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Modern technology helps communities rise above recent flooding in Australia

Modern Technology, Flooding in Australia

The recent flooding along Australia’s Eastern seaboard has caused an estimated average of $2.3 billion worth of damage so far, and insurance claims will number in the hundreds of thousands, potentially taking years to fully resolve.  

With a high volume of claims, many of which are complex, the assessment process and general customer experience requires many more employees in the field. Better use of existing resources through modern technology will help companies cope with the spike in demand, and at the same time improve their efficiency.  

Agents out in the field are currently dealing directly with customers who, in many cases, have significant loss of property and personal effects. Moreover, the crisis has been spread out over two months and was not isolated to one incident. This has resulted in more complexity, with many cases and claims continuing to evolve over the course of the combined rain events. 

With some localities, such as Lismore, practically wiped out by the flooding, simple insurance claims have morphed into ongoing legal dialogue between insurers, local councils, state and even federal government agencies. Discussions are also in play between these parties and local bodies, service providers and tradespeople. 

The Commonwealth has committed more than $5 million in legal aid to flood-affected communities, being distributed by the NSW government. In the case of the Northern Rivers constituency, the allocation of $680,000 will fund a van for local legal representatives, allowing them to get into the community and provide counsel and help where it is most needed. 

Between insurance agents and legal teams out in the field, there are a host of real-time situations occurring that need to be documented and recorded.  

Pressing record on a hand-held device or mobile phone is simple enough, but subsequently requires manual work at a later stage to transcribe the recording.  

Technology exists that can make a highly accurate transcription of the recording automatically, in real-time. An application can reside on a mobile phone which, when activated, uses Artificial Intelligence (AI) to detect who is speaking. A transcription can then be waiting for that agent when they return to their home or office, providing a detailed and accurate account of the meeting or conversation they had while in the field.  

Further to this, digitising that recording instantly moves it from being a static recording to ‘live’ data. As such, it is infinitely searchable, allowing the agent or an authorised colleague to easily find specific references or passages of dialogue within the recording.  

This can have a strong positive effect on efficiency in the field, significantly helping with productivity at a difficult time for many Australian communities. The technology reduces human hours spent listening to recordings and transcribing them, makes searching through a recording much faster using key words, and reduces the risk of human error. All these factors contribute to a better outcome for not only legal and insurance professionals, but also the people who have been so badly affected by the East Coast’s disastrous weather events.  

Technology can make a difference in the field, which in turn can make a real difference in people’s lives. It makes sense to consider all innovative factors that can have a direct benefit on positive outcomes.