July 21, 2011 – Insurers are diversifying channels, but this is leading to inaccurate contact data. Experian QAS, a division of Experian Marketing Services and a provider of address verification software and services, released a report that examines current attitudes toward contact data quality.

“The Dilemma of Multichannel Contact Data Accuracy” reveals that, for insurers, the traditional contact data collection points – phone and email – are still being utilized, but many insurers are communicating with policyholders through non-traditional channels. Eighty-four percent of the 100 insurance industry respondents are currently capturing customer contact data through mobile applications, and 96 percent see the use of mobile platforms growing. In addition, 95 percent of insurers communicate via social media.

With new collection points, insurers are struggling to achieve accurate contact data. For survey respondents, the median percentage of inaccurate data in an organization’s existing database was 35 percent. Poor contact data affects a variety of operations, from underwriting to policy service. But from a cost perspective, inaccurate contact data can have a significant impact on insurers. 99 percent of insurance industry respondents say that staff budget is wasted on inaccurate data.

The top data errors named in the report include:

  • Incomplete data
  • Outdated data
  • Typos
  • Spelling mistakes
  • Duplicate data

According to the report, the reason for the inaccurate data appears to stem from the way insurers clean contact data – through manual processes, such as staff measurement, manual review and staff training. However, insurers do see the value of monitoring and continuously improving contact data quality. In fact, 90 percent plan to invest in initiatives related to data quality in the next 12 months. And, 27 percent of respondents currently use in-house software tools to cleanse contact data. The most popular tools are point-of-capture address verification, back-office software tools for existing data and e-mail verification.
This story originally appeared on Insurance Networking News.

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