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Microinsurance targets low-income households and individuals with little savings. Low premium, low caps, and low coverage limits are the characteristics of microinsurance plans. These are designed for risk-proofing the assets otherwise not served by traditional insurance schemes.

Because microinsurance comprises of low-premium models, it demands lower operational cost. This article covers insights on how AI can help bridge customer gaps for microinsurers.

Challenges in Distributing Microinsurance Policies

Globally, microinsurance penetration is just around 2-3% of the potential market size. Following are the challenges that companies providing microinsurance policies face-

  1. Being a forerunner in a competitive landscape.
  2. Making policies accessible through online channels.
  3. Developing user-friendly interfaces understandable to a layman.
  4. Improving the organization’s operational efficiencies by automating repetitive processes.
  5. Responsive support system for both agent and customer queries.
  6. Quick and easy reimbursements and claim settlements.

Fortunately, technology is capable of solving customer support, repetitive workflow, and scalability challenges to a great extent. The subsequent section measures the benefits of AI-based technology in the microinsurance sector. 

Benefits of Technology Penetrating the Microinsurance Space

#1 Speeds up the Process 

Paperwork, handling numerous documents, data entry, etc. are current tedious tasks. AI-driven technologies like intelligent document processing systems can help simplify the insurance documentation and retrieval process. 

For example, Gramcover, an Indian startup in the microinsurance sector uses direct-document uploading and processing for faster insurance distribution in the rural sector.

Gramcover - automated document processing for faster microinsurance distribution

#2 Scalable and Cost-effective 

Because of scalability, technology has also enabled non-insurance companies to distribute insurance schemes on a disruptive scale.

Within a year of launching the in-trip insurance initiative, cab-hailing service — Ola, is able to issue 2 crore in-trip policies per month. The policy offers risk coverage against baggage loss, financial emergencies, medical expenses, and missed flights due to driver cancellations/ uncontrollable delays.

Ola Cabs in-trip insurance

AI-based systems are also cost-effective in the long run because the same system is adaptable across different platforms and is easily integrated across the enterprise.

The microinsurance space is in need of better customer-first policies that are both convenient and flexible to use. ‘On & Off’ microinsurance policies for farmers, especially when they need it, can bring about a change in their buying behavior. The freedom to turn your insurance protection off, when you are not likely to use or benefit from it can give customers the freedom to use a product that maximizes their utility.

At the same time, insurers will be able to diffuse their products with greater spread across the rural landscape because the customer is able to derive greater value from it.

#3 Easy and Customer-friendly Claims

Consumers want faster reimbursements against their plans. Going with the traditional process, claim settlement may take several months to approve. Through distributed ledgers and guided access, documents or information can be made available in a fraction of seconds. 

MaxBupa, in association with Mobikwik, has introduced HospiCash, a microinsurance policy in the health domain. It has identified the low-income segment’s needs and accordingly takes cares of out of pocket expenses (@ ₹500/day) of the customers.

Mobikwik wallet ensures hassle-free everyday money credit to the user.

MaxBupa X MobiKwik Hospicash policy covering out-of-pocket expenses during hospitalization

Another example of easy claim settlement is that of ICICI Lombard motor insurance e-claim service. InstaSpect, a live video inspection feature on the Lombard’s Insure app allows registering claim instantly and helps in getting immediate approvals. It also connects the user to the claim settlement manager for inspecting the damaged vehicle over a video call.

Real-time inspection and claims can benefit farmers. In the event of machine or tractor breakdown, they need not wait for days for the claim inspector to come in-person and assess the vehicle. Instead, using Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning models, the inspection can be carried out within seconds via an app, following which the algorithm can determine (based on trained models) to approve or reject the claim. 

#4 Automating Repetitive Tasks

Entering data manually is subject to human error, whereas, data entered through scanners, document parsers, etc. are up to 99.94% accurate.

Microinsurance sector is also a victim of self-centered human behavior, where agents consider personal profit before the benefit of the user. Automating the customer/agent onboarding journey can improve the distributed sales network model too. 

MaxBupa uses FlowMagic for processing inbound documents, for enterprise-wide flexibility and fit. With AI, they are able to halve the manned human effort for gains in operational accuracy. 

Automation can bring down the challenges of mis-selling, moral hazard, and distribution costs to level zero with agnostic digital systems.  

#5 Operational Efficiency

Where human employment calls for dedicated working hours, with chatbots, a large number of queries can be handled anytime during the day, weekends, and holidays. It is even convenient for customers also.

Religare, India’s leading insurance provider has introduced AI-based chatbots that can handle customer queries without needing human intervention. It is capable of helping a customer to buy or renew a policy, schedule appointments, updating contact details, and more. This technology has helped Religare to increase sales by 5X and increase customer interaction by 10X. 

The microinsurance sector can also take advantage of chatbot technology to improve response time.

Religare Chatbot

Final Thoughts

As more microinsurance products continue to surface in the market, insurers need to place the rural customer upfront and center of their strategic efforts. By understanding and fulfilling the rural insuree’s needs, cutting down operational costs through process automation such as adding AI-powered chatbots to handle general queries or quickly settling claims without the need for unnecessary human intervention —  microinsurers can realize better market penetration and adoption for these policies.


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Chatbots are the assistants of the future and they are taking the Internet by storm. Ever since their first appearance in 1994, the goal was to create an AI that could conduct a real dialogue with their interlocutors. The purpose is to free up customer service agents’ time so they could focus on more delicate tasks- which require a more human approach.

If you are thinking about including a chatbot on your website, here are the things you need to keep in mind to boost customer engagement and deliver high-quality services.

Define your audience

First things first- think about who will be interacting with the chatbot? Who are your customers? How do they talk? How can you address them in a way they’ll enjoy? How can you help them?

For instance, if your company sells clothes that are mostly designed for young adults, using a less formal tone will be much more appealing to them.

Lisa Wright, a customer service specialist at Trust My Paper advice: “Customer service calls are usually recorded, so listening to a few of them can be a good place to start designing your chatbot’s lines of dialogue.”

Give your bot some character

People don’t like to talk to plain, simple robots. Therefore, giving your chatbot some personality is a must. Some brands prefer naming their chatbots and even design an animated character for them. This makes the interaction more real.

For example, The SmarterChild chatbot- designed back in 2000, was able to speak to around 2,50,000 humans every day with funny, sad, and sarcastic emotions.

However, the chatbot’s character needs to match your brand identity and at the same time- appeal to customers. Think about – how would the bot speak, if they were real? Are there some phrases or words they would never use? Do they tell jokes? All these need to be well-thought through, before going into the chatbot writing and design phase.

According to a report published by Ubisend in 2017, 69% of customers use the chatbot to get an instant answer. Only 15% of them would interact for fun. Thus, don’t sacrifice the performance for personality. 

Also read – 5 Key Success Metrics for Chatbots

Revise your goals before chatbot writing

Alexa- Amazon bot has 30+ skills which include scheduling an appointment, booking a cab, reading news, playing music, controlling a smartphone, and more. However, every business bot doesn’t need to be a pro in every assisting job.

Before entering the writing phase, think over once again – WHY you need a chatbot? Will it help customer service only? Or will it also help in website navigation, purchase, return, refund, etc.?

Usually, customers want one of the three things when they visit your site: an answer to something they’re looking for, make a purchase, or a solution to their problem. You can custom build your chatbot to tackle either one or all of these three situations. Many brands use chatbots to create tailored products for their clients.  

Cover all possible scenarios

When you start writing the dialogue, consider the fact that a conversation can go in many directions. To ensure that all the situations are covered- start with a flowchart of all possible questions and the answers you chatbot can give.

To further simplify your chatbot writing, take care of one scenario at a time and focus on keeping the conversation short and simple. If the customer is too specific or is not satisfied with the bot’s response, do not hesitate to redirect them to your customer service representatives.

For instance, Xiaocle is one of the most successful interactive chatbots launched by Microsoft in July 2014. Within three months of its launch, Xiaocle accomplished over 0.5 billion conversations. In fact, speakers couldn’t understand that they’re talking to a bot for 10 minutes.

Also read – Why should businesses consider chatbots?

This article is contributed to Mantra Labs by Dorian Martin. Dorian is an established blogger and content writer for business, career, education, marketing, academics, and more.


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The antiquated commodity of Financial ‘Coverage & Protection’ is getting a new make-over.  Conventional epigrams like ‘Insurance is sold and not bought’ are becoming passé. Customers are now more open than ever before to buying insurance as opposed to being sold by an agent.  The industry itself is witnessing an accelerated digitalization momentum on the backs of 4G, Augmented Reality, and Artificial Intelligence-based technologies like Machine Learning & NLP.

As new technologies and consumer habits keep evolving, so are insurance business models. The reality for many insurance carriers is that they still don’t understand their customers with great accuracy and detail, which is where intermediaries like agents and distributors still hold incredible market power.

On the other hand, distribution channels are turning hybrid, which is forcing carriers to be proficient in their entire channel mix. Customer expectations for 2020 will begin to reflect more simplicity and transparency in their mobility & speed of service delivery.

A recently published Gartner Hype Cycle highlights 29 new and emerging technologies that are bound for greater business impact, that will ultimately dissolve into the fabric of Insurance.

For 2020 and beyond, newer technologies are emerging along with older but more progressively maturing ones creating a wider stream of opportunities for businesses.


Irrespective of the technology application adopted by insurers — real, actionable insights is the name of the game. Without it, there can be no long term gains. Forrester research explains “Those that are truly insights-driven businesses will steal $1.2 trillion per annum from their less-informed peers by 2020”.

Based on the major trends identified in the Hype Cycle, 5 of the most near-term disruptive technologies and their use cases, are profiled below.

  1. Emotion AI
    Emotion Artificial Intelligence (AI) is purported to detect insurance fraud based on the audio analysis of the caller. This means that an AI system can decisively measure, understand, simulate and react to human emotions in a natural way.

    F0r Insurers, sentiment and tone analysis captured from chatbots fitted with emotional intelligence can reveal deeper insights into the buying propensity of an individual while also understanding the reasons influencing that decision.


Autonomous cars can also sensors, cameras or mics that relay information over the cloud that can be translated into insights concerning the emotional state of the driver, the driving experience of the other passengers, and even the safety level within the vehicle.

Gartner estimates that at least 10% of personal devices will have emotion AI capabilities, either on-device or via the cloud by 2022. Devices with emotion AI capacity is currently around 1%.

  1. Augmented Intelligence
    Augmented Intelligence is all about process intelligence. Widely touted as the ‘future of decision-making’, this technology involves a blend of data, analytics and AI working in parallel with human judgement. If Scripting is rules based automation, then ‘Augmenting’ is engagement and decision oriented.

    This manifests today for most insurance carriers as an automated back-office task, but over the next few years, this technology will be found in almost all internal and customer facing operations. Insurers can potentially offer personalised services based on the client’s individual capacity and exposure to risk — creating opportunities for cross/up-selling.

Source: Gartner Data Analytics Trends for 2019

For instance, Online Identity Verification is an example of a real-time application that not only enhances human’s decision making ability, but also requires human intervention in only highly critical cases. The Global value from Augmented AI Tools will touch $4 Trillion by 2022.

  1. AR Cloud
    The AR Cloud is simply put a real-time 3D map of an environment, overlayed onto the real World. Through this, experiences and information can be shared without being tied down to a specific location. Placing virtual content using real world coordinates with associated meta-data can be instantly shared and accessed from any device.

    For insurers, there is a wide range of opportunities to entice shopping customers on an AR-Cloud based platform by presenting personalized insurance products relevant to the items they are considering buying.

    The AR ecosystem will be a great way to explain insurance plans to customers, provide training and guidance for employees, assist in real-time damage estimation, improve the quality of ‘moment-of-truth’ engagements. This affords modern insurance products to co-exist seamlessly along the buying journey.

  2. Personification
    Personification is a technology that is wholly dependent on speech and interaction. Through this, people can anthropomorphize themselves and create avatars that can form complex relationships. The Virtual Reality-based concept will be the next way of communicating and forming new interactions.

    VR Applications such as  accident recreation, customer education and live risk assessment, can help insurers lower costs for its customers and personalise the experience.

    Brands have already begun working their way into this space, because as they see it — if younger generations are going to invariably use this technology for longer portions of their day for work, productivity, research, entertainment, even role-playing games, they will shop and buy this way too.

  3. Flying Autonomous Vehicles and Light Cargo Drones
    Although this technology is only a decade away from being commercially realized, the non-flying form is about to make its greatest impact since its original conception. Regulations are the biggest obstacle to the technology taking off, while its functionality continues to improve.

    The Transportation & Logistics ecosystem is on the brink of a complete shift, which will create a demand for a wide array of insurance related products and services that covers autonomous vehicles and cargo delivery using light drones.

While automation continues to bridge the gaps, InsurTechs and Insurance Carriers will need to embrace ahead of the curve and adopt newer strategies to drive sustainable growth.

Mantra Labs is an InsurTech100 company solving complex front & back-office processes for the Digital Insurer. To know more about our products & solutions, drop us a line at


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