Pojišťovna VZP, a.s. (PVZP) has been on the Czech market since 2004. Terezie Tybanová, director of the Department of Insurance Claim Assessment, has been working there for sixteen years. She transferred from VZP Insurance where she worked at an around-the-clock service desk for foreigners insured according to Act 3299/1999 Coll. on the Residence of Foreigners (Act). Since she has a wealth of experience and knowledge, we asked her to introduce PVZP as well as herself.
I put my experience with health insurance for foreigners, knowledge of Czech public health insurance, as well as previous entrepreneurial experience, to good use in 2006 when designing the Digitalization of Foreigner Health Insurance Claim Assessment project. The aim of the project was to build a new IT system to assess claims stemming from health insurance for foreigners with special regard to requests of healthcare providers. Particularly, it was the possibility of the digital submission of invoices for the provided healthcare similar to how it is done in the public sector. The handling and payment of the invoices were also to be done in a similar manner to public healthcare while having regard to the legislation that applies to commercial healthcare. Another condition was the full transparency of the assessment process for the supervisory insurance authority because PVZP was the only insurance company in the Czech Republic at the time providing healthcare insurance for foreigners in accordance with the Act.
The PVZP board approved this ambitious and challenging project, and we launched the new system in 2007. It was a complex task but it went better than we could have expected, despite all the hurdles along the way. Over time, we included the claim assessment of other non-life insurance products as part of this modern claim assessment system and its subsidiary systems, such as travel insurance, accident insurance, disability and hospitalization insurance, and others.
Departure and return
In 2014, I accepted another substantial challenge from a major international insurance company to build a new, fully digital, and effective assessment system for life insurance claims. Seeing as I had several different roles in this new project, I had the opportunity to work with colleagues of varying specializations who elevate insurance work to another, truly professional level. This gave me the chance to gain invaluable knowledge and experience that I have been making use of to this day.
PVZP had another big challenge in store for me, however, in the form of an offer to grow the Department of Insurance Claim Assessment, adding new products, making the claim investigations more effective, and implementing the assessment in a completely revamped, state-of-the-art IT system that leveraged the digitalization of the assessment process to the benefit of the client to as high a degree as possible. It was an offer I could not refuse, and so I returned to the company in 2017 with an even bigger drive to tackle this difficult project and leverage my newly-gained knowledge. Today, the Department of Insurance Claim Assessment manages the assessment of claims across its portfolio in an effective, expedient, and efficient manner thanks to its new IT system with features such as online claim reporting, detailed view of the claim investigation process, free doctor consultations for clients, looking up PVZP contractual partners, and many other client-oriented services. Thanks to the digitalization and optimization of the assessment process, we were not taken by surprise during Covid between 2020-2021. It was a time when PVZP’s assessment work played a big part in providing foreigners with access to non-mandatory COVID-19 vaccination in accordance with the Act, making it the first commercial insurance company to cover non-mandatory vaccination from foreigner healthcare insurance no matter the number of booster shots.
Thanks to the effective assessment process, we were not taken by surprise either when the rapid and sizeable increase in claims stemming from foreigner healthcare insurance came, following the amendment to the Act on Residence of Foreigners 274/2021 Coll., which came into force on July 13, 2021, making PVZP the sole provider of foreigner healthcare insurance in the Czech Republic according to this Act. We had to consolidate and stabilize our operations in a very narrow timeframe to make sure that we did not have to compromise the quality or speed of our assessments or encroach on our colleagues’ vacation time. With no small effort, we managed to tackle this issue without having to dynamically increase our staff numbers or raise expenses, which is a testament to the high quality and the change-resistant nature of PVZP’s assessment processes.
The PVZP Board put their trust in me once again, tasking me with designing an online self-service platform for our clients. And so, with the great support and participation of colleagues from across all company departments, we are currently working on a stepwise implementation of the Self-Service Assistance digital platform, which can be considered truly revolutionary even outside the scope of the Czech insurance industry. This project is a cross-section of the company's entire portfolio of services, starting with insurance agreements, through a personalized, non-fungible digital insurance certificate for cell phones, full claim assessment services, free online doctor consultations for clients, all the way to allowing the clients to book appointments online with PVZP partners, self-service checking of insurance validity, and a guarantee of insurance coverage directly to healthcare providers in Czechia, and many other services. The successful implementation of this project's various stages is possible only thanks to the Board's support and a high level of cooperation between the different company departments.
Satisfaction and quality
Because our clients' satisfaction is dependent on the quality and speed of the assessment of claims stemming from our insurance products, we have to keep constantly improving and streamlining the assessment process and meeting our clients' expectations when it comes to the assessment of unexpected claims. These are the tenets we are trying to diligently follow at PVZP because it applies even more in the insurance industry that any subsequent contracts following the initial one are closed by providing a quality, expedited, and transparent assessment process. As I like to say: "Assessment of insurance claims is like a box of chocolates, you never know what you are going to get." Same as every chocolate has a different topping or flavor, so does every claim vary. That is why I always require that my subordinates bring perfect knowledge, maximum commitment, and a professional approach.
PVZP Insurance is not only a place where great projects and challenges with the highest level of benefit for the client come to life but also one where the words collective cohesion and joint effort have true value and offer rewards in the form of a job well done that consistently brings yearly increases in PVZP clientele across our entire portfolio of products.
Pojišťovna VZP, a.s. has been on the Czech insurance market since the year 2004 and is a purely Czech insurance company with no foreign ownership. Its portfolio of non-life insurance products includes Travel Insurance, Foreigners' Medical Insurance, Accident Insurance, Phoenix Serious Illness Insurance, Patron Medical Insurance for disability or hospitalization, JÍZDA Vehicle Insurance, Household Insurance, Civil Liability Insurance, and Entrepreneur Insurance focused on healthcare and pharmaceutical service providers (more at www.pvzp.cz).