Answering the call when disaster strikes: A better way to manage catastrophe claims
Pilot Catastrophe Services, Inc. (Pilot), headquartered in Mobile, Ala., is an independent insurance adjusting firm that seeks to provide a better way to handle catastrophe claims—better for the carriers, better for the adjusters, and better for the policyholders.
When natural disasters strike, Pilot helps large insurance companies meet the surge in demand for claims processing by supplementing the insurance firms’ workforces with licensed adjusters. These highly trained adjusters travel and work at the disaster site for a week to three months, inspecting properties and filing claims reports. Pilot is the largest company in the United States providing catastrophic adjusting services to insurance companies.
“A lot of players are in the market—but once you get past the marketing, you begin to see gaps in their capabilities that are only rectified by time. There is no replacement for maturity.”
“Our ability to quickly respond to the next disaster with the same number of administrative staff is magnified by Oracle—we'll see a night-and-day difference.”
- Interview stakeholders in all roles—from clerks to executives—and use their insights to build a comprehensive set of real-world requirements.
- Don’t try to boil the ocean. Start with a narrow scope of implementation, then broaden it following initial success. That way, if challenges arise, you’re less likely to need to narrow the scope of the project to overcome them.
- Test, test, and test again to make go-live a non-event.
Why Pilot Catastrophe Services Chose Oracle
Pilot’s claims management and billing process was burdened by manual data entry and a 30-year-old highly customized system running on the IBM AS/400 platform. The platform did not scale easily, and Pilot found it increasingly difficult to find staff to support the aging system. It needed a modern platform that would streamline business processes, provide transparency in reporting, and scale easily to support the growing organization.
Pilot chose Oracle Financial Services Revenue Management and Billing as its new platform because of its robust and flexible capabilities. The choice was novel, as Revenue Management and Billing is typically used by banks and insurance companies. While Pilot works in the insurance industry, its need centered on accurate billing and revenue reporting for staffing services.
With Revenue Management and Billing, adjusters input claims data in the field, and Pilot can then generate invoices rapidly. Pilot bills insurers, pays commission to adjusters, and settles accounts, all in a single platform. In addition, data from Revenue Management and Billing fills a data lake used for corporate reporting and analytics.
Previously, some aspects of Pilot's billing processes weren’t standardized, and many required manual input and intervention. Reporting, for example, often involved accessing multiple systems and combining the data into a spreadsheet. Now, Revenue Management and Billing provides a single source for timely data, and executives are confident in its accuracy. And, manual processes have largely been eliminated, enabling staff members to focus on analysis and other priorities.
In addition, the highly flexible and configurable solution enables Pilot to easily meet unique billing and reporting requirements for each of the insurers that it services. It also helps the company onboard new clients faster.
RIA Advisory, an Oracle Gold partner, led the implementation. Using unique methodology and accelerators, the team completed the project from requirements analysis to go-live within six months, enabling Pilot to get maximum return on its investment within a short amount of time.
“After evaluating multiple vendors in this space, we chose RIA due to their proven experience in helping clients realize value from revenue management and billing implementations. They thoroughly understand our business and culture at every level and tailored a winning approach for us. They are our partner, not our vendor,” said Pilot CFO Travis Goodloe.
The next time Pilot responds to a catastrophic hurricane or other event, Goodloe is confident in the company’s ability to handle the surge in transaction volume—without more administrative staff power. The potential for human error and other bottlenecks will decline dramatically and the company is confident in its ability to calculate commissions and other billing information in seconds, regardless of the number of adjusters.
Next, Pilot plans to apply Revenue Management and Billing to new business models. It’s responding to industry changes by diversifying with services, such as inspection on-demand. It plans to manage billing for these new offerings through this robust solution as well.