Transforming The Insurance Sector Thru IoT, Customer Service Improvements And Artificial Intelligence

Poor customer loyalty is one of the industry’s most destructive forces. We know the carriers that provide consistent top-quality service see revenue and renewal improvements, but here’s the catch — pretty much everyone hates dealing with customer service.

In order to minimize the risk of declining retention, insurers are looking for new ways to improve consumer experiences with value-added services. These services, which include usage-based insurance (UBI) discounts and accident-scene triage are made possible by innovations in technology — and deeply supported through mobile.

In addition to that, technological innovations in completely unrelated industries will continue to affect the expectations your clients have for your services. As experiences like online shopping continue to improve, customers will come to expect the same level of ease and service when interacting with your company. We refer to this as “liquid expectations”. And, not delivering on these customer expectations over time can severely impact your business.

Chatbots, Mobile SMS, Photos, HTML5
Mobile is in a maturity cycle. So, although simply having a mobile platform for your business was once considered good enough, today’s consumer expects more than ever before.

Advancements in mobile technology can empower insurers and policyholders alike. Customers can use their phones to take photos, initiate a claim, accept payment from an initial estimate or even schedule repairs with a qualified, local facility. For insurance companies, the added bonuses of saved time and the ability to offer a uniform experience on the devices most preferred by consumers creates a true win-win scenario.

There are several ways to enable next-gen policyholder functionality via mobile. 
This includes chatbots, emerging solutions that use natural language processing to engage with users. Unlike the popular Siri and Amazon Alexa digital assistants, during a customer interaction, a chatbot can refer to previous messages in order to decipher greater meaning within the chat as a whole.

Chatbots in our industry can elevate and automate routine behaviors, including providing proactive repair status updates to vehicle owners who have a car in the shop. More powerfully, a chatbot can receive a photo of a damaged vehicle and then instruct the consumer on what to do next. If you have the right solutions and AI in place, that photo is run through an algorithm and a total versus repair prediction can be made instantly, and with superior accuracy. Based on whether the vehicle is likely repairable or totaled, you can determine next steps, such as letting the chatbot deliver the news to your policyholder, or deciding to inject the human touch, understanding there’s likely an emotional component for consumers who receive news their vehicle is totaled. Injecting human touch at the right time can be crucial, as a poorly executed chatbot experience can have a negative impact on your customer’s experience. One option is to consider working with a partner who has experience in the field.

Mobile SDKs (software development kits used to develop apps) are another way to bring innovation to your mobile strategy. Mobile SDKs make it easy for third-party partners to integrate and deliver a set of combined services and value to policyholders and back to your business.

HTML5 is another component in a comprehensive mobile strategy. HTML5 helps make mobile websites more functional and can adapt to multiple platforms without significant loss in user experience, such as leveraging a phone’s camera, which was previously only possible when using a native application. The big advantage of HTML5 is that it circumvents the need to write more apps and for users to download and install individual apps, which, in the case of an insurance claim, may be cumbersome since it’s an infrequent experience. Instead, HTML 5 enables you to simply send a link that customers can click and view in the browser on their mobile device. This can create a compelling use case for insurers to connect with policyholders in the minutes following an accident.

AI is essential for long term success
AI is changing everything. Its capabilities and services are more widely available than ever before and have an impressive forecast for continued success.

The goal with AI is to make data meaningful so decisions and processes can be streamlined and improved. Leveraging AI to its maximum capabilities relies on having access to an extremely high amount of domain expertise — very specific and high-quality information — for it to be useful.

Some of the insurance innovators of today just like us, know the specific contexts in which this data applies, enabling them to inject AI into key decision points within the claims process. This extends beyond the use of chatbots and AI to drive conversations with policyholders and help predict total losses. It also includes vehicle damage detection via heat maps, virtual inspection tools, auditing to ensure estimate quality, and even guiding estimate creation. Early results from these AI-powered tools demonstrate an accuracy rate of over 90% along with workflow and efficiency gains, including an increase in the number of estimates a remote appraiser can write per day.

Telematics benefits the enterprise
IoT and telematics data are further revolutionizing insurance. Specific information regarding the facts of the accident alongside the documented habits of the driver has become invaluable data sets to transform underwriting, claims, and marketing.

And, while the use cases for telematics data are important, perhaps more important is how we capture, normalize, and put telematics into action. Telematics data is high frequency and comes from a multitude of streams, including mobile, OBD II or Onboard Diagnostics, and connected cars, and it represents a true shift in how insurers need to handle information.

As shifts in vehicle ownership and personal mobility take hold, the volume and complexity of data being processed will grow exponentially. A hyper-scale platform — one that is able to infinitely scale with speed and accuracy — supports all of these different architectural components appropriately while also simultaneously calling AI models to make sense of this data, giving you the processing power to support the vast, new data streams introduced with telematics, and put that data into action for your business.

Consumers can appreciate how this all comes together too. When telematics and AI join forces accidents are automatically detected; no photographs needed. You know immediately when an accident happens and can contact your customer, initiating world-class service; the kind that can build loyalty.

Outside of claims, telematics data can give you a leg up in underwriting. Predictive underwriting models that are based on real information and not proxies will be able to create a reliable framework for the process as a whole.

In order to continue thriving, the auto insurance industry must acknowledge and dedicate themselves to utilizing transformative tech as quickly as possible. The pace of innovation isn’t slowing down for anyone. If you’re not already invested, take this as your sign: It is time.