Article | July 15, 2022
In the insurance industry, artificial intelligence (AI) has become a buzzword. Nonetheless, despite the fact that we are still in the early stages of AI implementation, the industry has made significant progress.
The Need for AI in Insurance
Insurance is a long-established and highly regulated industry. Perhaps as a result, insurance companies have been slower to adopt technological change than other industries. Insurance is still dominated by manual, paper-based processes that are time-consuming and necessitate human intervention. Even today, customers must deal with time-consuming paperwork and bureaucracy when filing a claim or enrolling in a new insurance policy. Customers may also pay more for insurance if policies are not tailored to their specific needs. Insurance is not always a pleasant customer experience in an age when most of our daily activities are online, digitized, and convenient.
Having said that, we are beginning to see a global push by insurance companies to enhance their technological capabilities in order to do business faster, cheaper, and more securely. There have been several notable examples of insurers investing heavily in Artificial Intelligence solutions in recent years.
If AI technology is fully applied to the insurance industry, McKinsey estimates a potential annual value of up to $1.1 trillion.
How are insurers implementing AI?
There are numerous examples of insurers around the world using AI to improve both their bottom line and the customer experience. There are also a slew of start-ups offering AI solutions to insurers and customers. I'll discuss a few interesting cases here.
The Future of Artificial Intelligence in Insurance
AI has the potential to transform customers' insurance experiences from frustrating and bureaucratic to quick, on-demand, and more affordable. Customized insurance products will attract more customers at lower costs. If insurers apply AI technology to the mountain of data at their disposal, we will soon see more flexible insurance, such as on-demand pay-as-you-go insurance and premiums that adjust automatically in response to accidents, customer health, and so on.
Insurance will become more personalized as insurers use AI technology to better understand what their customers require. By accelerating workflows, insurers will be able to save money. They will also discover new revenue streams as artificial intelligence-driven analysis uncovers new business and cross-selling opportunities.
Article | July 14, 2022
There is no doubt that we are living in an era in which insurers have been called to transform their business offerings, infrastructure and operations. Successful transformation translates into new revenue opportunities, stronger customer relationships and sustained brand relevance. However, this need to evolve cannot be addressed through superficial changes. Leading insurers are transforming their core offerings to completely reimagine their role in the insurance landscape. As the nominations and winners for the Efma-Accenture Innovation in Insurance Core Insurance Transformation award show, leading insurers are starting their core transformation at the top, and applying it to every touchpoint of the business.
Nine pioneering nominees
The nine nominees in the core insurance transformation category lead core insurance transformation in various innovations across their value chain. The nominations were:
AXA for A.Iconic Claims
Discovery for AI Quote
RBC for their conversational AI Platform, driven by Personal Insights for Life Insurance Application
Generali for their fund transaction through blockchain innovation
FWD for the AI-Everywhere Smart Insurance Framework
China Life Insurance for an intelligent value evaluation system for salesforce
Multiasistencia for MACARENA, an innovative AI voicebot that provides100% automated First Notice of Loss in home insurance claims
Humania for their ground-breaking income insurance for accident and disability claims
Mapfre for Verbatims, a cognitive behavioural model that integrates live customer feedback
As can be seen, by the nominees above, AI is a leading technology in core insurance transformation. In fact, every innovation used technology in fresh, structured ways to create a lasting impact on their business. Let’s look closer at the winners, and what their innovations say about how to lead core insurance transformation in 2021.
Discovery are transforming the way brokers and clients engage with them through the introduction of their AI Quote service. Users are able to upload a PDF or pictures of competitor insurance and investment documents via phone or computer, and receive an equivalent Discovery quote in seconds. The entire journey can be completed in under a minute. Brokers can take the quotes to their clients and where a client has completed the direct journey, they will be called by a sales agent to discuss the specifics of the quote and close the sale.
Romek Sadowski, Discovery Life’s Head of Technical Marketing says, “Ultimately, AI-powered optical character recognition (OCR) technology has been able to equip us with a seamless journey for clients, advisers and employees of the business as a whole. For clients, benefits include receiving a comparable quote in less than a minute and an improved understanding of Discovery’s products relative to the market. For advisers, key benefits include more accurate and consistent competitor comparisons, as well as a reduction in sales and quoting frictions. By automating the process of extracting data from policy documents and then converting it into comparable Discovery Life benefits, our advisers are able to spend less time on manual work and more time assisting our clients.
AI Quote has also created opportunities for Discovery Life to incorporate digital tools into many of our existing processes and create a single, seamless, digital journey for advisers and clients alike. Additional innovations, such as Virtual Underwriting which allows clients to undergo underwriting from anywhere they choose, have been developed and are being refined in order to make this goal for a seamless digital journey a reality.”
This is an important innovation in the South African insurance and investment landscape, which is highly developed and innovative, and characterised by frequent product updates and enhancements. While products are fine-tuned to meet customer needs, it’s difficult for brokers to keep track of various products in the market and how they compare from one competitor to another. Clients are also not in the position to understand how exactly their financial products compare against competitors.
“The South African insurance industry is a complex environment with a vast array of sophisticated products. Financial advisers are faced with numerous competitors each with multiple products and options, resulting in countless different quoting combinations. By automating the comparison process, AI Quote simplifies the new business experience for both advisers and clients, increasing conversion rates and improving stakeholder satisfaction. AI Quote ensures that clients who have existing policies with our competitors are quoted comparable Discovery benefits and gives advisers confidence that they are providing clients with the best possible advice when comparing policies.”
By removing sales frictions and automatically carrying out comparisons, Discovery’s AI Quote aims to enhance the company’s exposure to potential clients, attract brokers to sell Discovery products, improve the accuracy of replacements and promote Discovery’s brand as a market-leading innovator. With an efficient client- and broker-centric platform, Discovery has taken quoting to the next level.
The potential for AI, however, is just beginning to be untapped. Romek concludes, “The insurance landscape is evolving, and we have seen an influx in microinsurance providers, direct-to-customer insurers and niche players in the market. When it comes to life insurance, clients are faced with a dauntingly large number of options – and that number is increasing. Within such complexity, manual processing of data in order to generate benefit comparisons is simply inefficient. A key benefit of AI is that it can complement or replace manual processes and allows for a far more streamlined user experience.
Outside of the new business process, AI has displayed immense success in other areas such as customer service, underwriting and claims. Chatbots are now commonly used by insurers around the world to assist clients and answer their questions. Car insurance has been fundamentally changed through advancements in telematics. Big data is more readily available and, with the help of AI, can be utilised to make faster and more accurate pricing and underwriting decisions.”
Generali conducted a deep transformation in the way they transact with their counterparts and custodians through the use of blockchain technology.
Generali France currently processes 250 thousand orders on funds (to cover unit-linked policies) per year through classical schemes via custodians. The aim is to generate a direct link with asset managers for trading shares of funds without using the costly transfer agent of custodians.
With this transformation in mind, Generali France invested in a startup called Iznes, developing a trading platform on funds based on blockchain technology. With this as a foundation, Generali has begun to connect its IT and operations to the innovative platform.
The innovation can serve all middle and back offices of investment departments and asset management companies. It crunches transaction costs and creates a direct link between the buy-side and the sell-side. The total cost of Generali Unit-linked orders is expected to drop by half, supposing that 50% of counterparts join the platform.
Led by their customers’ needs and vision to change the way people feel about insurance, FWD Group Data developed a ‘Smart Insurance Framework’ which sees the business embarking on a ‘AI-everywhere’ approach. The platform has transformed the entire insurance journey for both their customers and employees with the use of advanced technologies and AI power.
To create a simpler and smoother insurance experience for customers, FWD created a modern data architecture framework that improves operation efficiency internally and convenience externally. The Group Office Data Platform (GODP) streamlines and integrates all data into a single platform that is smart, secured and scalable. This platform allows business users to harness data, insights and run analytics across all our markets, to help support a spectrum of initiatives in FWD with data. The clever use of data allows FWD to evolve and predict customer responses more accurately, develop a better understanding of customer needs and behaviour, and in turn serve them better.
As the nominees and winners show, the insurance industry is embracing technology to pre-empt, analyze and streamline customer, broker and employee experiences. We would love to hear how you are transforming your core insurance operations. Submit your core insurance innovation to the Efma-Accenture Innovation in Insurance Awards for 2022.
Article | July 13, 2022
The pandemic pressed many businesses to go remote. While this enabled employees and their organizations to continue doing business in the face of global uncertainty, the fragility of cybersecurity infrastructure became more apparent than ever. From remote work to a more powerful online presence, cybersecurity threats are a significant challenge for many organizations. With data security, exposure to these threats meant cyber insurance needed to be amped up.
In the race to fortify cybersecurity, small businesses, which have limited resources to train their IT staff, have much catching up to do. As a matter of fact, practically all small businesses maintain sensitive data on their staff, clients, or suppliers, making them open to hacking attempts, malware attacks, digitalfraud, and other online threats. A cyberattack can force a firm to cease operations, incur significant losses, and unanticipated costs, and harm their brand. This is why cyber insurance is so critical.
Here are four things SMBs must understand about cyber insurance and what it covers.
In Case of Data Breaches
Data breaches are one of the most common types of cyberattacks on small firms. Cyber insurance coversthe cost of locating the origin of a data breachand assessing whether the information lost poses any legal obligations. It also includes the price of meeting those obligations, including sending notifications to affected clients, setting up a call center, and providing credit monitoring, as well as the price of hiring legal counsel and paying any fines or penalties.
In Case of Malware Attacks
Ransomware and malware attacks allow criminals to break into an organization’s back-end data. They use it to steal customer information or simply encrypt it which allows them to demand random from the business to reclaim access. Cyber insurance can pay for all of the expenses involved in restoring the system, including recovering data, ransomware removal, vulnerability patching, and, if required, paying the ransom itself. A ransomware attack is the most disruptive,and it may be covered if there is economic loss for the company.
In Case of Phishing and Cyber Fraud
By gaining access to a company's computer system, social engineering letscriminals trick employees intosettlingfictitious bills or diverting cash to their accounts. Businesses may be able to recoup lost funds with the use of cyberinsurance.
Third-party insurance can shield firms from cyber-related legal troubles, such as government responseor class-action lawsuits brought on by, for instance, unintentional malware spreador the inability to curbunauthorized access to companysystems. It covers all legal expenses, such as settlements and lawyer fees.
What’s the Bottom Line?
Cyber insurance cannot be an alternative to a robust cyber security infrastructure. And small businesses cannot afford to keep vulnerabilities in their systems. Many cyber advice solution providers offer advisory and risk assessment services that may be just what small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) need to start improving the security of their systems.
Article | December 27, 2021
Mr. and Mrs. Garcia purchased their first life insurance policies from their agent more than a decade ago, when their eldest son was born. They soon bundled their home and auto policies for a discount. A few years later, when the Garcias started a small business, they worked with their agent to establish commercial insurance. As the business thrived, the family set up fixed indexed annuities and mutual funds to put their growing savings to work. All of their policies and accounts are easily accessible via an online platform, and when a new need arises, they simply message their agent to discuss a new policy. The agent also reaches out regularly to make sure the Garcias’ evolving needs are always met.
The experience of the hypothetical Garcia family shows how simple it would be for insurers to build deeper customer relationships. But many insurers continue to struggle to develop relationships with their customers that span multiple products. In fact, limited successes in this area have convinced some insurance executives that there is limited value in cross-sales initiatives. In our experience, however, a more coordinated approach can unlock huge opportunities to meet customers’ comprehensive needs through a principal adviser.