The rise of the chatbots within the insurance industry

The use of chatbots and Artificial Intelligence (AI) will become more embedded in the personal injury and insurance industry in 2018. chatbots, which are programs that facilitate text conversations, are expected to save companies over $79 million dollars in salary expenditures annually, and the efficiencies received by using them are in excess of 30%. Nearly 20% of companies have already deployed chatbots in the workplace, with an anticipated 57% by 2021.

Companies are using chatbots for a number of different functions, such as customer service, data mining, and human resource support. As more companies start taking advantage of the benefits of chatbots, they will rapidly become more commonplace.

Ai in everyday lift and insurance

AI is finding fertile ground in everyday consumer life where insurance and risk management comes into play. GB is looking at potential applications of AI in areas such as smart home technology and property claims. Additionally, we are exploring ‘big data’ applications in the field of personal injury management using social media, qualitative data, predictive modelling and machine learning.

One example is in the use of chatbots. In traditional claims management, a claim is lodged after the claimant has already done some research and begun to form expectations about the claims process. We’re currently experimenting with using chatbots as ‘virtual claims assistants’ that can engage the insured prior to lodgement, maximising engagement in this crucial pre-lodgement window.

The use of these tools can actually expedite the claims process – being able to quickly identify fraudulent versus genuine claims means that genuine ones receive prompt payments. This frees claims managers up to provide better service.

Does this mean ever-intelligent robots will outsmart any attempt to get a claim paid, rather than just those that are fraudulent? Rather than being an obstacle to genuine claims, the use of these tools actually expedites the process. Being able to more quickly identify fraudulent versus genuine claims means those claims that are genuine receive prompter payments, and frees claims managers up to provide better service.

Chatbots in action

GB is currently using chatbots for a number of workers’ compensation clients. Our chatbots facilitate ‘pre-claim engagement’ with injured workers, through an online chat tool where employees can chat with Return to Work Specialists in real time. By setting expectations in a warm, open and honest matter at the outset, we can greatly improve outcomes. Open and transparent communication with the individual government agencies ensures they understand risks and decision rationale is also critical and prevent friction through the decision making process.

Early intervention is a critical element of most claims models, because it provides greater efficiency, an improved claimant experience and maximises the likelihood of an early and sustainable RTW. GB takes “early intervention” to the next step with online chat support to provide pre-claim engagement. Using an online chat system, GB’s customer service and RTW specialists chat with injured workers as they consider lodging a claim. Not only does this provide a positive customer service experience, but this helps to ensure claimants are able to easily locate the correct form, and provide an opportunity to set expectations and discuss eligibility prior to a claim being lodged.

The future of claims management

AI machines aren’t going to vanquish the place of humans in insurance altogether. AI paradoxically leads to reinvestment in personalised customer service, as has been shown in the banking sector.

While automation can improve speed, and efficiency can provide a short-term point of difference, customer service and relationships still provide a much more viable long-term differentiation point. In the insurance industry we’re seeing that rather than taking humans out of the equation, automation and AI-derived speed gains free up case managers and insurance staff for the types of work where humans excel; complex case management, customer service and creative problem solving.