At the 10th anniversary of teleclaims, the majority of BT’s retail life insurance claims are now processed without filling in forms

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The majority of BT’s retail customers who are making a claim under their life insurance policies are now doing so by teleclaim, without the need to fill out claim forms. This makes for a more convenient, faster and efficient process, during what is often a very stressful time for customers.

Since BT’s first-to-market launch of teleclaims in 2010, the proportion of claims that are processed over the phone has steadily climbed and now comprises 58% of all new claims received each month, across income protection, trauma, life and terminal illness policies. (For trauma and life, the proportion of all claims that are teleclaims is 55% and 82% respectively.)

The teleclaim process reduces the decision-making time – from notification of a claim to first payment into the customer’s bank account – by up to four weeks. The average time that customers spend on the phone with BT to discuss their teleclaim is a total of 45 minutes, if all information is provided to make a decision.

BT pays a benefit of up to $500,000 via teleclaim under life and terminal illness policies; $250,000 under trauma/living benefit; and $8000 per month under income protection.[1]

Since launching its teleclaims service in March 2010, BT has assisted over 7,063 customers with assessing their claim over the phone without requiring a claim form, paying out a total of $398 million.

Neil Borthwick, BT’s head of claims, life insurance, said: “Over the years, BT has looked for opportunities to streamline life insurance processes, so we can improve the customer experience. From tele-interviewing people who are applying for life insurance, through to teleclaims and using medical ecertificates, we are always striving to make it easier for more Australians to protect themselves and their families.”

Case studies

Teleclaims are claims that require only simple proofs to result in a benefit payment; a typical example is where the client has received a cancer diagnosis.

Example 1 – A 43-year-old customer was diagnosed with breast cancer in March 2019.  She contacted BT’s claims team in May 2019 to discuss lodgement of the claim; and 11 days later submitted the minimal requirements to process the claim, including a histopathology report, authority and identification. Her claim was assessed on the same day the information was received, and the decision to admit was made.  She subsequently received her benefit of nearly $200,000 into her bank account, within 48 hours of it being processed. The customer said to the claims team: “I am so grateful to you all; this payment will assist me so much, and will make my life that little bit easier.”

Example 2 – A 49-year-old customer was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer in July 2019 and had sadly been given a life expectancy of seven to 12 months. Within one week of being notified of the claim, BT assessed and approved it, paying a combined sum insured of over $4 million under terminal illness and trauma policies.

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[1] Amounts are a guide only, as claims are assessed on a case-by-case basis.

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