SCA makes significant and ongoing investments in numerous areas of claim technology. We do this to ensure our ability to maintain and grow partnerships with name-brand carriers as well as provide tools that make working for and doing business with SCA easier. This is part 1 in an ongoing series about how SCA prioritizes technology to remain a leader in the auto, specialty, and property claims-handling space.
“The days of having a server under the desk of your company’s IT person are long gone,” says Jeff White, head of SCA’s Strategic Initiatives.
White is an integral part of the team that ensures SCA remains in compliance with the reams of unique technology documentation and standards each client is required by both federal and state governments to obtain and verify their appraising and adjusting vendors.
To maintain existing policies and create new ones surrounding carrier requirements, as well as improve cyber security safeguards, White says he and the management at SCA invest “hundreds of manhours and tens of thousands of dollars annually” into compliance.
Their work involves maintaining a highly detailed library of documentation on all aspects of IT, HR, business processes, data security, and data integrity. Specialized documentation that includes topics such as digital file retention and destruction, internal and external system penetration testing, business continuity/disaster recovery plans, background checks on both personnel and third-party companies, cyber security training topics, and Data Center SOC2 compliance (a universally embraced gold standard related to data warehousing, data encryption, proper network segmentation, server access integrity, and data confidentiality, and privacy).
A majority of insurance carriers, and all those in the Top 20, have claim departments that are guided by the approval of their IT compliance departments on which vendors can be used to provide service. At least throughout the last decade, SCA’s stringent commitment to the highest technology compliance standards has kept a steady increase in both new clients and claim volume flowing to the company’s massive nationwide network of appraisers. “Insurance adjusters can’t just assign work to someone who brings donuts to the office anymore,” says White. “That used to work at the local office level, but today every carrier is held by DOI regulations to make sure their assignment data is sent and returned in a secure manner with no possible exposure of vehicle owner PII (Personally Identifiable Information).”
And by that, White means carriers have been forced into consolidating their methods of inspection to those where each vendor partnership is evaluated on numerous levels prior to engagement. Assignments are won or lost depending on the provider having a centralized data security effort in place that filters down to all offices and employees nationwide. Carriers also demand assurance that the provider can evidence documentation of policies and procedures around protecting and preserving policyholder data.
Technology sophistication, information security, and data encryption will continue to be an essential and growing component in the practice of claim servicing as we all move into a more web-connected future. SCA is committed to meeting or exceeding the standards set by the insurance industry by employing a constant cycle of reinvestment, enhancement, testing, and documentation.