in establishments that did not sign the agreement. On the Ukrainian market, PZU was also the pioneer of DCH. PZU Ukraine paid out the first claim in this form in December 2016. The DCH agreement worked out by the Ukrainian motoring association currently covers 17 insurance undertakings. They account for almost 80% of the TPL insurance market, as measured by gross written premium. In Estonia, direct claims handling has been regulated by the provisions of the TPL Insurance Act since the beginning of 2015. In turn, clients in Latvia who wish to take advantage of direct claims handling must purchase a rider on their insurance.
PZU has built Poland’s largest network of centers that arrange replacement vehicle rental services, roadside assistance services and parking services. A network of centers offering similar services is also being developed in the Baltic states. Currently, clients of Lietuvos Draudimas in Lithuania and the Lietuvos Draudimas branch in Estonia may benefit from replacement vehicle rental services and roadside assistance services. Moreover, since 2015, Lietuvos Draudimas as the only insurer in Lithuania has been arranging such services for holders of TPL insurance.
2017 was another year of cooperation with repair shops in the area of post-accident vehicle repairs in countries covered by the PZU Group’s insurance business. PZU has created Poland’s largest network of cooperating repair shops enabling the Company to control the quality and speed of service already at the claim handling stage. Owing to this, every client who orders a repair in the PZU Pomoc repair network receives a Quality Certificate guaranteeing that the repair has been performed in accordance with the highest standards. PZU continues to develop its proposal to assist clients in managing damage remains by selling them on the Online Assistance platform. Clients are presented with a proposal to sell their damage remains for the highest purchase offer obtained from reliable entities that cooperate regularly with the platform administrator (a similar solution is also available to clients of the Estonian Lietuvos Draudimas branch).
Additionally, PZU has implemented a self-claim handling process activated by the client via a link sent by a text message or e-mail. In accident claims or benefits, the client may freely accept or reject the proposed amount of the benefit. In motor and property damage and in centers repairing devices damaged by a power surge, the client may also, prior to making a decision, assess on his or her own in a few steps the amount of indemnification payable. Such information is then forwarded online to the Case Manager who initiates the payment. This service enables the client to participate in the payout decision in a simple and convenient manner and accelerates the process itself by reducing the waiting time for the disbursement of the benefit. In 2017, the Company also introduced the possibility of calculating the amount of indemnification for a damaged vehicle at the claim reporting stage. Satisfaction surveys carried out among PZU clients reveal the fact that insureds are of a very favorable opinion about this service. Similar improvements are being introduced by the PZU companies in the Baltic states.
PZU keeps working on improving communication with its clients. Traditional letters are being replaced by electronic and telephone forms of contact. Moreover, efforts are being made to adapt all communication, e-mails and text messages for clients to the principles of a simple language so that the information provided to the clients is clear and comprehensible.
Visualizing distinct case handling stages in the form of an Online Case/Claim Status report available to the Group’s clients throughout Poland is a great convenience to clients. By visiting the www.pzu.pl website and logging into the claim/ case, clients may find out in exactly how many steps PZU will carry out the claim handling process, what it will involve, what the current stage of the case is and what has already been done. Also available on www.pzu.pl are video tips on how to handle the claim online. Short videos featuring PZU employees explain to clients how to report a case in a few simple steps and then how to check the status of the case or how to take advantage of the accident policy in case of an accident. PZU - Wideoporada [PZU Video Advice] – Claims handling over the Internet.
An innovative solution that supports the handling of personal injuries under TPL insurance is the Team to Organize Assistance for Accident Victims (PZU Client Relationship Manager). These are mobile members of staff who visit accident victims directly in their homes to determine the actual standard of living of the victim and in consultation with the victim assess his/her needs arising from the accident for which PZU is liable under TPL insurance. For severely injured accident victims, PZU Client Relationship Managers arrange a broad array of medical, social and occupational rehabilitation and psychological support. They provide advice to persons who have become disabled as a result of an accident on how to adapt the closest environment to the needs of a disabled person and how to properly select devices that compensate for dysfunctions or disability. PZU Client Relationship Managers explain to accident victims the rights they have and what documents they should produce. The most severely injured children are provide with comprehensive and long-term support aimed at regaining physical fitness and reducing the adverse consequences of post-traumatic stress.
In 2017, pre-claims handling was introduced, involving the initiation of contacts with the client even prior to reporting a claim. The process was received with appreciation by clients who were favorably surprised by the insurer’s interest almost immediately after the event. For instance, clients were offered the possibility of covering the costs of replacement housing in situations where they had to leave their home due to an explosion or fire or the possibility of using specialists as part of the Assistance service.
Another innovative solution in the claims handling area is the use of the 3D software technology (the processing of two-dimensional photos into a 3D spatial model) to create damage documentation. The results have shown that especially in damages caused in hardly accessible places or large-scale damages PZU may improve the safety of employees and obtain a detailed 3D model of the damage site. In 2018, this technology will be used for the first time in specific damage cases. An invariably significant area of operation in claims and benefits handling is the prevention of insurance fraud. PZU keeps improving the solutions that curtail the payment of undue benefits, hinder the practices of clients counterfeiting documentation filed during the submission of a claim or statements regarding their health status and simplify a number of processes.
In recent years, the PZU Group has been very active in implementing innovative solutions. Activities in this area are supported by the Innovation Laboratory – a unit created with a view to verifying the latest technological trends and testing new solutions across the organization. Modern solutions are being created both internally and in cooperation with the best start-up companies in the respective fields. The first few of them have already been recognized in the international arena (e.g. with the “Insurance Innovation of the Month” prize awarded by the international organization EFMA for the Migam Project enabling the provision of comprehensive remote services to deaf and hearing-impaired clients). Moreover, a portal called Idea Generator has been launched to enable the exchange of ideas and inspirations between employees.
In November 2017, the PZU Management Board adopted the Innovation Strategy developed by the Innovation Laboratory. The purpose of the Strategy is to help pursue the PZU Group’s mission and strategy and maintain the high level of competitiveness in the new technological environment. The Strategy points to three specific areas in which PZU should be especially active while seeking innovation: the use of Big Data, digitalization and new interactions with clients. The Strategy also defines a model-based process of the creation and deployment of innovations.
To date, one of the biggest innovations has been the PZU Everest Platform. It is largest IT project in Central and Eastern Europe and at the same time the Group’s largest business transformation. The Platform is a state-of-the-art tool for sales of non-life insurance, underwriting and management of policies and settlements, the roll-out of which was commenced by PZU back in 2014. The full roll-out process in all channels was completed in Q1 2017. Currently, the Everest Platform is visited by over 35,000 users (agents, multi-agents and PZU employees).
In 2017, work was continued on the Self-Service platform for retail clients with a view to developing the current moje. pzu.pl website. The purpose of the Platform is to provide clients with online access products and services offered by all Group companies (purchase of insurance products, medical services, investment products or savings products) and their subsequent use (reporting claims, setting up a medical appointment, checking the valuation of mutual fund units or other products, paying premiums). On the other hand, after the platform is implemented, having aggregated information about its customers, the Group will be able to distribute information faster and recognize their individual needs.
In January 2018 when the Strategy 2017-2020 was announced, PZU was the first insurer in Europe to introduce PZU GO, an innovative telematics solution designed to improve driver safety. A mobile application combined with a small beacon device will automatically call for assistance in the event of a collision or accident. Additionally, under partnership programs, PZU GO will also provide a benefit package for drivers with a PZU policy and in the future also cheaper motor insurance policies for the best of them.
LINK4 is the Group’s brand known for a long time for its innovative approach to motor insurance. In its efforts to increase the safety of Polish road users, the Company also uses telematic solutions. For every motor policy purchased, it offers a free NaviExpert navigation service that it uses to analyze the driver’s driving style. LINK4 wants to promote and reward those, whose driving style it considers to be smooth and safe; the reward is zlotys that accumulate on the client’s account and are then returned by the company to the client after the end of the one-year settlement period. The ability to receive a partial premium refund motivates drivers to improve their driving style, the additional benefit being the savings on fuel and consumption of car parts, but primarily the safety of the users of Polish roads.
Since weather conditions atypical for our climate (storms, flooding rain, tornadoes) have increased, the company, in cooperation with Skywarn Poland – Polish Storm Hunters, has developed weather alerts. The weather warning system must assist clients in preparing for adverse weather conditions and reduce the level of losses. Starting on 1 January 2018, clients holding house or apartment insurance will receive a text message with a warning of the anticipated dangerous weather conditions. In addition to information about the approaching threat, the text message will also contain a link to the mobile version of the website, where clients will find tips on how to prepare and how to deal with the upcoming danger.