This is Part II of a three-part series. Make sure to read them all.

Analyst Patrick Van Brussel had, in Part I of this analyst connect series, explained how the pandemic has propelled changes in insurance customer behavior and expectations. He now answers what this wave of change means to insurers from a technological standpoint.

“We’re all being merged into one unique “Amazon generation,” expecting the immediate delivery of any kind of tailor-made goods and services enabled by emerging new technologies such as data analytics, predictive modeling, artificial intelligence (AI), natural language recognition, or bots,” Van Brussel had said about customer expectations.

Ensuring great customer experiences against such heightened needs requires processes rooted in advanced analytics & a dynamic 360° customer view. Fully automated processes – from onboarding to product delivery and support – are crucial. Personalized offerings and real-time assistance are needed too.

Meeting these requirements means insurers have to shed their legacy processes and invest in cloud and AI-based tech solutions such as

  • Big data analytics
  • Machine learning
  • Natural language processing
  • Augmented reality/ virtual reality
  • Bots

“These technologies are available for all types of businesses, including specialty lines such as marine hull insurance. Insurtechs are bringing to market data analytics platforms that allow underwriters and brokers to exploit highly complex data and manage risks in real-time on a worldwide basis,” says Van Brussel.

Patrick’s two cents on some of the tech & their applications:

Smart data capture – Data from multiple sources can be collated, sorted & presented in real-time using intelligent data ingestion software. Their speed & reliability far exceed human capabilities and cost less.

Robotic process automation – The use of RPA can help you put your intelligent employees to showcase their unique capabilities and get creative instead of repeating low-value-adding, time-consuming tasks.

AI-enabled data analytics – The machine can take care of verifying whether documents are forged or not by comparing it with historical data (e.g., a bill for water damages repairs sent years ago in PDF format where the date and the bill number have been Photoshopped to support a fraudulent claim). Knowledge workers can hence use the time on other high-value-adding tasks.

While a vast majority of insurers already invest in digital solutions, it’s a long road ahead before they match the retail market requirements, says the analyst.

“Data is now available everywhere in real-time, and customers are willing to share this data when they perceive it is in their direct interest to do so. Other players in other industries are already spearheading this movement (big technology companies, car manufacturers, etc.), creating the risk for insurers to be surpassed in what used to be their exclusive domain of expertise: risk data analysis and management.”

Van Brussel, however, adds that it is not dire straits yet for insurers. “Insurtech companies are mushrooming at an increasing pace, further stretching the limits of technological innovation. They are fed by venture capital firms that understand the incumbent insurers are increasingly seeking “oven-ready” solutions to modernize their operations.”

You heard the analyst! Now branch out and get in touch with an insurtech expert to catch up!

Patrick Van Brussel has been working in the retail and commercial non-life insurance industry for more than 30 years as a senior manager, initially with ZURICH and later with ALLIANZ, with international experience in Belgium, France, the United States, Germany, and Italy, whether in local subsidiaries or at group headquarters.