history of chatbots, Artificial Intelligence

From travelling salespeople to automated agents how chatbots are transforming insurance

31 Oct, 2017
4 Min Read Dan Ward

From travelling salespeople to automated agents how chatbots are transforming insurance


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Remember the days when insurance was associated with sheaves of paper and travelling salesmen? Not only are those days long gone, but time is also running out for technologies like call centres and email, which replaced these traditional tools of the insurance trade.

Like retail, government and financial services, the insurance industry is catching up with the world of chatbots. Here’s how.

What is a chatbot?

If you’re unfamiliar with chatbots, you’re not alone. uilding on advances in artificial intelligence and machine learning, chatbots are no longer an emerging technology.

Instead, they are established digital communication tools hat companies use to engage with stakeholders in a humanlike way. (In fact, they’re often given names to make them seem more human. Magda, for example, is the name of the chatbot for Link4, a motor insurance company in Poland. Closer to home, Allianz’s online assistant, llie, is available to help users at their time of need.)

With chatbots taking care of straightforward customer ueries, companies can deliver fast and consistent customer service, while freeing employees to handle more complex situations. As a result, chatbots have plenty to offer industries that rely on human interaction, like insurance.

How are chatbots relevant to the insurance industry?

Let’s face it. Most people don’t get a buzz from buying insurance. Choosing an insurer s not a fun shopping experience, and claims are the necessary outcome of an unfortunate event, such as an accident. For insurers looking to reverse this dynamic, chatbots can transform both the customer experience and the claims process.

Chatbots can help insurance companies to:

  • Achieve effective customer engagement

  • Explain complex products

  • Improve sales and distribution

  • Access information quickly

They accelerate productivity and provide a competitive edge by allowing employees to oncentrate on strategic activities. And if that wasn’t enough, chatbots also free up staff resources to deal with complex queries and complete more lucrative sales.

Which customer experience problems can chatbots solve?

Chatbots enhance the customer experience with their speed nd efficiency and customers can interact with them via whichever mobile device they routinely and comfortably use.

Chatbots improve accessibility because they are available ound the clock and can help more than one customer at a time. Beyond these utilitarian considerations, chatbots can be designed with ‘personalities’ that align with the insurer’s brand, providing consistent and igh-quality customer experiences.

What exactly can chatbots do?

Chatbots are being used to answer policy and billing questions, sell insurance and andle claims. Examples include Maya, a chatbot that sells insurance for US-based Lemonade. Lemonade’s claims bot, AI Jim, can settle simple claims in seconds. These chatbots use a ombination of text, images, links and direct payment options to sustain the workflow from start to finish.

Chatbots can also help users to:

  • Register the first notice of loss

  • Schedule the survey appointment for the evaluator

  • Provide loss prevention recommendations

  • Arrange emergency assistance during accidents

In addition, chatbots are increasing efficiencies in behind-the-scenes claims rocesses with lightning fast collection and collation of information and documentation to assist assessors. This is the equivalent of having a 24/7 personal assistant.

Chatbots make sense of data

Using chatbots makes data collection a breeze, since chatbots an rapidly put data together in different ways.They can rank information, putting what it thinks you are looking for at the top of a list, classify data and associate something with a numerical value. Chatbots can also group similar things together and detect anomalies that can help to identify fraudulent claims. Chatbot algorithms can identify straightforward claims for automatic processing and those that are more likely to require human intervention. The possibilities are limitless.

The time is now for the insurance chatbot. Consumers are already using computers to hat with friends and family. Chatbots make it possible for the machine to chat back.

Evidence suggests that email and apps may have run their course. These tools are great for sharing nformation but less than optimal at conveying understanding. People are more easily engaged with a chat experience than they are with an app or an email exchange. Customers become impatient with lengthy phone prompts while being filtered through call centres. Instead, they prefer a mode of communication that includes live chat or texting. Chatbots improve the customer experience and accelerate productivity by letting staff concentrate on activities that increase profits.


To find out more about chatbots, and for practical steps on how to benefit from this unique echnology, download our white paper: Digital Platform Trends 2017: Diving into chatbot-driven conversational commerce