Photo: iStock

“AI and robotics working hand in hand for the first time” Photo: iStock

WorkFusion automatically extracts the most important information from documents. Dr Gunnar Dolling, Head of top.Claims at HDI Versicherung AG, explains the rationale for HDI’s new strategic partnership.

Published in February 2020 Author: Josefine Zucker

At the end of last year, Talanx entered into a strategic partnership with the start-up WorkFusion. Which problem will the technology from the American company solve?

Every year, more than six million documents are submitted to our Claims Department. One example of this is service centre bills. These are frequently complicated documents without a uniform structure. While specialist service providers give some support for invoices, many other documents such as letters relating to claims registration or emails with description of the damage still have to be dealt with manually by our employees. We want to accelerate this process for the benefit of customers and simplify it to make life easier for employees by providing in-house automation for many of the documents involved.

How do you envisage this in concrete terms?

Use is initially planned for invoices relating to glass breakage in motor insurance. The software can select payment information, transfer address data automatically to our database, and – following checks by the algorithm – forward specified cost estimates directly to the service provider. We are automating our processes intelligently by using machine learning. This means that the algorithms learn autonomously and steadily improve on the basis of feedback.

Dr Gunnar Dolling

“We were sceptical at the beginning of the process. But we quickly saw that it really did work.”

Dr Gunnar Dolling

Head of top.Claims at HDI Versicherung AG

How did cooperation with WorkFusion come about?

We carried out a global contest with the aim of finding the best solution. Various providers trained their software for several weeks using anonymised customer datasets. Testing was then carried out. WorkFusion was the winner. They trained a model that immediately tripled the existing productivity in processing documents. Furthermore, their algorithm was already achieving a high level of accuracy for the key attributes. For example, the software recognised correctly that an invoice needs to be paid within a period of 30 days – this is information that even real people sometimes miss when they are processing documents. That was a positive surprise for us.

What is special about the new solution?

We have intelligent automation of a complete process here. Everything is carried out within one software system, which can make intelligent decisions as an overall system – and not in individual components. AI and robotics are therefore working hand in hand for the first time. The AI platform can take decisions autonomously. We were sceptical at the beginning of the process owing to the complexity of invoices and the claims system that needs to be serviced. But we quickly saw that it really did work.

What are the next steps for the project?

As far as we were concerned, it was important not to simply purchase some software. We are entering into a strategic partnership with WorkFusion and developing the software together. Our aim is to identify how lots of different processes can be automated within a very short space of time. The plan is to keep below four weeks for a process from the idea to roll-out. Various Talanx subsidiaries across the world have already expressed an interest in using the software as well. We are planning rapid upscaling for HDI in Germany and we would like to use the new solution to partially automate a large proportion of the processes in claims already during the course of this year.

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