When it comes to speed records, ducks are hardly on par with, say, cheetahs. But that hasn’t stopped supplemental insurance company Aflac and its spokesduck from trying to satisfy modern customers who increasingly expect faster service with a simplified submission process for claims that it says can result in payments within 24 hours.
Supplemental insurance provider Aflac has introduced One Day Pay, an initiative it says allows the company to receive, process, approve, and disburse payments to policyholders for eligible claims within one business day.
That’s because the company has simplified its claims submission process via online system SmartClaim, which it says provides easy-to-answer questions to guide users. Once the questions are answered, SmartClaim identifies the supporting documents the policyholder needs to upload before the claim is submitted and processing begins, the brand says.
If an eligible claim is submitted with all supporting documentation via SmartClaim by 3 p.m. ET Monday to Friday, Aflac says it will process, approve, and disburse payment for the claim within one business day. To receive payments faster, direct deposit enrollment is also available.
SmartClaim is available for many individual claims, regardless of whether they are simple, moderate, or complex, Aflac says. That includes approximately 70 percent of individual policies in force, according to Michael Zuna, chief marketing officer at Aflac, noting SmartClaim is not available for short term disability (excluding accident and sickness riders), life, vision, dental, Medicare supplement, long-term care/home health care and health care reform riders.
“A lot of insurance companies talk about how much money they’ll save policyholders on premiums, but people buy insurance to get paid,” Zuna said. “We make it a priority to not only pay claims fast – but also process claims fast. We know that policyholders who’ve had an illness or accident also have expenses that won’t wait.”
In other words, One Day Pay is an effort to satisfy modern customers who have come to expect immediate gratification thanks in large part to the digital realm. In fact, Aflac cites research that shows 81 percent of Facebook and Twitter users want a same-day response to questions and complaints.
“Along with this increased pace of life, consumers are pushed to bear more of the cost and responsibility for their health care in the new health care environment, so they expect more from their health care insurance partners than ever before,” Zuna said. “We understand that and for the past seven years, we’ve been processing and paying most claims in an average of four days. One Day Pay is simply the natural evolution of the way we’ve been doing business.”
To promote One Day Pay, Aflac says it is launching “the largest, most integrated marketing campaign in the company’s history” and the brand will “bring the One Day Pay initiative to life in compelling ways across a wide variety of media.”
That includes skipping commercial breaks during television events to bring viewers back to the programming they want. This “accelerated commercial break experience” debuted for viewers watching the E! “Live From the Red Carpet” show prior to the Grammys on February 8 and will continue throughout the year with humorous skits about speed on Jimmy Kimmel Live, as well as on FX, where Aflac says it will ferry consumers to the suspenseful endings of popular movies quicker, and in major sporting events like the Daytona 500, where the brand will also help speed viewers to the finales.
According to Zuna, each “accelerated commercial break experience” will vary depending on the program, but viewers can expect Aflac to take over an entire commercial break and skip the commercials without the wait “in at least five television events within the next month or two.”
This, Zuna says, “focuses on Aflac’s commitment to speed…No matter what consumers are watching or interested in, we want to offer viewers more of what they want, without the wait.”
Fans of the Aflac Duck on Facebook and Twitter will also get a glimpse of the claims process behind the scenes through a series of videos in which Aflac Claims Specialists share their perspectives on how processing and paying claims quickly positively impacts Aflac policyholders, the brand says. The content is intended to “help bring a human touch to Aflac’s claims experience” and will be aggregated on Aflac’s One Day Pay Tumblr page.
What do you think of Aflac’s effort to meet the needs of modern consumers?