For long, insurance firms have been relying on traditional virtual assistants. But with the advent of improved analytics, insurance technology startups (better known as Insurtech)are paving way for smarter and more innovative platforms.
With strong data analytics, Insurtech startups seem to have no lack of funding. According to a report by KPMG, since 2015 the interest in Insurtech has increased dramatically. The report shows that Insurtech startups attracted more than $1.7 billion worldwide in 2016.
After the passage of the Affordable Care Act legislation, the US health insurance industry has increased its investment activity in startups that focus on insurance technology.
Between the first quarter of 2012 and first quarter of 2017, Blue Cross was the most active in this space, with investments in 19 unique digital health companies including higi, Oncology Analytics, and Hello Health.With deep learning and smarter platforms, Insurtechs are globally disrupting traditional ways of getting insured.
Unique platforms like Simplesurance aim to provide a breakthrough solution for insurance policies to consumers in various countries. Acting as a broker, it aims to offer specific coverage based on individual needs at the point of sale. The risk is passed onto traditional players such as Allianz and Assurant, that are also its shareholders.
The firm’s digital broker solution allows consumers to manage their insurance policies digitally through a multi-device app. In this way, users have access to all their insurance contracts and can reach their personal broker via phone, in-app messaging, and e-mail.
Lemonade, a Palo Alto startup gets its funding from insurance firms like Allianz and is a home and renters insurance provider. Lemonade relies on Maya, a charming AI bot to craft perfect insurance plans for urban dwellers and makes the process easier, simpler and faster. Through artificial intelligence and behavioral economics, Lemonade recently set a world record for payment of the claim in 3 seconds with zero paperwork.
Similarly, California-based Trōv became the world’s first on-demand insurance for single items — through a phone. Launched in 2012, it handles the claims through an in-app chatbot. It has partnered with AXA Insurance to launch on-demand insurance for single items in the UK. On December 19, 2017, Trōv announced its partnership with Alphabet’s self-driving technology unit, Waymo.
US auto insurance company Geico, launched its intelligent agent and named it, Kate. Kate is available for both iOS and Android users. The customers can type or speak to converse with Kate and ask about policy coverage. Users can also get access to billing information and since Kate is available 24/7, all questions can be answered smartly and more promptly.
British chatbot Mia, promises to address all insurance queries, even through Facebook Messenger. The digital assistant allows one to view all insurance policies on one dashboard, allowing one to understand the policies. This saves time and remains cost-effective. With personalized renewal offers, users get the best insurance deal with assistance on what’s covered for. Residing within the Co-operative Banking Group’s intranet, Mia is designed to make the insurance journey simpler, not to mention paperless!
Founded in 2014 and backed by Silicon Valley Venture Capital, Tractable, relies heavily on Artificial Intelligence with minimal human intervention. Tractable offers three products — insurance, preventive maintenance and medical imagery. Through AI Review, Tractable scans thousands of repair estimates within seconds and its technology can assess damage severity to a vehicle just based on photos, optimizing repair and claims management processes.
This year in October, Tokio Marine Life Insurance Singapore Ltd.(TMLS) launched a self-learning Chatbot to simplify insurance process for users.
Tokio Marine Life Insurance is the only Japanese life insurance firm in Singapore. Available 24/7 on popular messaging app Facebook Messenger, TOMI (for Tokio Marine Insurance) is the name given to the chatbot. TOMI is built in collaboration with AI startup Pand.ai and shows TMPLS’s commitment towards supporting locally relevant products and services for markets of Singapore. In January, an earlier version was successfully released, which made TMLS the first financial institution to launch a chatbot for financial advisers. TOMI provides instant answers and relies on Deep Learning for Natural Language Processing, which allows it to understand sentences irrespective of the length and grammatical accuracy. Keyword recognition allows TOMI to stand apart from traditional ChatBots.
Undoubtedly, the emerging technologies are causing great disruption and creating a paradigm shift in the traditional working structure. Smart advanced analytics, robotics, AI and deep learning are sure to improve the insurance space and make the entire process of ‘getting insured’ less tedious and more transparent.