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The Insurtech revolutionizing the customer experience


Mathieu Carbasse

18 December 2017 07:00

Juergen Weiss, Renée Laflamme, Blake Hill, Boris Collignon, Wayne Millar | Photo : Mathieu Carbasse

Whether it’s virtual assistants of Sun Life or ai financial Group, or the Alert program recently launched by Desjardins, the industry placed more on the artificial intelligence and data processing to transform its relationship with the customer.

With the multiplication of connected objects, the insurers are now in the hands of the prodigious amounts of data from their customers. With this information, the risks become individualized, the artificial intelligence that allows today to treat a maximum amount of data. Begins one of the greatest transformations in the history of this industry, which places the insured at the heart of the process.

Juergen Weiss is vice-president of Gartner, an american company that specializes in consulting and research in the field of advanced techniques. This Forum Fintech, which was held recently in Montreal, he expects a technological innovation that will be increasingly at the service of the customer experience. «In the ecosystem of the Insurtech, 11 % of the startups devoted to connected devices, 18 % to research products, 19 % on the data analysis and 28 % on innovation on service to the customer,» he summarized, citing data from Gartner study Startup Database. Thus, three-quarters (76 %) of young shoots of the industry who are dedicated to the improvement of the relationship between insurers, distributors and consumers.

Among our american neighbours, many startups are launched, based on the complementarity with insurers or banks. Among those who practice in the processing of claims or the prevention of the risks (and therefore losses from the point of view of insurers), the new entrants are called Nauto, which makes driving safer thanks to the use of data, Snapsheet, which reduces the time of processing claims, OneEvent, which prevents the risks, or Drive Spotter, which uses the analysis of real-time video to secure the conduct of a fleet of vehicles.

SophiA, the virtual assistant ai financial Group

According to a survey conducted by Google and quoted by Mr. Weiss, 70 % of smartphone owners are interested in the fact of doing things by speaking rather than by touching or typing.

Against this backdrop, insurers are moving slowly in the deployment of new products and services, in order to create added value in their interaction with the client. Thus, in Canada, Sun Life launched last month Ella, a virtual assistant designed for customers of the insurance plans and retirement. iA financial Group has been working on a prototype of the same kind named Sophia. Manulife collects health-related data and encourages the client to do some physical exercise, thanks to the Vitality program.

Assist the customer throughout the day

«We want to be more close to our clients, proximity is the most important part of ai. We want to assist the customer in all moments of his day, » says Renée Laflamme, executive vice-president, insurance solutions, and savings collective, in ai financial Group.

Hence the upcoming launch of the virtual assistant SophiA, » an artificial intelligence which facilitates the claim and simplifies all the steps of the claim «. It also offers advice and services to the consumer, according to the different stages of his life (marriage, children, children’s education, retirement, etc). SophiA will react with a voice recognition system, because, as said by Ms. Laflamme, by 2020, 30 % of the transactions related to information technology will be without a screen.

Sun Life has his side taken the lead because the insurer is based in Toronto, was launched last September, Ella, coach digital interactive designed to help customers get the most out of their retirement plans and group benefits. And over time, the artificial intelligence will make It more interactive and cover a wide range of services related to health care.

According to Wayne Millar, vice-president, marketing and digital solutions, at Sun Life, the challenge related to the optimization of the processing of claims is immense for the insurer, which needs to process 15 million claims per year, or 1.6 claims per second. Suffice to say that the stakes are enormous. And again, the interaction will be through the voice, through the voice recognition.

«For Google Home for example, the adoption rate is faster than for the mobile phone. It is estimated that 10 % will be equipped by the end of 2017, » said Mr. Millar. Google also believes that by 2020, 50 % of searches will be made by the voice. «

Desjardins is focusing on the prevention

Innovation applies not only to life insurers and Desjardins general insurance Group is not left out. The insurer that had been one of the first in Canada to offer a telematics solution with Ajusto, launched in march of last year, a new program of damage prevention water-related home insurance, Alert. This program, co-developed with Roost, is based on a connected object that, in case of detection of water damage, triggers an alert on their smartphone to allow the insured to respond quickly and thus, to limit the damage to his residence.

«We started from the observation that the water account for nearly half (48 %) of insurance claims, and 47 % of the total complaints, compared with 4 % and 31% for the fire, or still, 18 % and 7 % for theft,» explains Boris Collignon, senior director, strategy, innovation and strategic partnerships, general insurance, Desjardins general insurance Group. So we have come up with something very easy to install, use, and cheap. «

Modernize the traditional model

The advantage with alarm is that once he receives the alert, the client must do something, he must act, ‘ says Mr Collignon. «For the customer, Alert facilitates the claims process, and reduce the damage since the water damage is taken as soon as it comes in. «

For the insurer, this type of innovation to modernize the traditional model of insurance being present in prevention, by increasing the customer engagement, and enhancing the image of the insurer from the point of view of innovation. All of them, potentially reducing the volume and severity of claims related to water damage. «We believe that it will have an effect on the cost and the number of claims,» says Mr Collignon.

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