Innovation is one of the key values for the PZU Group. The New Strategy for 2017-2020 defines it as familiarity with client needs, searching for new solutions and setting trends on the financial services market. Innovation also signifies thinking outside the box, breaking molds and looking for opportunities to streamline how the company functions.
Innovation in the PZU Group is not limited to a single division, project or area. Smaller and greater changes are constantly being made to every aspect of how the firm operates, and they combine to form a picture of one of the most innovative companies in the financial industry in Europe. PZU’s innovations contribute to client satisfaction, which is a top priority for the Group, and to employee comfort, and at a micro scale, to the development of the overall economy.
The Innovation Strategy adopted by PZU in November 2017 supports the pursuit of the overall PZU Group’s mission and strategy. Three major areas are set forth thereunder in which particular effort is expended to find new solutions:
The Innovation Strategy is reflected in the projects and initiatives run by PZU. The Group fathoms that innovations call for the creation of creative space fostering the generation of ideas, prototyping original solutions and building a culture of innovativeness. The Innovation Laboratory team is such a place in PZU. Its overarching task is to search for modern solutions, check them, perform tests and support rollouts. Moreover, special processes have been forged in the entire organization to facilitate rapid testing and implementation of innovative solutions. During a given year the Innovation Laboratory Team analyzes nearly 2 thousand solutions and ideas relating to innovations; from among that number 12-15 innovations are slated for piloting.
“The fundamental principle by which we are guided in PZU Group’s Innovation Laboratory is “Talk less, do more”. We are advocates of doing rapid prototyping and testing our ideas with clients as rapidly as possible.”
Strategy of innovation
In the PZU Group in 2018 more than PLN 160 million was designated for innovative projects4.
The outcomes were appreciated by independent experts, among others from the EFMA organization:
Laboratory is the Data Lab project. Having regard for the size of its business and its lengthy operating history, PZU has one of the largest data files in Poland. Data Lab checks how this data set, by tapping into the most advanced technologies and analytical methods, can be harnessed to enhance the organization’s efficiency and produce many millions of savings. Experts from Polish Data Science companies support the work done by Data Lab, while projects are executed in all of the organization’s areas.
Selected pilot projects completed in Data Lab:
Future Makers Challenge
Young program participants backed by their managers from Innovatika, mentors from PZU and specialists in market research, product development, UX and communication worked on the PZU Group’s business challenge. The task they received was to devise the most attractive method of communication with clients to lead to the purchase of insurance. The proposed solution may rely on the utilization of a selfie on the basis of which information can be obtained related to things like age or emotions, and even the health status of a given person.
Thanks to participation in this program the young participants had the opportunity to gain a better grasp on the insurance business while the PZU Group’s mentors could get to know their viewpoint on the type of insurance company they would like to deal with in the future.
PZU’s commitment to developing innovations by supporting acceleration programs, among others, MIT EF Poland. Cooperation with startup accelerators.
Innovation in PZU denotes support for innovative solutions created outside the company. The company takes part in two startup acceleration programs: MIT Enterprise Forum Poland and Alior Bank’s RBL Start. New companies in particular can count on substantive and organizational assistance if their ideas address PZU’s business needs. More than 10 PZU mentors are involved in this process: until the end of 2018 one pilot was conducted on automating medical services handling by using technology tapping into semantic OCR. The next two pilot projects in the framework of these accelerators were in progress.
Innovations in PZU can rescue clients’ life and health. At the turn of 2017 and 2018 work was begun on a breakthrough solution for the owners of passenger vehicles - PZU GO. This is app connected to a small device known as a beacon that is glued to the insider of the vehicle’s windshield. The beacon is outfitted with a high quality accelerometer and a small battery whose lifetime in Polish weather conditions is estimated to last at least three years. The device communicates with an app and if a major accident transpires, an employee from the PZU alarm center contacts the client to check whether he or she needs support. If the employee does not receive a response, then the rescue services are summoned to proceed to that site.
During developmental work PZU GO was tested, among others, on a track in Poznań with a group of professional stuntmen. Simulations of road events made it possible to verify the algorithms to detect accidents. Two events: a head-on collision with a fixed obstacle at a speed of 35 km/h and a side impact collision of two cars at a speed of 60 km/h - confirmed the capacity to detect accidents automatically while minimizing irregular notifications.
Robotics deserve special mention among the innovative solutions employed by the PZU Group. Robotic Process Automation has been operating successfully in the company since 2018. This is software that operates existing systems and apps just like a human operator. However, no changes are made to them. Only the actions specified in the job position instructions are taken. If it fails to find something in that app, or if it happens upon systemic limitations, it stops and turns over the rest of the tasks to an employee. In the duties the robot performs it uses only encrypted data. It operates rapidly, faultlessly and during off-peak hours, or for instance during the night.
The first robotic process in PZU was to update litigation provisions for the Claims and Benefits Handling Department. This task involved the input of data into claims in the system on the pending litigation proceedings in those cases and the provisions related to them for claims paid and costs. During the early months of 2018 PZU employees turned over five more processes to the robots from the Claims and Benefits Handling Department and the Service Processes Department.
|Action||What kind of actions are to be taken|
|Initial analysis of motor own damage claim||Collecting information from many tabs and gathering it in one spot related to the claim|
|Initial analysis of child birth claim||Collecting information from many tabs and gathering it in one spot related to the case and verification of insurance continuity in the Kangur system|
|Preparing extra amounts to be paid for claims based on invoices for Repair Network workshops in the Trust Model in motor own damage claims||Preparing decisions about extra payments for claims|
|Vehicle towing||Calling a tower with a car trailer after the client reports the case to Assistance|
|Arranging the lease of replacement vehicle paid for from the perpetrator’s TPL insurance||Preparing the framework for the Assistance case directly after a claim is reported by the victim and a request for lease is made|
Easily, with greater accessibility, independently
The efficiency of information systems is indispensable to enable clients to utilize the Group’s products through the web on their own (referred to as the self-service channel). The innovative #myPZU internet platform launched in 2018 enables users to do the following things, among others:
All these solutions are accessible in a single venue while users can easily search for the information they need. At the same time, the platform maked it possible, among other things, to unify the client databases and abandon many hard-copy forms. In the future the Group plans to extend the number of products offered in myPZU.
The key project completed in 2018 was the rebuilding of the pzu.pl corporate website. Nearly 120 people toiled for more than a year on the new unveiling of this website which is also available in a version for smartphones. The outcome is an innovative and intuitive internet platform that provides easy access to all of PZU’s products and services. In a single spot you can find the following items, among others:
A CMS system was launched along with the refreshened service that makes it easy to edit quickly information on the website.
Claims handling done with greater customization and more quickly
In this time of automation and digitalization of processes, clients expect to an even greater degree a customized approach. That is why in April 2018 a new job title was introduced in the PZU Group, namely: Relationship Manager.
Depending on client expectations, the Relationship Manager handles claims and advises of progress in a given case. The Relationship Manager can also provide support to clients, act as their advisor offering specific solutions in a difficult situation, and efficiently organize and manage all the services PZU offers in the framework of handling a notification. That person’s task is to walk clients through the entire process in the least cumbersome manner, ascertain their preferences regarding, for instance, channels of communication or methods of rectifying the loss.
The New Claims Handling Model under a formula based on client support provided by the Relationship Manager enables the injured party to avoid many formalities related to claims handling. The RM’s role is to prepare the best solutions for clients and provide advisory services to select the most optimal choice involving, among other things, the method of calculating a claim or the selection of a workshop. The pilot project completed in 2018 spanning the handling of 4.5 thousand claims was very well assessed by its participants, chiefly on account of the formalities having curtailed to a minimum and the ability to choose from the options prepared by the RM.
Under this new model the process for handling the claims notification has also changed. The revolutionary solution is the notification.pzu.pl web service through which clients can report motor and property claims within a mere 5 minutes.
Mobile PZU Agent:
a modern tool for employees and non-life agents that operates online and offline alike. With its assistance inspections can be performed by any user.
The Mobile Agent app introduced in 2018 gives substantial support to clients. It allows them to count on getting faster service in many instances. This program enables PZU agents to send photos from vehicle inspections directly from their mobile phone. These pictures are loaded onto PZU’s system and subsequently they are assigned to a client’s corresponding account. Up to the end of 2018, an average of 600 claims per month were handled using video inspections. At the end of 2018, more than 6 thousand intermediaries had used this app.
This project including the previously-introduced self-service (unilateral calculation of the claim amount) and simplified service (without doing a vehicle inspection) enables PZU to accelerate the process of determining the claim amount to be paid. Traditional methods for determining the extent of the claim are still being used, among others, inspections by the Mobile Motor Expert at a location specified by a client or in a repair network workshop.
The service notification pzu.pl launched in 2018 proved to be a landmark moment. It is possible to report a loss or a claim at a record-breaking fast pace and determine its value. In motor and non-life claims clients receive an automatically calculated proposal of the indemnity payment. The new tool has also been made available for use by Contact Center employees. That means that the registration of a claim through our information line takes less time. The content of this service was the subject matter of consultation with the Institute of Simple Polish at the University of Wrocław. Clear and comprehensible graphics and photos were also used. This platform is adapted for use on mobile devices.
The outcome of these efforts is the shortening of the time it takes to register claims from 15 to 5 minutes. The number of cases registered by the internet service has jumped up by nearly 20%.
Up to the end of 2018 this system had analyzed nearly 20 thousand motor TPL / motor own damage cost estimates - artificial intelligence requires a mere 30 seconds to analyze the documentation. This solution makes it possible to select 90% of the documentation that fulfills the requirements needed to preserve high quality of claims handling in PZU. The artificial intelligence will forward the remaining 10% of the documentation requiring additional expertise for analysis to be done directly by PZU employees. Thanks to the introduction of this system, the ratios concerning the quality of motor TPL / motor own damage claims handling improved at least 10 times.
Since 2018 PZU has had a special program to assist injured parties in accidents. This is a unique solution that sets the company apart on the Polish insurance market. The company offers customized and comprehensive support to persons who have sustained grave injury or have lost a relative in an accident caused by someone holding motor TPL insurance in PZU.
During direct meetings employees from PZU’s Relationship Managers Team analyze the health and life status of the injured party and identify his or her needs. They also offer assistance in pulling together the documentation required to obtain benefits from PZU and state institutions, foundations and associations. If needed they organize psychological, medical or legal assistance. In 2018 nearly twenty people took advantage of these benefits every quarter. Psychological assistance was also provided to roughly 20% of the injured parties.
School breaks and vacation trips involving therapy and recreation for children and their caregivers (100 spots are available per annum) are organized under the program to provide assistance to injured parties in accidents.