The insurance industry and new technologies
The insurance industry is notorious for being slow in adapting to new technologies. Perhaps it is due to the unique intrinsic nature of insurance. With insurance, consumers often wish to communicate with expert advisors whenever a complex product is bought.
Some expected that direct-to-consumer products, which appeared in the insurance market three years ago, would disrupt the fundamentals of the insurance industry with AI-oriented tools, but they have not. Insurance is a people-oriented industry (both in sales of most insurance products and in the settlement of claims). Yet, the true disruption to the insurance industry is coming soon in the form of a combination of AI tools plus human face-to-face remote capabilities.
The difference between AI systems and what a human can do
As much as digitization is a priority for many organizations in the insurance industry, those who oversee innovation must keep the focus also on the human touch, given product and process complexities embedded throughout the insurance life cycle. Adopting digital technologies won’t automatically result in efficiency and productivity. For digitization to succeed, it’s essential for the technology to work hand-in-hand with a human touch solution such as an embedded remote video chat software.
AI is different from human intelligence: It’s a ‘thing’ that does something different. There are ‘things’ that are impossible for people to do that AI can do successfully, such as searching the entire web quickly for relevant information based on specific given criteria or discovering patterns and applying them at scale. On the other hand, there are ‘things’ that AI cannot do well or accurately such as deciding on the specific relevant information for a certain situation or understanding a customer’s exact needs. Perhaps a happy medium is when AI does what it’s good at and people do what they are good at. Research by the World Economic Forum in the area of manufacturing and human interaction points out that the best choice is to combine the strength, precision, and speed of industrial robots with the ingenuity, judgment, and dexterity of human workers. This way, human workers can take on tasks that require flexibility, while the robots handle tasks that make the best use of their strength and speed.
The need for human touch
According to Mckinsey & Co, Insurance productivity 2030: Reimagining the insurer for the future report from October 8, 2020, Covid19 has accelerated the trend toward more efficient omnichannel distribution. A growing number of customers are demanding not only digital self-service capabilities that help efficiency but also in-person advice that would better address their true insurance needs. It is likely that in the coming years a customer might start with online research communicating with AI and then be switched seamlessly in the insurance provider’s website or app to receiving personalized advice from an insurance agent via dedicated video chat. The combined model is likely to provide the best video chat service to insurance consumers.
AI and human touch when claims are being settled
Humans will maintain an essential role in claims processing, particularly with complicated cases. The need to interact with a professional about the details of a claim and reach a satisfactory agreement would ideally occur with remote face-to-face interaction in embedded video chat dedicated solutions. While simple claims can be resolved without the human touch, complex claims will require empathy, patience, and diligence, qualities that AI can’t provide but a specialist working face-to-face with a client in a remote video chat can. Digital advances in claims processing involving AI integrated with digital human engagement tools will boost productivity and enhance the customer experience. These advances may also lead to an increase in claims accuracy.
People trust people to give them better advice than AI
Direct-to-consumer models are becoming part of the general ways insurance companies are likely to interact with customers for simple coverage and claims. However, most customers will continue to benefit from interacting with human agents who can act as expert advisors. The agent will interact with sophisticated AI-based technology to present the best solution to the customer. People generally trust people to give them better advice than an AI that does not necessarily know them or their specific needs.
The future: Combination of AI systems with human engagement technologies
The insurance industry cannot rely solely on AI systems. A key principle in achieving fairness and trustworthiness is to design AI systems that include human oversight. The answer is a smart combination of AI systems with human engagement technologies.
Very few companies focus on specific needs of the insurance industry as it comes to providing a remote, white label, face-to-face engagement that can both integrate with a variety of AI systems and have a very rich call center backend that can take both planned and/or spontaneous incoming video chat calls. Eazyshow is an example of a company that does that as well as integrates with various KYC verification processes and helps organizations meet regulatory compliance requirements by recording, encrypting, and securely archiving all video chat interactions.