Linking technology and artificial intelligence for industries such as telecommunications, marketing and manufacturing. In the insurance sector, perhaps not so much. Customers still receive cards in the mail, meet agents at their offices, and talk to adjusters to claim. However, technology is changing the way insurers provide coverage and how policyholders receive services.
Technological advancements are beginning to automate and predict tasks associated with standard insurance, from filing a claim to adjusting a policy’s coverage. As the industry embraces things like artificial intelligence, machine learning, and other technologies, the relationship between supplier and customer is also changing.
More efficient processes and data analysis will not necessarily eliminate human contact. However, these improvements will increase accuracy, make information more accessible, and have the potential to significantly enhance interactions between service providers and customers. From the perspective of insurance providers and customers, there are five ways technology is revolutionizing the insurance industry.
1. Artificial intelligence is providing faster claim estimates.
Usually, when a policyholder files a claim for an auto, an adjuster needs to be present to assess the damage to the vehicle. Customers initiate complaints online or over the phone and must wait for the adjuster to meet them. The tuner will examine the vehicle, note defects and losses, and provide an estimate. That estimate can take several days, extending the time from initial customer contact to payment.
Meanwhile, customers may not have their car or be trapped in a vehicle with visible damage. Artificial intelligence is speeding up the time it takes insurers to provide and process estimates. Instead of waiting for an adjustment, policyholders can use the app immediately to take pictures of the damage they need to fix. One AI-based algorithm give an estimate within seconds. This allows insurance companies to receive funds to the policyholder or repair shop in a more timely manner.
2. Telecommunications is determining the premium.
Telecommunications may not be a familiar term for many insurance customers. But they probably know about this emerging trend in auto insurance premiums from their existing service providers. Some insurance providers send bill messages and emails touting a new technology that tracks customers’ driving habits. It’s a monitoring device that goes into the car and records the driver’s habits.
These devices are used to collect data, including location, speed, driving distance and accidents. Insurers then rely on this information to determine the cost of individual insurance premiums. In theory, aggressive drivers and those who burn more miles could pay higher premiums. Conscientious customers and those who drive less often will pay lower rates. Telecom enhances the accuracy of risk assessment for suppliers and rewards drivers with a good track record.
3. Drone is assessing damage.
Overall, the use of drone technology is increasing across many industries. Current projections suggest a larger market value 63 billion dollars in 2028. Estimates also reveal the market’s compound annual growth rate from 2021 to 2028 will be around 16%. The insurance industry contributed to that growth by using drones for damage assessment. Homeowners who file a claim for roof or storm damage may soon be surprised to see a drone fly over their property.
Instead of relying on roof inspectors, insurers can send drones to photograph hail and wind damage. Using drone technology increases the efficiency, accuracy, and safety of these assessments. Vendors can use drones to reach areas inaccessible to humans after major storms. The technology is also capable of capturing damage from impractical or dangerous angles that are inaccessible to humans.
4. Machine learning is automating claim forms.
Filing a claim after a car accident or a major emergency can be stressful. Anxiety and shock can make it difficult for clients to remember important details, such as the time of an event. Going through the details of the form online or with one person can be too much for the policyholder to handle and often contributes to added stress. However, insurers often stress the importance of filing a claim immediately.
Machine learning eliminates some of the burden that customers may experience during the claim process. Forms are pre-filled with data from customer history and policies eliminating the need to repeat information. Machine learning reduces the possibility of errors in the application process and increases efficiency. Even minor claims like windshield repair are streamlined when contractors file claims with customers using their policy number.
5. Social media is making customer service more accessible.
No one wants to wait or spend hours wondering if their insurance agent received their message. Before social media and chatbots, this is the reality for most policyholders when waiting for a phone call. Asking questions, trying to come up with a new policy, or making changes to existing coverage can take weeks. But now that insurers are available on most of the leading social media platforms, it has become easier to get customer service in order. Chatbots and email can also be ways for customers to get help when they need quick answers to things like policy and coverage questions.
Research shows that texting is now ranked second among the customer service channels that consumers use. Chatbots and social media instant messengers can address common questions about updating addresses, changing deductions, and filing claims. Customers can send messages directly on social platforms and get a response within the day. Usually, service providers can provide solutions within minutes or at least get the ball rolling. Satisfaction increases when customers are better served.
Technology in the insurance industry
Technological advancements are affecting the way customers and businesses interact in a number of industries. Insurance is one of those areas, as carriers integrate technologies like AI telecommunications and machine learning into their business models.
Suppliers and customers alike benefit from these improvements as coverage and service become more precise. Not to mention simplifying processes and increasing accessibility. Human-to-human contact will still play an important role, but technology is here to stay and will continue to play a role in enhancing the overall customer experience.
Featured image credit: David Peinado; Pexels.com. Thank you!