TECHNOLOGY VISION FOR INSURANCE 2018
Every business is digital. But today, our biggest innovations will not be in the technology tools themselves, but in how we design them with people in mind.
In this year’s Technology Vision, we’ve identified five trends that underscore the importance of focusing on ‘Technology for People’ to achieve digital success.
We’re already seeing a growing list of insurers leverage AI to transform their customer- and distributor-facing channels, including the use of robo-advisors to support customers in their purchasing decisions. In some cases, they are choosing to partner with emerging players like Motif or Betterment; in others, they are developing their own capabilities.
Consider the instance of the Allstate Business Insurance Expert—or ABIe. This virtual assistant with an on-screen personality helps agents quote and issue commercial insurance products. It finds answers through a combination of contextual knowledge and intelligent content. Asking ABIe is faster than phoning the call center and is the preferred way for Allstate agents to get help.
And some insurance pioneers are already taking AI to the customer frontline, using it to streamline claims, answer basic customer queries and, increasingly, to offer straightforward advice about complex products to customers in a codified and consistent manner. Whether deployed alone or to augment agents and employees, AI offers insurers significant potential efficiency gains and scalable ways to improve service.
For example, Fukoku Mutual Life Insurance in Japan is using the IBM Watson Explorer AI platform to classify diseases, injuries and surgical procedures as well as to calculate claims pay-outs. When policyholders call the hotline to make a claim, the system analyzes the customer’s voice and detects keywords. Other Japanese insurers such as Dai-Ichi Life Insurance are also pioneering AI as the country grapples with an ageing population and a shrinking workforce
GEICO in the US, meanwhile, has launched a virtual assistant for its mobile app. Called Kate, it understands natural language and can answer basic questions like, “What is the current balance on my auto insurance policy?” or “When is my next payment due?”14 Such assistants will, in time, evolve to answer more difficult questions and support the sale of more complex insurance products.
Insurtechs such as Germany’s Snapsure and the UK’s Spixii are also looking at AI as a means of disrupting the market. The Spixii chatbot draws on user data and contextual data from multiple sources to advise a customer on which insurance to buy, speaking to him in plain language rather than financial jargon. Spixii is in early testing for P&C and life sales.