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The Cognitive Cloud Insurer is Next

4 minutes, 8 seconds read

Today’s Insurance enterprise is moving away from the all-too-familiar ‘reactive-only’ approach to a new predictive-first model. The sector is seeing dramatic changes, as we enter the fourth Industrial Revolution (Industry 4.0) — or The Connected Age. Digital businesses are gradually realizing the limitations of human and machine systems without any real intelligence or computing power behind it. Between human prone errors and the scalability challenges of traditional technologies — a new mechanism is required to learn and adapt better. 

Enter Cognitive Computing. But what is it?

The short answer is — it has everything to do with interpreting data. Big Data, to be precise. This activity is particularly hard because most of the data in use remains unstructured. In insurance, for example, nearly 90% of carrier data is disparate or partially structured as text & image data, in varying formats. With cognitive computing, data can be made meaningful and then used to derive new insights for future use.

To achieve this, ‘Cognitive Systems’ leverage the use of distinct technologies such as natural language processing, machine learning and automated reasoning. It helps in processing great volumes of complex data and can aid faster & accurate decision-making by breaking down the complexities in big data. When done right, a cognitive computing system can comprehend, reason, learn and interact with humans naturally ultimately enhancing the enterprise’s digital intelligence capabilities.

Another aspect of cognitive computing is the ‘Cloud’ advantage. Cloud computing is not new, however, when fitted with a cognitive solution — it can foster dramatic agility to organizational workflows. 

For the digital insurer, this means that all aspects of the value chain can be transformed, ushering in a new business model that seamlessly engages with both customers and prospects in near-real-time, at all times. 

Also read – How does XaaS help your business?

The Cognitive Insurance Transformation Journey

Transitioning from a digital to a cognitive business enabled by the ‘cloud’ has a clear business objective behind it — evolve the model to improve profitability. The addition of the cognitive component allows smart systems to free up critical manned resources and drives greater (STP) straight-through processing. 

Take ‘underwriting’ for example, which is an area of insurance that necessitates looking at  vast heaps of unstructured data. Without the supporting information, the risk cannot be precisely measured or priced. 

Accelerating data analysis from historical information can improve the underwriter’s efficiency in the manufacture of meaningful and personalised insurance products, within short turn-around time. This is how insurance carriers will stay their competitive advantage when vying for the wallet-share and mind-share of tomorrow’s customer.

The Cognitive Insurer in cloud is Next

Source: The Cognitive Insurance Value Chain

Yet, the redesign of the underwriting process is only one of many insurance processes that has the potential for Cognitive enhancement. The number of connected things will grow to 25 billion by 2021, which will increase the amount of data. Insurance data alone is expected to grow by 94%. Other parts of the value chain like claims processing, new business and underwriting, rapid customer onboarding, rules-based processes and contract validation are also experiencing cognitive upgradation.

In the past few years, the number of cognitive projects in insurance is on the rise. Carriers are running pilots, testing and validating the right use cases to invest in. For instance, Australian Insurer, Suncorp used IBM’s Watson for ratifying a specific use case — determining who is liable for causing a motor accident, by studying 15,000 historical records of de-personalised claim files.

The Cognitive Insurance process and application

Source: CognitiveScale

Intelligent and cognitive systems like these can do a lot more. From cognitive claims to cognitive chatbots — AI and Machine Learning are behind new behaviour-based, pay-as-you-use products in insurance. Automated post-hospitalisation claims, Motor damage estimation using advanced image recognition, Cognitive mail handling through intention analysis, etc. among others are just a few examples of AI solutions being deployed by Insurers, who are evolving their business models along their transformation journey.

Our own SaaS-based intelligent platform built for improving insurer workflows, FlowMagic takes advantage of cloud-based capabilities to enhance business automation. The intuitive Visual Platform uses AI-powered applications that are easily configurable requiring zero-coding effort, while the jobs can be visually monitored continuously to give real-time decision-ready insights.


FlowMagic — Visual AI Platform for Insurer Workflows

Here’s a simple 3 step formula for a successful cognitive cloud transformation journey:

1. Identify (internally) use cases with a potential for a high degree of market disruption.

2. Validate (both internally & externally) the use cases through small-scale pilot deployments.

3. Define areas in your operational value chain ripe for transformation, that will enable new processes, engagements and business models through it.

By 2020, 25% of customer service and support operations will integrate with cognitive cloud-enabled chatbots to deliver natural, conversational guidance to users. Solutions like these have proven demonstrable ROI in both front & back-office operations, creating over 80% FTE savings for the enterprise.

Mantra Labs is an InsurTech100 company, that helps digital insurance enterprises enhance agility and operational efficiency through new Cognitive Cloud capabilities. To know how, reach out to us at hello@mantralabsglobal.com


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Retention playbook for Insurance firms in the backdrop of financial crises

4 minutes read

Belonging to one of the oldest industries in the world, Insurance companies have weathered multiple calamities over the years and have proven themselves to be resilient entities that can truly stand the test of time. Today, however, the industry faces some of its toughest trials yet. Technology has fundamentally changed what it means to be an insurer and the cumulative effects of the pandemic coupled with a weak global economic output have impacted the industry in ways both good and bad.

Chart, line chart

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Source: Deloitte Services LP Economic Analysis

For instance, the U.S market recorded a sharp dip in GDP in the wake of the pandemic and it was expected that the economy would bounce back bringing with it a resurgent demand for all products (including insurance) across the board. It must be noted that the outlook toward insurance products changed as a result of the pandemic. Life insurance products were no longer an afterthought, although profitability in this segment declined over the years. Property-and-Casualty (P&C) insurance, especially motor insurance, continued to be a strong driver, while health insurance proved to be the fastest-growing segment with robust demand from different geographies

Simultaneously, the insurance industry finds itself on the cusp of an industry-wide shift as technology is starting to play a greater role in core operations. In particular, technologies such as AI, AR, and VR are being deployed extensively to retain customers amidst this technological and economic upheaval.

Double down on digital

For insurance firms, IT budgets were almost exclusively dedicated to maintaining legacy systems, but with the rise of InsurTech, it is imperative that firms start dedicating more of their budgets towards developing advanced capabilities such as predictive analytics, AI-driven offerings, etc. Insurance has long been an industry that makes extensive use of complex statistical and mathematical models to guide pricing and product development strategies. By incorporating the latest technological advances with the rich data they have accumulated over the years, insurance firms are poised to emerge stronger and more competitive than ever.

Using AI to curate a bespoke customer experience

Insurance has always been a low-margin affair and success in the business is primarily a function of selling the right products to the right people and reducing churn as much as possible. This is particularly important as customer retention is normally conceived as an afterthought in most industries, as evidenced in the following chart.

Chart, sunburst chart

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        Source: econconusltancy.com

AI-powered tools (even with narrow capabilities) can do wonders for the insurance industry at large. When architected in the right manner, they can be used to automate a bulk of the standardized and automated processes that insurance companies have. AI can be used to automate and accelerate claims, assess homeowner policies via drones, and facilitate richer customer experiences through sophisticated chatbots. Such advances have a domino effect of increasing CSAT scores, boosting retention rates, reducing CACs, and ultimately improving profitability by as much as 95%.

Crafting immersive products through AR/VR

Customer retention is largely a function of how good a product is, and how effective it is in solving the customers’ pain points. In the face of increasing commodification, insurance companies that go the extra mile to make the buying process more immersive and engaging can gain a definite edge over competitors.

Globally, companies are flocking to implement AR/VR into their customer engagement strategies as it allows them to better several aspects of the customer journey in one fell swoop. Relationship building, product visualization, and highly personalized products are some of the benefits that AR/VR confers to its wielders.  

By honoring the customer sentiments of today and applying a slick AR/VR-powered veneer over its existing product layer, insurance companies can cater to a younger audience (Gen Z) by educating them about insurance products and tailoring digital delivery experiences. This could pay off in the long run by building a large customer base that could be retained and served for a much longer period.

The way forward

The Insurance industry is undergoing a shift of tectonic proportions as an older generation makes way for a new and younger one that has little to no perceptions about the industry. By investing in next-generation technologies such as AR/VR, firms can build new products to capture this new market and catapult themselves to leadership positions simply by way of keeping up with the times.

We have already seen how AR is a potential game-changer for the insurance industry. It is only a matter of time before it becomes commonplace.


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