Artificial intelligence and virtual assistants are all the rage right now for consumers. The fact that you can ask Alexa, or Cortana, or Siri for just about anything is extremely powerful and most companies know that integrating that technology into their offerings is a must.
A recent article from Denise Johnson on Insurance Journal explores what the role of the virtual assistant looks like in the insurance world. They are already able to take on simpler, more straightforward claims and some can even underwrite policies. Virtual assistants can connect car accident victims directly to their insurance providers and can even assess damage based on airbag deployment. While many insurance employees might be worried about these chat bots replacing them, Johnson’s article assures readers that isn’t the case.
Virtual assistants are certainly the way of the future for insurers, but these programs are still being optimized and they are probably not yet as smart as humans when it comes to assessing damage or injury. More pressing or complex claims still require human intellect. Many providers are also still undergoing slow updating processes and are burdened with outdated, legacy infrastructures that don’t adequately support this technology yet.
That being said, chat bots are finding their way into more roles with insurers. By allowing virtual assistants to handle more basic claims, valuable employee resources can be directed where they are needed most and not wasted on claims that could be easily automated. In turn, the customer’s experience is more streamlined and the employee plate isn’t cluttered with minor, easy-to-address cases, thus boosted company morale and brand loyalty.
More importantly, insurance is an industry that hinges on human interaction. When customers seek out help from their insurance provider, it’s often tied to a major life decision or an unfortunate event like a home purchase or a car accident. These are emotionally charged, stressful interactions – human contact goes a long way.
Human roles in the insurance world might be changing due to the adoption of artificial intelligence, but they certainly aren’t disappearing. Continuing to supplement human interaction with virtual assistance is the right move for leading insurance providers.