The turn of twenty-first century has witnessed dramatic reformation in two realms— family income and softening of global crude oil prices. As the oil prices descended, vehicles became indispensable and number of vehicles plying on the roads spiked up. The report published by International organization of Motor Vehicle (OICA) clearly indicates that there has been a sharp rise in the number of cars sold around the world and that 25 million more units were sold between 2005 and 2016 than the decade earlier. Today, people own classy vehicles including Chrysler 300, BMW M6, Audi, Mercedes-Benz and many more than ever before. While these are the necessities of few, the sky-high demand of Maruti, Hyundai and Honda’s variable ranges of cars, including the pollution free battery operated cars, has also drastically increased over the years.
This sharp rise in car sales can be attributed to the fact that a personal car is still considered the most desirable mode of transport, especially for businesses and families. However, ownership of a personal vehicle is a double-edged sword. While a car ensures convenient means of regular transportation, even a small mishap while driving can prove to be disproportionately costly for the car owner. And not surprisingly, this steep rise in vehicle sales has also contributed to an equally sharp rise in the road accidents, which has, in turn, increased the number of accidental claims handled by the insurance companies. Involvement of multiple stake holders such as the repairer, adjuster and insurance claim personnel makes the insurance claims process unnecessarily cumbersome and time consuming. In spite of deploying digitally managed work flows and documentation process within an organisation, it is the lack of collaboration among all stakeholders that impedes the overall settlement process. Realising these drawbacks in the insurance industry, Merimen was incepted in 2000 to build an online collaboration platform to ease the settlement process. The idea is to leverage internet-based technologies to help organisations participating in the claims process. Trevor Lok, CEO, Merimen, explains, “Merimen is now a leading provider of enterprise solutions for the motor insurance industry. Our Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) platform is the most preferred choice in the Asia-Pacific region.”
Boosting Collaboration in Claim Settlements
Each claim process involves multiple to-and-fro conversations with multiple parties i.e. lawyers, repairers, adjusters, who work in their own operational sphere. This often results in mis communications, delays, human errors, inconsistencies in statuses and there fore, offers no overall visibility on the progress. In addition, lack of transparency and actionable insights increases the overall cost of monitoring and investigation.
Merimen combines technology expertise with its extensive knowledge of insurance claims processing and underwriting practices gathered over the years. Its industry leading SaaS platform—e Claims— facilitates insurance claim processing and adds businesses value to general insurers. Its prowess lies in building an integrated ecosystem of collaboration among stake-holding organisations and creating value for all the participants by virtue of increased efficiency achieved through seamless collaboration. Merimen's platform enables insurance companies to implement full life-cycle solutions at a lower risk and lower cost environment. The company's pay-as-you-use billing model lowers the entry barrier for small and medium sized organisations. Trevor Lok enumerates, “As of now, about 120 insurance companies, 5000 motor repairers, 2000 insurance intermediaries, and 500 loss adjusters and law firms are using Merimen's SaaS platform in their claim settlement work-flow.”
Merimen Technologies’e Claims platform facilitates collaboration among all stake holders involved in an insurance claim settlement process. The company's cloud based SaaS platform creates a unified collaborative work flow for streamlined communication among participants, allowing parties to transact, manage and process end-to-end motor as well as non-motor claims. During claim settlement process, the extensive data collected is in turn consolidated into a comprehensive analytics suite of over 100 standard and industry reports, and KPI charts to provide actionable insights. The ability to automate repetitive tasks aids in the processing and results in faster settlements.
Merimen's platform comes with other complementary modules, which are used with in the insurance ecosystem as tools to either directly reduce the claims costs, or indirectly via a reduction in the claims assessment costs. The 'eTender' module, for instance, facilitates online tendering of loss or theft-recovered wrecks.
Interested buyers may bid for these items and make the purchase online. Similarly, the platform comes with the 'eSource' module, which creates an ecosystem for online sourcing of auto parts for use in collision repair, to obtain competitive rates from suppliers. The module helps in resolving the motor claims in cost effective and timely manner. Yet another module, eXchange offers a platform for the exchange of information and documents between different organizations, especially between insurers, and thus, enables implementation and tracking of the subrogation recovery process. Trevor Lok expounds, “Merimen clearly knows that without an integrated platform for collaboration and a centralised document repository to store case documents such as accident reports, surveyor reports, policy information, accident pictures and videos, digital documents are shared among parties with no proper audit trail and case reference.” The process remains unstructured and inefficient for sharing, storing and retrieval of important files. Merimen's solutions solve this problem effectively with its eXchange module.
Automated Policy Enabler
The creation of insurance products, with its associated under writing and rating rules, can be a complex under taking. For a solution provider like Merimen, the challenge comes from creating good tools for our clients to configure and automate the new products. Any delay results in a longer time-to-market (hence possibly missing the best launch window) and only partial automation. Merimen'se Policy product provides a platform for real-time processing and automation of policy-related transactions. The policies offered by the insurers are created and managed in ePolicy, including the associated underwriting and premium rating rules. It enables usage by three key parties in an insurance policy—Insured, Insurer and Intermediaries, to interact through Merimen's integrated platform. Apart from its flagship solutions—eClaims and ePolicy, Merimen also provides industry-wide solutions which include features such as country-level centralized accident/claim reporting, No-Claim Discount (NCD) enquiry, centralized certification of repair shops, and standardized subrogation recovery platform which is used by all insurance companies.
Operational Aspects Promoting Multitude of Growth
Trevor Lok, exclaims, “There are two aspects of our operations of which we are particularly proudof: Merimen’s customer retention rate and strength of our technical team.” Merimen’s customer churn rate so far is zero percent. Only excluding handful of customers who underwent M&A or those who restructured their business, the company was successful in retaining all its eClaims customers working with it, since day one. Even for ePolicy, over the years, the company has maintained a high success ratio. And, this reflects the best testimony to the company’s record of continuous improvements of solutions and its ability to remain pertinent to its customers’ dynamically evolving needs. Secondly, Merimen’s unique Technical Team has immensely helped it to create best-in-class solutions in the industry. For instance, the company has been using AJAX since 2001, even before the term AJAX was coined, a fact that shows the ingenuity of its technical team. Even Gmail application, which was launched in 2004, was among the first well known applications to use AJAX extensively.
The company works with its customers in close proximity to achieve very fast roll-out and then builds upon the live system with continuous use-learn-enhance cycles. This ensures delivery of robust implementations that stays relevant over time as Merimen’s customers operating requirements evolve.
Merimen’s industry leading SaaS platform—eClaims—facilitates insurance claim processing and adds businesses value to general insurers
The Malaysia headquartered company presently has nearly 120 insurance clients in APAC region, mainly in South East Asia. To further serve its customers, the company is looking forward to expand its product offerings under the banner of eClaims and ePolicy, with added features covering areas such as data science and analytics, fraud detection, and geo-location. Merimen is also thinking afresh about ecosystem expansions. For doing this, the company is adding more participants into its ecosystem of users, such as on-site surveyors, warranty repairers (for extended warranty insurance), salvaged parts purveyors, financial institutions, medical institutions and others. Last but not the least, the company also intends to flourish geographically across North East Asia, South Asia, Middle East, and Europe. With multi-pronged growth plans, Merimen Technologies has come up as a pioneering leader in the insurance services industry and aims to remain at the forefront in the foreseeable future.