Chatbots and Hybrid Service Strategies at Insurers

| April 9, 2019

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Insurers are under increasing pressure to deliver a frictionless and simple customer service experience. Conversational technology like chatbots are becoming attractive supplemental channels for insurers as a result. Chatbots offer a low-touch, 24/7 channel that frees up existing resources for more high-value work while increasing policyholder and agent satisfaction. By providing an additional channel of engagement, chatbots help reach agents and policyholders via their preferred mode of interaction. Insurers should not approach chatbots as simply a low-cost alternative to human contact, instead the goal should be to broaden access and service options for everyone. Yet chatbots are not without their limitations and implementing them is something of a balancing act. A successful approach to chatbots will need to be a hybrid blend of human and automated capabilities.  Determining when people want to be in touch with a human and when they expect rapid, automated service is integral to implementation strategy.

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About Washington National Insurance Company At Washington National, we're dedicated to serving the needs of Americans who've worked hard and want to protect the health and well-being of themselves and their loved ones. Our supplemental health and life insurance products have helped provide peace of mind since 1911.

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Will your insurance IT investments pay off?

Article | April 12, 2021

Automated claims processing, price comparison platforms, mobile bill paying—these are just some of the digital services that insurance customers expect and insurers want to provide. As the demand for digital skyrockets, so does the need for insurers to invest in IT. In the past seven years, the share of IT in total operating costs of property-and-casualty (P&C) insurers increased 22 percent. The rise of digital means technology is no longer a cost center. Rather, it is an asset that, if managed well, can increase growth and profitability. But do these IT investments pay off? As the COVID-19 pandemic exacerbates already increasing cost pressures, insurers’ IT budgets are under scrutiny; they want to see the business impact of their IT investments. Insurers with targeted IT investments achieve better growth and performance Data from McKinsey’s Insurance 360° benchmarking survey provide strong evidence of the positive business impact of targeted IT investments. In fact, insurers that invest more in technology outpace competitors that don’t pursue targeted investments in business measures such as gross written premium (GWP) growth, return to shareholders, and expense and loss ratio (exhibit). As an example, in life insurance, companies that invested more in IT saw a greater reduction in expense ratios (by 2.0 percentage points) and higher returns on technical reserves2 (1.7 percentage points) when compared with insurers with lower IT investments. Insurers achieved these outcomes within three to five years of making their investments. For P&C insurers, those with high IT investments achieved approximately twice the top-line GWP growth of low IT investors. High IT investments also produced a greater reduction in combined ratios when compared with those with low IT investment. Four areas for targeted IT investment So what kinds of technology investments can help insurers achieve growth and improve productivity and performance? Investments in four areas are critical: Marketing and sales: Marketing technology solutions can increase sales and processing efficiency, improve the quality of core customer-facing processes such as policy inquiries and policy applications, and improve customers’ overall experiences. McKinsey’s Insurance 360° benchmarking data show that tech investments in this category can facilitate top-line growth for P&C insurers by up to 20–40 percent; for life insurers, that growth could be 10–25 percent over a three- to five-year period. Underwriting and pricing: Automated underwriting fraud detection can improve the likelihood that insurers correctly identify fraud and set accurate prices. A pricing tool kit that analyzes pricing across competitors and enables a flexible, more segmented market versus technical pricing further improves profit margins. Insurers that deploy these and other product, pricing, and underwriting technologies have seen improvements in their profit margins by 10–15 percent in P&C insurance and 3–5 percent in life insurance. Policy servicing: Workflow automation, artificial intelligence–based decision support, and user experience technologies in policy servicing and within IT can improve the customer self-service experience and automate back-office processes, thus reducing IT and operations expenses. And state-of-the-art self-servicing options will reduce processing times and even improve customer experience. An analysis of programs for large-scale insurance IT modernization finds that insurers that deploy these and other product, pricing, and underwriting technologies have seen improvements in their profit margins by 5–10 percent in P&C insurance and 10–15 percent in life insurance. Claims: P&C insurers can use automated case processing—machine-learning technology trained to process basic claims cases—to segment more complex cases and significantly improve claims accuracy. Combined with better partner integration and steering technologies embedded in a transformation of the claims operating model, such technologies can help P&C insurers improve profit margins by 25–40 percent, according to McKinsey analysis of large-scale IT modernization programs. To realize the full value of IT investments, insurers must strategically allocate their resources and view tech as an asset, not a tool.

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Claims - the final frontier for insurtechs

Article | April 12, 2021

What is the insurtech difference when it comes to claims? Jonathan Swift mulls on how the Next Generation is starting to figure this out “The claims experience is really critical to our brand and making sure that customers are saying Digital Risks is who I am insured with. Whilst others struggle with that, we want to be a case that if you have a claim it is Digital Risks who you are dealing with.” This sentiment is interesting because there has perhaps been an – incorrect – assumption that insurtechs are really only focused on acquiring customers by making it as simple as possible.

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6 mistakes small business owners make when filing insurance claims

Article | April 12, 2021

Failing to contact your business insurance provider immediately after an accident, not documenting property damage, and admitting fault for an incident can affect your claim amount or whether you’ll be covered at all. Risk comes in many forms for small businesses. Natural disasters, client injuries, and equipment failure can all impact your bottom line. Commercial insurance is essential to managing a small business’s risks. Your general liability insurance premiums will be well worth it if a visitor sues your business over an injury that occurred at your office.

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IoT Combined With AI? A Revolution

Article | April 12, 2021

Data is the foundation of insurance, and two emerging technologies, the Internet of Things (IoT, and artificial intelligence (AI), are making that foundation more useful than ever. IoT allows internet-connected devices to send and receive real-time data. Insurers are increasingly using IoT data to streamline operations, improve customer engagement, offer discounts for and encourage healthy behavior such as safe driving and regular exercise, calculate risks more accurately, boost competitive advantage and streamline compliance.

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Washington National Insurance Company

About Washington National Insurance Company At Washington National, we're dedicated to serving the needs of Americans who've worked hard and want to protect the health and well-being of themselves and their loved ones. Our supplemental health and life insurance products have helped provide peace of mind since 1911.

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