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Strategic Technology Trends in Insurance

“Strategic technology trend is one with substantial disruptive potential, that is beginning to break out of an emerging state into broader impact and use, or which are rapidly growing trends with a high degree of volatility reaching tipping points over the next five years”, says Gartner.

These technology trends shall enable insurers to expand into more ecosystems than ever before. Let us explore such strategic technology trends, which will impact the insurers in the near future.

1. AI & RPA helps insurance find a digital edge:

AI and RPA are already a reality for insurance. AI has found its way into vehicles, homes, and businesses and in the Insurance industry as well, it solves the necessary day-to-day tasks of running a business by the automation of routine patterns. It is able to tailor solutions for individual customers and replace the one-size-fits-all products currently available.AI in insurance will allow carriers to deliver scalable and customized solutions for members and policyholders,” says Ramon Lopez, Vice President of Property & Casualty Claims and Innovation at USAA.

RPA tools currently occupy the Peak of Inflated Expectations in the Gartner Hype Cycle for Artificial Intelligence, 2018. RPA is widely adopted in various industries, insurance included. “End-user organizations adopt RPA technology as a quick and easy fix to automate manual tasks,” said Cathy Tornbohm, vice president at Gartner. In the insurance industry automation of the day-to-day tasks would potentially reduce cost, time consumption and increase accuracy, quality and competency.

2. Augmented Analytics- future of data analytics:

One of the latest advancements for business development tools is the advent of augmented analytics. As per a report from Deloitte “Augmented analytics marks the next wave of disruption in the data analytics market”. It is an approach that automates insights using machine learning and natural language generation. Gartner predicts “by 2020, more than 40% of data science tasks will be automated”, resulting in increased productivity and broader use by data scientists. According to Accenture, “1 out of 3 insurers globally now uses Big Data from IoT technologies, such as Fitbit, Samsung Gear or Apple watch to collect lifestyle data from insureds”. Augmented Analytics will help reap business value from those data by automating Big Data insights. The insurance industry is expected to be the biggest beneficiary as it will help increase the accuracy and end the traditional “gut-feeling” decision-making approach.

3. Blockchain for war on fraud:

Blockchain is one of the biggest fourth industrial revolutions for many industries, including insurance. Insurance fraud costs more than $40 billion a year. The insurance companies can use “the distributed ledger” to potentially lower fraudulent claims, cost, transaction settlement time and improve cash flow.EY, Guardtime, A.P. Møller-Maersk, Microsoft, and ACORD collaborated and launched blockchain-powered marine hull insurance platform Insurwave in 2018. The platform is now in commercial use and handled risk for more than 1,000 commercial vessels and 500,000 automated transactions in its first twelve months of operation. More than 38 insurance companies have embarked on an initiative called the B3i to explore Blockchain applications in insurance.In the past decade, technological advances from artificial intelligence to Blockchain have transformed business models in every sector and insurance is no exception. Dubai World Insurance Congress embraced the future of the industry with insights from the sector’s most established and innovative leaders,” said Arif Amiri, Chief Executive Officer of DIFC Authority.

International Data Corporation (IDC) analysis shows “worldwide spending on Blockchain solutions could reach $11.7 Bn in 2022”. Blockchain gives the insurance company an independently verifiable data set so they don’t have to rely on the customer’s version. It is emerging as the central repository of truth for many blockchain use-cases. According to Gartner reports, “Blockchain will create $3.1T in business value by 2030”.

4. Quantum Computing:

Quantum computing is rising on the Gartner Hype Cycle. It is expected to become one of the greatest disruptions of the age. Quantum computing has the ability to process huge datasets and models that would have previously taken days and weeks. It can help calculate risks, of almost any nature, such as the impact of an approaching hurricane on a specific region.

According to a recent Novarica executive report, “Quantum Computing and Insurance: Overview and Potential Players,” by Mitch Wein and Tom Kramer offer various use cases of quantum computing. However, not many insurers are working with quantum algorithms. They are still seen as technologies that are on the distant horizon and not in their face like artificial intelligence.

The insurance industry has a complex infrastructure and legal restrictions. However, with investments in these Strategic Technology trends, insurers can become more customer-centric, achieve growth and lower cost.

https://www.futureblockchainsummit.com/news/dubai-world-insurance-congress-calls-for-faster-digitisation

https://www.gartner.com/en/newsroom/press-releases/2018-10-15-gartner-identifies-the-top-10-strategic-technology-trends-for-2019

https://www2.deloitte.com/content/dam/Deloitte/it/Documents/technology/09%20-%20Dataviz%20-%20Qlik%20proposition_Deloitte%20Italy.pdf

https://www.gartner.com/en/newsroom/press-releases/2017-01-16-gartner-says-more-than-40-percent-of-data-science-tasks-will-be-automated-by-2020

https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/case-study-insurance-industry-denis-mwarania

https://tractable.ai/blog/together-towards-ai-notes-from-insuretech-connect-2017

https://www.dig-in.com/list/top-5-insurance-quantum-computing-use-cases

https://www.cbinsights.com/research/blockchain-insurance-disruption/

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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.

Gartner-Hype-Cycle

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.

Emotion-Intelligence-Market



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.
Gartner-Data-Analytics-Trends-Forecast-2019


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 hello@mantralabsglobal.com

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