Adjuster of the Future: Transformation through Technology

By Ramon Lopez, VP, Claims Innovation, USAA

Ramon Lopez, VP, Claims Innovation, USAA

At USAA our mission is to help facilitate our member’s financial security, by leveraging new and emerging technologies we are able to continuously improve our member experience. Often, this boils down to delivering the right information at the right time. Technological advancements that are changing the business environment or will in the near future include: vehicles that instantly generate their own damage assessments at the time of an accident; remote sensing technology and aerial imagery that eliminate the need to have physical measurements of homes; and natural language processing that changes how adjusters interact with information.

As member needs and expectations evolve, the industry is in a race to deliver a frictionless claims experience. While basic needs and transactions will be expected to occur instantaneously via technology, the empathy and emotional connectivity humans provide will be increasingly paramount in more complex situations.

Transforming Claims Processing

Today, claims adjusters spend a significant amount of time on administrative tasks such as data entry, rather than on customer (member) focused interactions and experiences. However, the advent of advanced technologies such as remote sensing, artificial intelligence, and natural language processing is enabling claims teams to focus more deeply on problem-solving, addressing complex claims and elevating service commitments. At USAA, we will soon be able to serve our members’ needs in new ways and adjusters will be able to spend their time delivering the highest value member experiences.

"Providing faster and more accurate claims service to our members while making it safer for insurance adjusters who are on-site after catastrophes is a win-win"

The claims adjuster of the future will be a coordinator of services from beginning to end, much like a claims “superintendent”. As technology continues to automate many administrative tasks, adjusters of the future will need to possess stronger critical thinking and analytical skills to interpret dashboards and new data insights provided by connected devices. While members file claims in an automated format, adjusters will be available to members when they need help and guidance. Increased automation will enable hyper-personalized service—not detract from it. Given this level of personalization, more emphasis will be placed on emotional intelligence and will be critical for adjusters.

As technology continues to evolve, adjusters’ needs and expectations are changing as well. Today’s workforce is more motivated by altruism a desire to be part of the greater good and contribute to society. The best technological innovations are those that enable employees to say goodbye to some of the more routine tasks and enable them to spend more time supporting their personal contributions for the greater good.

Transforming Our Business

While developing new ways to improve our member experience is our first and foremost priority, technological advances also enable us to grow our business without growing operational expense. Targeting adjuster intervention with laser precision maximizes value and reduces or eliminates redundancy in the claims process—ultimately bringing more value to the customer while saving USAA and the member money.

USAA has design studios and innovation labs focused on improving the member experience. The focus is to start from a place of empathy to build digital and non-digital customer experiences that meet the needs of our members and make managing their insurance as easy as placing an online order for retail products. Design informs our core technology decisions, from the data and data science that it takes to deliver great advice, to the micro-services that help a responsive UI work efficiently on multiple device types. With the rise of financial technology and the growth of the mobile channel, consumers have come to expect that all of their transactions can take place at any time online or off, with no loss of personalization.

Members and Employees Lead the Way

Given our member-first mission, we encourage our members to enroll in pilot programs to access new features, products, services, and tools we are developing. We also encourage our employees to submit innovative technology and non-technology ideas to further the customer experience. In fact, 92 percent of our employees participate in innovation activities in some way. From video streaming of claims information to drones that can monitor damages from natural disasters, we aim to be at the forefront of the technology innovations that matter to our members and employees.

Providing faster and more accurate claims service to our members while making it safer for insurance adjusters who are on-site after catastrophes is a win-win. Today, technology is disrupting some insurance business models, but by keeping a laser focus on the customer experience, we hope to optimize it. The future is bright, and exploring technologies that may have the capacity to solve problems that have yet to happen is a fascinating journey. At USAA, we have structured our teams and resources to ensure that we can manage the challenges ahead while delighting our members today.


Technology will enable USAA to continue scaling a distributed workforce in support of our military mission and to be where our members are—opening the talent pool, not only geographically, but also to attract diverse individuals with dynamic skillsets.

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