To understand why advanced, insurance case management software is critical to building a top claims litigation department, you must start by understanding why traditional case management software is no longer a viable option for insurers. Once you have finished this article outlining the landmines in your search for case management software, make sure to read out article on why insurers need advanced, insurance-specific case management software.
Ideal Benefits of Advanced Insurance Claims Case Management Software:
Using advanced case management software, successful insurer litigation departments streamlined the litigation process, automated key reports and efforts, developed data analytics visuals, and improved case outcomes.
Quality Litigation Process Control:
The software provides streamlined process control to ensure quality across various internal insurer personnel and panel counsel. This is the codification of an insurer’s Litigation Guidelines into the day-to-day workflow of the handling personnel.
Automated Litigation Efficiencies:
The software replaces routine and low-value efforts by insurer and panel counsel personnel with automated tools. The software eliminates clerical efforts such as information management, diaries, documenting updates, and reporting.
Creating Value through Actionable, Transparent Data Analytics:
The software produces valuable applied data analytics and visualizations to create and implement opportunities for substantial improvement and transparency to other insurance departments.
Improved and More Predictable Settlements and Legal Expense:
The software’s combination of quality control and efficiencies enables insurers and panel counsel to close cases for optimal legal fees and settlement amounts.
- Leading insurers harnessed this technology to combat the emerging threats in the courtroom, legislature, and their own departments. Powered by the right tools, leading insurers gave their litigation departments the upper hand in litigation.
Why Traditional Case Management Software Does Not Solve Insurers’ Litigation Problems
Even for top insurers, litigation management advancements did not come easy. Leading insurers looking for solutions had to sift through a market filled with vendor landmines.
When selecting a case management software provider, leading insurers learn which case management software companies are built to help them succeed, and which are simply sales and marketing machines for generic software.
Purchasing Obstacles: The Traditional “Case Management” Software Industry is Littered with Irrelevant Software:
An Insurer’s Search for Case Management Software Begins with Endless False Positives:
Most “case management software” companies are not compatible with insurance company litigation department needs. Below we describe common insurer landmines in the “case management” software industry:
Law Firm Software, not Enterprise Software:
Most traditional “case management software” is for internal law firm use and does not have functionality required to handle an insurance company’s litigation management
Quickbooks and Dropbox for Lawyers:
Most traditional corporate “case management software,” (also known as “enterprise litigation management software”) is primarily an e-billing tool combined with a place for administrative staff to upload documents. The e-billing tool is essentially Quickbooks for lawyers, while the document management system is akin to Dropbox for lawyers.
One Size Fits All:
Most corporate “case management software” is not intended to service insurance claims litigation. Rather, they are intended to manage any type of legal matter, including government and legal contract management departments, mass tort litigation, class actions, electronic discovery, risk management, and corporate compliance.
- To solve the problems in their litigation department, leading insurers must learn how to efficiently distinguish case management software companies for insurers from the “one size fits all” providers.
Highly Limited Components of Traditional Case Management Software:
Traditional case management software has been a significant contributor to many insurers’ litigation problems, rather than solutions. Traditional case management software typically includes two key features best described as “Dropbox and Quickbooks for Lawyers.” Leading insurance companies learned that they needed much more than these limited tools to battle in today’s litigation environment.
Traditional “Matter Management”:
Low Impact, High Risk Features:
Traditional matter management typically consists of law firm administrative professionals sending emails and uploading Word documents containing communication from lawyers. Meanwhile, lawyers and executives aimlessly sift through emails and Word documents without any clear vision into the litigation department’s most pressing issues.
Why Traditional Matter Management is Not Matter Management:
The only people who use traditional case management software are adjusters and legal administrative staff. Neither the insurance company executives nor the lawyers use the software. This is not matter management. This is matter administration, data entry, and documentation.
Insurers using traditional case management software manage cases by saving vast amounts of emails, Word documents, and PDFs to the software. Nobody can efficiently understand what is happening in cases and in the department.
Traditional case management software cannot administer an insurer’s litigation workflows such as triaging, discovery strategies, settlement strategies, and event preparation.
Traditional “E-Billing” and Legal Invoice Auditing:
Unlike the problems presented by traditional case management’s “matter management” features, the e-billing and legal invoice auditing features serve useful, yet limited purposes. Mature litigation departments also understand the risks and burdens of e-billing and legal fee auditing discussed below:
E-Billing is “Quickbooks for Lawyers”:
Insurers using traditional case management software receive paperless billing from their attorneys via an e-billing portal. Decades ago, legal organizations codified certain tasks and activities to provide structure to legal billing. Insurers using e-billing can track panel counsel’s invoices across their litigation. Additionally, the combination of e-billing and the codified structure provided insurers with the ability to set a litigation budget and enforce compliance throughout a case.
E-billing software will also usually provide insurers with the ability to have auditing personnel review and audit the legal invoices, making deductions based on the firms’ compliance with litigation guidelines and budgets. Importantly, without an invoice review team, e-billing software will not provide much value.
Legal Invoice Auditing:
Insurers may choose to have internal resources review the legal bills using the e-billing software. The handling litigation manager reviews the bills each month, or a separate department of internal professionals review the bills. This process is extremely time-consuming. Each month, there are thousands of billing adjustments of thousands of line items contained in thousands of legal invoices. If adjusters conduct the review, this consumes their time and draws them away from managing their cases. Insurers that create a separate department for bill review usually report difficulty sourcing and retaining people in this department.
Because of the internal nature of this form of legal fee auditing, the value (the reduction in legal fees less the expense of auditing) varies a great deal and is generally unknown. More importantly, insurers that only analyze panel counsel expense often negatively impact their bottom line because settlement performance spirals out of control.
Instead of auditing the bills internally, insurers may hire an outside company to staff the legal bill auditing process. Industry sources suggest that third party auditing companies reduce insurers’ legal spend 8-10% on average in the first year and 2-4% thereafter. The value of this program is generally unknown due to the varying costs insurers pay for this service. As with internal auditing, third party auditing does not get insurers any closer to hiring the right panel counsel because it does not include actual settlement performance.
- Leading insurance companies advanced their departments beyond the risky, incomplete traditional case management software. Traditional e-billing, legal fee auditing, and e-billing are helpful pieces in the department. However, leading insurers understood that these solutions merely treat the symptoms of a troubled litigation department, rather than solve any problems.
Traditional Case Management Software Implementation:
Implementing traditional case management software includes several simple steps. Below is an overview of how a traditional case management software provider will propose implementing its software:
Simple Implementation Processes for Simple Software:
Insurers will gather basic case data and documents to enable their departments and panel counsel to use the system on the launch day.
Because of the basic nature of the software, lack of stakeholder involvement, and non-integration with the core litigation business processes, training can be a very simple, short process with administrative staff such as legal secretaries and paralegals.
In most circumstances, implementing traditional case management software will involve minimal configurations.
Integrating traditional case management software with insurer’s claims software is relatively uncommon. From the outset of litigation until the closure, traditional case management software is only going to capture a handful of additional fields of data; namely, personnel, cost and duration. As a result, most traditional case management software is standalone.
Implementing traditional case management software can take as little as one month and as long as over one year. The timeline will hinge on whether the insurer selects to launch with existing cases, or if the insurer slowly transitions onto the case management software by only adding new cases to it.
The most glaring deficiency in traditional case management software deployment is that these providers do not harness the resources of the hundreds to thousands of panel counsel personnel to assist in the implementation. Instead, insurers unnecessarily shoulder the load.
When implementing traditional case management software, the software company will assign one account manager and one technology lead for implementation. These personnel do not have adequate claims experience to manage an optimal implementation, better yet lead it.
As discussed in the training and configurations sections, most traditional case management software implementation does not result in a different business process for stakeholders. Instead, it merely results in a different place to store documents. As a result, implementation requires minimal internal staffing.
- The implementation of traditional case management software mirrors its value to the insurance company: minimal. If the plan is set to produce marginal results, the implementation is not worth the effort and risk. Leading insurers spot a traditional provider by the weakness in its implementation plan and quickly pivot to a better partner.
Traditional Case Management Software Customer Success:
Traditional case management software providers do not correlate their success with their clients’ success. These traditional providers provide mere traces of return on investment, if any. Leading insurance companies select case management software providers based on their return on investment and achievement of businesses objectives. Leading insurers also understand that their needs will evolve over the years, and their partner must be able to adapt.
Incomplete ROI and Business Objectives:
The return on investment of traditional case management software is limited and straightforward.
Traditional case management software providers do not produce return on investment. Further, these systems failing to capture any true performance analytics other than cost and duration, thus they cannot produce mutual business objectives, such as improved settlement performance.
Insurers using e-billing software combined with third party legal fee auditing begin by reducing their legal expense by 8%-10% in the first year. It tapers off shortly thereafter.
Traditional case management software providers will actively monitor the ROI produced only by the legal fee auditing. Account managers will generally be uninvolved in the other key components of insurers’ litigation business, including performance, user adoption, data reliability, and big picture findings.
Rigidity Against Ongoing Configurations:
Because traditional case management software takes a “one size fits all” approach, and because these companies usually staff insurers’ accounts with people without claims experience, configurations are not only limited, they are discouraged.
- Leading insurers learned they cannot devote time and money to a product that does not move the needle. Leading insurance companies choose a case management software provider by the customer success they provide. In fact, these companies never make any software product a priority unless it significantly impacts the bottom line. These leading insurers avoid traditional case management software providers because their return on investment and business objectives are not worth the time.
Now you’re armed with the tools to avoid the common pitfalls insurers face when seeking out case management software. In our next post, we analyze the elements of an advanced insurance case management software and its transformational benefits.