Claims are at the foundation of every type of insurance and it’s often the `pain point’ for many consumers, as they feel the process isn’t as smooth as it might be. In this Opinion piece Sofie Quidenus-Wahlforss, CEO and founder of omni:us, an AI provider helping the insurance industry embrace digitisation, looks ahead to a brighter, more efficient future.
In the past year, the insurance industry has undergone more transformation due to the advancement of artificial intelligence than any other year. It’s now arguably the most buzzed-about technological advancement in decades, with its future impact on the world compared to the likes of the World Wide Web. As a new year begins, there can be no question that artificial intelligence represents a global paradigm shift that will have far-reaching consequences across society. For the insurance industry especially, the advancement of this emerging technology can be felt across a variety of company practices.
AI is now generally viewed as a necessary next step to insurers; when surveyed, both machine learning and AI were notably named as the technology that insurance executives saw as having the greatest impact on claims in the next five years. However, many insurers are still in the dark as to how exactly the incorporation of artificial intelligence can aid business practices, and what their company stands to gain from such innovation. Below are five key ways AI can transform business practices and enhance customer service:
Improving the claims management process: Characterised by a large transfer of variable and highly informative data points, look no further than the claims resolution process to understand the effects of AI. Highly effective in the triage, or assessment, phase, artificial intelligence solutions can take over the mundane and tedious jobs that typically requires tons of manual labour by employees. For instance, omni:us products fully automate and streamline the claims process by understanding, extracting and validating data from a large variety of documents (including claims, incident reports, and invoices) that feature structured and unstructured data.
Unlocking more insightful information: The claims process isn’t just made quicker and more efficient by AI, but more insight to insurers as well. The arbitrary documents that AI reads (including claims, incident reports and invoices) feature structured and unstructured data, which better help insurers develop and tailor targeted products based on deep customer understanding and insight. Cognitive computing can increase productivity and customer understanding in a fraction of the time, providing a deeper understanding of customer behaviour to allow for better decision making by executives, and allowing insurers more time to interact with customers in need.
Tailoring to demanding customers: Why is it necessary to have a deeper understanding of customer behaviour? Put simply, it’s no longer enough to simply have customers. With an abundance of competing services and the wealth of information available to customers through 24/7 online habits, insurers must master the art of attraction and retention by relying on the incorporation of advanced technologies like artificial intelligence, especially when working with the newest generation of insurance customers: Generation Y.
With less than half of the generation’s insurance customers loyal to their current provider (and only 29.5% currently satisfied with them), habits towards technology could unlock retention among young customers. As a result of the service they receive from digital heavyweights like Amazon, Gen Y expects the same from insurance: shorter wait times, rapid resolutions, convenience and transparency. By digitalising each aspect of a customer’s experience from web services to policy comparison, sales, interaction and, of course, claims, insurance companies can satisfy the expectations of all customers, and retain regardless of generation.
Better preventing fraud: Unfortunately, manual labour in claims management incurs the risk of human error, making the possibility of overlooking fraudulent claims a risk that all insurers must navigate. With artificial intelligence, however, solutions can detect such misrepresentation of information by carrying out tests to validate a claim. This process might involve cross-referencing public information against the metadata supplied by claims documents, a job that may prove intensive and painstaking to a human, but not for AI-powered technology trained specifically in such a task. Plus, retraining AI systems with all of the new data companies are able to collect optimises the technology for success.
Elevate human skills to higher value work: Since the introduction of AI, there has been enough fear and wariness to fill an entire genre of science fiction plots. More common in business practices, however, are the worries that AI will put humans out of work as their skills become redundant and time-consuming. Rather, the practical implications of AI make manual work easier, rather than reduced; with the ability to sort through, categorise, and extract information from hours of tedious and arbitrary documents in a fraction of the time, AI allows employees to overcome traditional limitations of manual workloads, and redeploy staff to higher-value work.