April 16, 2018 07:00
Carlos Benfeito | Photo : Réjean Meloche
Carlos Benfeito was given a mission by launching its start-up : making Canada the world leader in the field of artificial intelligence in insurance.
The Journal of insurance the met at the Château St-Ambroise, nursery start-ups in Montreal, where Went, his business, sharing the premises with a firm of video games.
Why have we launched Went ? «After having spent 17 years working for large insurers, I asked myself if this is what I wanted to do for 17 years. The answer has been » no «, said Mr Benfeito, who has held positions of management at AXA and Intact Insurance, in particular.
Adapt to the insurance
Although the concept of artificial intelligence in insurance seems new to many, Mr. Benfieto said that several solutions already exist. Large firms, such as IBM or Microsoft, have developed solutions of artificial intelligence. They lend themselves, however, bad insurance, » he said.
He also cites the model ofElement AI, by Nicolas Chapados, as the enterprise of artificial intelligence in insurance. Mr Benfeito said, however, that his model differs from that of Element I on a great point : the insurer or the broker who will use its services, will retain its data.
«Data is the oil of the insurer. This is why I want to offer them, as well as to brokers, the features they can use in the room, like Apple does with its App Store. Brokers do not have the means or the resources to mount such systems. My goal is to put the artificial intelligence on their hands, in a language that they understand, » he says.
Mr Benfeito is still editing his business. A dozen people work with him. He is also conducting tests with a dozen organizations, insurers and brokers. It is anticipated that the official launch of its business will be in July. It has invested its own funds to develop it. It has not sought venture capital in the moment.
It intends to launch its service offering with four products. Others will follow later in 2019.
Its first product is called Auto Lenz. From a photo submitted by the insured, the artificial intelligence module of Went to identify the brand and model of the vehicle. No form to fill out for the customer. The info is transferred automatically to the insurer, who can apply their codes of pricing and return information in real time to produce a submission.
The module of Auto Lenz goes further. It can identify in the same photo if a moped or a boat found it. Another submission may be produced on-the-field for these additional products.
«It’s fun for the insured, and it is easy for him. This is done both for the insured and the insurer. We put the customer at the beginning of the chain. It also allows you to collect data on customer behavior. With the photo, the insurer may withdraw full of information. «
Then comes Auto Coverage Talk & Home Coverage Talk. This application is intended to give the insurer the information it needs. For example, if a person escapes inadvertently his cell phone in the toilet, is that his insurance covers his loss ? If yes, how ?
Use of actual cases
«By coming in contact with his insurer, a chatbot can give him the right information, in a language he understands, that without that one speaks to him of its premium B2 or B3. Insurance is complicated for the insured. When it needs it, it is because he is living a particular moment in his life. Well a few people know that a cover housing does not usually cover more than $ 500 for jewelry. We want to use actual cases so that they realize what is in their coverage. «
Auto Quote Talk & Property Quote Talk will quickly give a price to a client who wants one from of assistive devices in the home as a Google Home or Amazon’s Alexa. Then, Self-Grooming Lenz takes the principle of Auto Lenz, but when a disaster strikes. From a photo, an insurer or its claims adjuster will be able to quickly determine the state of damage on a vehicle, or even to declare a total loss on-the-field and to initiate the process of compensation.
Remove the hassle out
«We just remove a lot of inefficiency in the market with such applications. It also removes the hassle for the insured. It follows the life cycle of a policy : the submission, purchase, changes, renewal, and claim. «
Mr Benfeito will not sell its solutions to a single insurer or a single broker. It relies on the volume of transactions to monetize its business model.
Thus, an insurer or a broker who wants to use its applications will be able to obtain a key to do so. It will then be priced based on usage, ranging from five cents to one dollar per use, depending on the product.