05 Aug Insurance transcription: what it is and what services it includes
Those who work in the insurance industry, specifically in the area of claims processing and approval, usually work on written documents. However, they may as well have to deal with audio and/or video material for which insurance transcription is required. Such material includes, for example, recordings of:
- Phone calls (many underwriters record all phone calls with customers);
- Interviews held in person;
- Reports and statements from claimants, witnesses, experts, and other third parties involved;
- Meetings related to claims;
- Notes on surveys recorded in the field in real time;
Recording an audio or video file saves time compared to drafting a written text, which must comply with rules and conventions of insurance and legal language. The recordings can then be turned into written texts at a later stage.
What is insurance transcription
The conversion of audio or video files into written text for the insurance industry is called insurance transcription. The professional involved in this activity is the transcriber, who must have a thorough knowledge of legal and insurance language, as well as skills on how to use and analyze media files containing the records needing insurance transcripts. Due to the sensitive nature of the texts they handle, agencies involved in providing insurance transcripts to companies are naturally required to ensure much higher levels of privacy and security than in other industries through strict protocols and confidentiality agreements.
There are two main types of insurance transcription:
- Verbatim transcription: the audio is transcribed in its entirety, word for word, including interrupted sentences, grammatical or syntactical errors and superfluous elements typical of oral speech such as hesitations, repetitions, stutters, assent vowel signals, interjections and filler words (e.g., um, oh, ah, etc.); this type of insurance transcription offers more context than the edited one and is advisable to use it in cases where it is particularly important to know the interlocutor’s state of mind. Verbatim transcription requires much more time and attention and is therefore more expensive.
- Edited transcription (aka non-verbatim, intelligent verbatim or clean): sentences are edited to ensure their grammatical and syntactical correctness and anything that is deemed superfluous is removed, thus making the meaning clearer without alterations; the level of editing may vary from transcriber to transcriber or according to specific client requests, but generally this type of insurance transcription has shorter sentences, is easier and more pleasant to read and is the most commonly used.
By way of example, so that you can see the difference between verbatim and non-verbatim transcription, here is the same sentence transcribed in the two different types:
- Verbatim transcription: “Yes, yes, I saw the accident yesterday and … um … it seemed to me, I don’t know, I think the car was coming from the left … nope, from the right … the car coming from the right did not brake … right, I think so.”
- Edited transcription: “Yes, I witnessed the accident yesterday, and I think the car coming from the right did not brake.”
To speed up the work, a transcriber can also make use of software based on speech recognition technology: the transcript is generated automatically in a few minutes, and the text is then revised manually as needed.
In addition to the two types of insurance transcriptions described above, agencies can offer additional services to insurance companies, such as specific formatting, graphics, and style that match those of the company, translating transcribed texts, cleaning up audio in case of disturbed audio, or converting from analog formats (e.g., audiocassette, microcassette, VHS, etc.) to digital.
The benefits of insurance transcription
Transcribing records offers multiple advantages to insurance companies:
- It saves time: underwriters have many conversations, from those with clients filing claims to those with health care or legal professionals. Recording and transcribing them helps speed up the handling of insurance paperwork. On top of that, text files are lighter than audio and video files; therefore, sending them also takes less.
- It simplifies consultation: to search for a keyword or specific phrase within an audio file, it is often necessary to listen to the entire recording. Instead, with the transcripts all terms are much easier to access.
- It helps prevent fraud: it is much easier to detect contradictions and discrepancies if you have written texts to analyze instead of audio or video files, especially when you need to compare different statements and conversations related to a single file. More specifically, verbatim transcription includes elements such as lapses, hesitations and pauses, all of which are clues that allow for a better assessment of the veracity and validity of a statement.
As we have seen, insurance transcription is an extremely useful service for insurance companies, but for them to be effective and reliable, they must be as accurate and correct as possible.
A misplaced comma and/or a misplaced transcription of a word can have significant consequences on a claim; so, it is advisable to always rely on agencies specializing in this service and can guarantee top-tier quality insurance transcriptions.
Music lover, plays drums in several bands, from punk to dark new wave. Spends the rest of his free time fixing other people’s computers.