4 Ways AI is Empowering Insurers During COVID-19
Sonny Patel | May 11, 2020
Among the many and varied realizations stemming from the COVID-19 outbreak, perhaps one of the most eye-opening has been our need for a digitally connected world. Having flipped “business as usual” on its head, the pandemic has been one of the biggest disruptors we’ve experienced in decades. As such, it has exposed the need for a swift digital transformation—especially within the insurance space
We’ve been talking about how artificial intelligence (AI)-driven solutions are poised to drive innovation, streamline efficiencies, and uplevel the industry’s customer service capabilities for years. However, we have never needed the real-time solutions AI can deliver more than we do now. And this need will only continue to grow as our future “new normal” takes shape. While we can't say for certain what the long-term effects COVID-19 will have on the insurance industry, we do know the technological advances born from this moment will help empower and better prepare you and your team for what lies ahead. Here's how:
1. AI provides clarity around coverage.
Surprised to find out what is and isn’t covered under certain plans as they relate to COVID-19 outcomes, policyholders around the country are opting to sue insurance companies in an effort to recoup pandemic-related financial losses. The stakes are undoubtedly high for American businesses and individuals, but the insurance industry isn’t immune to the fiscal fallout, either.
In the commercial sector, where business-interruption policies mainly cover physical damage and often exclude large-scale payouts for wars or pandemics, the American Property Casualty Insurance Association estimates that costs could reach well into the billions. Add on to that just the baseline number of claims that require processing, and carriers are facing an incredible industry backlog.
One way to alleviate these massive pain points is to leverage AI-driven solutions to increase efficiency. Through its machine-learning capabilities, this technology can perform thousands of judgment-intensive tasks simultaneously. Having the ability to review and compare coverages between old and new products to address and clarify coverage issues at record speed has never been more critical.
2. AI helps insurers to connect with policyholders and make smarter decisions.
There is a lot we don’t know yet about what the future holds. But it’s probably safe to assume that in-person interactions won’t return to what’s considered normal for some time. That’s why insurance companies need to ramp-up their digital communication capabilities—now.
Self-service portals, mobile apps, and AI-powered chatbots keep businesses and policyholders connected by making it easier for customers to ask questions and purchase insurance. Technology provides 24/7 support to clients that are in need. It automates claims fraud protection and assists with everything from filing claims to calculating payouts.
Technology can even aid underwriters in gathering more information to better assess an individual’s risk factors, helping make better-informed policy decisions. In the case of the car insurance sector, for example, carriers are using telematics like GPS and navigation systems to collect and analyze data on safe or hazardous driving habits, and even reconstructing accident scenes to better understand the chain of events that led to the crash. All of these efforts result in faster, more efficient claims processing, as well as freeing up your team to address more complex issues—a capability proving particularly important amidst the outbreak.
3. AI can improve internal operations, especially for remote work.
Once considered a job perk, remote work has been transformed by COVID-19 into an operational necessity—quite possibly changing the dynamics of the American workforce altogether, according to a recent report from CNBC. This shift further underlines the importance of a digital transformation within the insurance industry. By leveraging technology to carry out tasks that otherwise required people to accomplish, companies can execute their services faster and more securely.
For example, processing inbound documents is typically an arduous assignment that requires a lot of time and manpower. Digital delivery of policy dec sets, statements and related correspondence, coupled with online payment solutions, negates the need for onsite operations and decreases physical handling of paperwork—a move that not only saves your company time and money, but also keeps employees safe during this global health crisis.
4. AI can protect against inevitable cyber risk.
This massive shift to remote work environments increases reliance on digital interaction and subsequently exposes companies to a higher level of cyber-risk. Unfortunately, cybercriminals see COVID-19 as an opportunity. Knowing most healthcare companies’ staff and resources are stretched to their limits, they’ve seriously upped the ante on network hacking and fraud.
But insurtech companies like Corvus Insurance are taking note and responding to this threat with solutions that provide cyber-risk analysis and reports for businesses on the frontlines of the healthcare response. Using data science and their proprietary software, Corvus is offering free IT security scans to score a business’ cyber-security competencies in eight key areas.
Similarly, AI-powered platforms are highly effective at detecting and preventing deception for the insurance sector. For example, machine-learning algorithms can spot abnormalities in claims data and flag it as potential insurance claim fraud. These tools can even identify false information customers may be using to try and land a lower premium or higher claim payout, while also deploying security technologies to protect customer and internal company data.
There is no going back to the way things were before the COVID-19. The world has changed and therefore industries have changed. Businesses looking to weather the storm—and maybe even come out on top in the end—need to adapt in order to meet the needs of an ever-evolving digital environment.
Sonny Patel is the founder and CEO of Insurmi, an AI-based engagement platform for insurance carriers. Insurmi is used by a number of top-tier global insurance carriers to easily generate new business online, streamline customer claims, and deliver excellent customer service through conversational AI.
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