The acceleration of the pace of life from the digital revolution puts insurance workflows in stark contrast, with its manual processes, patchwork of poorly coordinated systems and days and weeks to get anything accomplished. For consumers, everything around dealing with insurance is viewed as a chore, an imposition.
Despite ongoing efforts to improve services incrementally and develop extensions and variations on insurance products, the industry seems to have kept its feet firmly planted on familiar ground. The pull of this status quo has been less to do with success and stability of the sector’s business processes and profitability and more a result of confusion about the path forward and the perception of the outsized effort needed to jump into modern, digital era.
The digital transformation has begun to permeate every industry, including insurance. Customers are not only expecting speed of transactions and responsiveness. They demand the elimination of any type of struggle or friction they perceive as unnecessary. This drive from consumers is growing, especially as millennial shoppers are becoming the largest segment of insurance purchasers.
One advantage to insurer caution is that digital solutions, especially in the hot fields of AI insurance services and customer facing products like chatbot platforms, have been tried out by other industries, with ineffective offerings being winnowed out and better ones maturing to be worthy of consideration. Beyond picking lasting, robust technology, insurers need to examine their own strategies and capabilities to select the best technology and smart automation investments for their own environments.
Many paths are emerging to help insurance companies make the leap from incremental gains to business transformation. Some insurers look to purely internal changes, others choose to work on customer-centered conversions.
Companies working on internal transformations tend to implement artificial intelligence technologies to power up the use of the mountains of data available to insurers. These mountains of data will include the growing information coming from telematics and the internet-enabled devices that have begun to be commonplace in our lives. Insurers can put this data plus intelligence to use to reduce risk with more precise models, to improve new products and develop new product lines, and to create sophisticated marketing and sales strategies that maximize the return on sales and marketing efforts.
Insurers focusing on revamping their customer interactions have also been turning to artificial intelligence insurtechs. Smart automation powered by these cutting edge algorithms and self-learning tools are improving how people interact with their insurance company.
Customer service and sales are one of the first AI smart automation projects insurers target. Especially for small and mid-sized agencies, the ability to automate front line functions enables managers to staff for average customer traffic volumes instead of peaks. There are now a wide assortment of virtual agents, chatbots, that can handle overflow inquiries, replacing lack-luster solutions like “Leave a message and we will get back to you.” or, worse yet, “Visit our website for help at www dot we are not here dot com.” And what about the Sunday afternoon calls, when the office is closed? Intelligent AI chatbot platforms can take care of the most common service inquiries, even if they come up at 6am when a customer needs proof of insurance or on Saturday morning when they want to check on their payment history while they’re paying monthly bills.
AI insurance services are more recently re-engineering the way insurers of all sizes are handling claims. The range of skills and amount of expense involved in handling the simplest of claims make this insurance function ripe for improvement. The challenges of managing claims are an ideal match for the complexity and speed of AI insurance services. The parties involved in claims all seek a better experience. Policyholders making claims, already highly stressed over the loss event, have little emotional energy left to put up with a drawn out and laborious process. Adjusters are being run all over the place, and juggling so many claims and so much detailed information it is a position rife with burnout and high error rates and delays. Managers have to work harder to recruit and train adjusters and also deal with keeping all of the stakeholders satisfied. The rest of the parties in the claims ecosystem also have their frustrations and gripes about how slow and demanding the claims systems are.
Insurance claims chatbots and their symbiotic machine learning systems are there all along the chain of events. To complete the claim successfully and to the satisfaction of the customer, there hundreds of interdependent tasks that need to happen smoothly and without error. AI insurance chatbots are experts that:
Insurers are implementing AI for claims using a variety of strategies. The most popular path has been to implement an app-based FNOL AI claims chatbot that guides the policyholder through the claims submission process, collecting photos and information immediately and being a central communication tool to update the customer about the status of the claim. Another strategy for smart automation of claims is to offload the most straightforward claims to the AI insurance services to complete 100% without human intervention from first notice of loss to payment and reporting. A third strategy that is gaining traction is the integration of chatbot and AI platforms to enhance the tools used by frontline staff. These AI claims super-tools help staff and adjusters keep a claim moving forward and provide immediate updates to parties involved but the staff and adjusters still take center stage for working with policyholders.
Whether an insurer chooses app-based approaches, 100% simple claims automation, or super-tools, AI insurance claims technologies should be high on the list of projects insurers should consider.
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