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Automating CRU Process blog

Automating the CRU Process Case Study Part 1 – Understanding the challenges and finding solutions

by | Apr 30, 2021 | Automation

Seeing how claims automation solutions in the real world helps to demonstrate the value of automating processes. We recently worked with a large UK motor insurer to automate their CRU process. Here we discuss the challenges the business faced and how we worked with them to create an efficient solution.

The Business Challenge

When a personal injury Claimant (for example someone involved in a Motor claim), produces a successful claim for compensation, it’s likely that the State will try to recover any related benefits potentially already paid to the Claimant, from that compensation. This is founded on the principle that a person should not be rewarded twice in respect of the same accident, injury or sickness.

The Compensation Recovery Unit (CRU) works with solicitors, DWP and insurance companies to recover this money. If compensation is awarded to the Claimant, the compensator (either the person or organisation likely to be paying the compensation) must tell the CRU before any actual payment is made.

A certificate is sent from the CRU itemising any recoverable benefit to the compensator and a copy of the certificate is also sent to the Claimant. The certificate shows how much benefit if any, the compensator has to pay back to the DWP.

The money due for recovery is paid by the compensator to the DWP before the compensation award is settled with the Claimant.

Currently, it’s estimated that the CRU Certificates (CRUs) make up around 10% of the daily documents received in the mailroom. Around 1,500 CRU paper certificates are received per week and a large volume of them (estimated at 90%) have a zero value on them. However, the Claims handlers still needed to record that in their Guidewire system as well as store the document in their IBM Content Management system for the claim.

Processing each certificate and attaching it to the claim manually takes quite a lot of time and the customer was looking for a solution to automate that process if possible.

Steve Carnell talks to Phil Matthews about the issues his business faced with the volume of documents and emails received. 

Transformation Story

Open Connections implemented IBM Datacap to cater for the ingestion of documents, reading each page of the certificate via Optical Character Recognition (OCR) techniques to extract key information. This included items such as the Claim Number, Certificate Value, Dates and Reference Numbers. Where possible, this information is validated against existing systems to make sure it is all correct before progressing through the process. The captured data is exported to an agreed storage area from where it is processed by the customer’s team using an RPA (Robotic Process Automation) solution to take the extracted data into Guidewire. A Robot also stores the document into the IBM Content Manager repository to meet all the compliance and regulatory needs linking the certificate with all the other documents relating to the policy holder claim.

Steve Carnell explains how these new automation processes are helping his business become more efficient and improved the experience for his customers.



While only in a Production environment for a short period of time, the customer has stated that around 80% of the CRUs are now being processed automatically by IBM Datacap and not being manually processed by the claims handlers. This has freed up the team to work on other tasks in the Claims area and Open Connections are now working with them to implement solutions for all other incoming paper documents and emails into the various departments in the Claims process.

Do you want to know more?

If you think automated claims solutions could help your business Get In Touch to find out more.

Open Connections is an innovative provider of business process automation solutions. We have a wealth of expertise in Enterprise Content Management (ECM) products and technologies from IBM and Kofax, among others.

Support of existing systems is critical to their continued efficient operation. We provide a range of high quality support options, from low cost reactive arrangements through to fully managed service capabilities.

Whether you are looking to implement a new GDPR methodology, increase capture efficiency within your business or migrate from a legacy system, we can guide you through the process.

Open Connections Solutions Ltd 
4 Buckingham Court 
Beaufort Office Park 
Bradley Stoke 
BS32 4NF
United Kingdom

A company registered in England and Wales company registration number 3768233




+44 (0)1454 889966