Worldwide spending on AI-centric systems across 19 industries including the insurance sector will pass $300 billion by 2026. – IDC
86% of insurance companies responded that they can create better customer service experiences using the power of AI. – PWC
95% of insurance executives familiar with cognitive capabilities said they intend to invest in them. – IBM
70% of customers expect a multi-channel experience for policy research and purchase. – Capgemini and Efma
AI investments can drive up to a whopping $1.1 trillion in potential annual value for the insurance industry across functions and use cases. – McKinsey
If the various statistics and trends above can confirm one thing, it’s that conversational AI or virtual assistants are the key that can unlock and disrupt the insurance landscape for the better.
According to Mike Glennon, a senior market research analyst with IDC Customer Insights & Analysis team, “AI is not the future, it is now.” Emerging players in the insurance sector are already on the virtual assistant bandwagon, making it critical that traditional insurance providers follow suit.
And the use of AI-powered virtual assistants in insurance goes beyond automating direct conversations with customers. As you are aware, modern-day insurance providers do not always sell directly to end users and have a multitude of stakeholders to manage:
- Policyholders, who are individual end consumers
- Financial consultants or insurance agents who sell on behalf of the insurer, as well as agency management
- Independent brokers who sell multiple insurance products from different firms
- Bancassurance where banks and financial services providers sell insurance products
- Corporations and their HR teams who provide medical insurance to their employees
- Digital channels: E-offerings where they sell directly to consumers online through self-service
How can conversational AI help you juggle stakeholders and improve processes in the fast-transforming and competitive insurance sector?
So, in today’s post, we’ll explore the five critical use cases of conversational AI for the insurance industry.
Current Challenges of the Insurance Industry
The modern-day insurance sector has its fair share of challenges that affect many key stakeholders as shown below:
- Still relying on backend legacy insurance systems, insurance agents must cross-check different data sources as the data may not be synced in real-time.
- Employees are burdened with too many repetitive tasks and are unable to provide quality customer service.
- Prospect policyholders are confused with the insurance offerings since there are many to choose from and are complex to understand.
- Insurance companies waste time and money on tasks or initiatives that are not revenue-generating.
- Still relying on physical servicing counters when the entire insurance stakeholder system is shifting to a digital-first experience.
- The fast emergence of other industry service providers who offer digital-first service.
Identifying these pain points can help you understand how virtual assistants can help transform the insurance landscape for the better.
5 Conversational AI Use Cases in Insurance
Now let’s take a look at the top five most powerful conversational AI use cases in the insurance industry that can help solve the pain points listed above across multiple stakeholders.
1. Boost Customer Support Centre Efficiency
Also known as customer support automation, deploying conversational AI can help insurance providers like yourself to supercharge customer support centre efficiency. It’s a norm for insurance companies to employ a customer service team to manage enquiries. However, these call centres can quickly become overloaded with a high volume of enquiries.
Did you know you can automate about 80% of these interactions by deploying conversational AI solutions? Intelligent bots can handle repetitive and simple queries, leaving room for insurance agents to manage high-priority cases with more personalised follow-ups. When you complement AI agents with human insurance agents, this collective team can potentially increase the overall handling volume by 20 times or more.
Check out the ways you can achieve customer support automation with conversational AI:
- Pre-screen customers’ enquiries
- Handle more than one query at once with live chat
- Retrieve accurate policy and transaction information
With the rapid automation of business operations, insurance agents might feel that their job security is at risk of being completely replaced by virtual assistants. The reality is that the role of insurance agents will, in the future, morph into that of product educators, process facilitators and relationship builders. Remember that you can’t possibly replace the unique human touch when building connections with customers.
2. Streamline Insurance Business Operations
Automating and streamlining backend business operations using AI-powered virtual assistants is equally crucial as frontend operations help to improve a company’s productivity and profitability. The two main groups of people who will benefit significantly from this are the backend employees and insurance agents:
- Backend employees can accelerate claims processing regarding initial claims routing, claims triage, claims adjudication, and claims management audit.
- Backend employees can also identify and prevent insurance fraud.
- Based on past risk assessments, insurance agents can get faster, more accurate, and more competitive underwriting (or premium predictions).
- Insurance agents can send alerts and reminders to customers about policy renewals, promotions, payments, and company announcements.
Your team can then focus on mission-critical tasks that are value-adding to the customers and revenue-generating for you.
3. Empower Policyholders with Self-Service Facilities
With self-service facilities or FAQ automation, you’re enabling your policyholders with the right information. In addition, consumers are becoming more digitally savvy and want information (e.g., quote comparison, policy information) fast and on their own before they even talk to agents.
Conversational AI solutions can be integrated into always-on, self-servicing facilities that can help policyholders in several ways:
- Interactive Q&A with virtual assistants can simplify complex insurance products and make customers sure of policy details.
- Conversational AI bots will accelerate claims processing by prompting policyholders to upload their documents within the interface for digitisation. The bots can then analyse the documents to determine their validity and continue processing.
- In some cases, customers may still want to interact with agents to get a second opinion from them. Bots can be helpful here by relaying the information collected to the insurance agents to guide customers in completing enquiries.
When you’re helping policyholders to take the right actions at the right time, you’ll improve client retention.
4. Accelerate Purchase Journey for Prospect Policyholders
Besides existing policyholders, intelligent virtual assistants embedded on company websites or in apps can allow prospects to go through the entire insurance purchase journey themselves (especially from the pre-purchase to the purchase stage). Read how to achieve that below:
- During the pre-purchase stage, virtual assistants can recommend personalized insurance products as prospects are doing their research. There’s also an opportunity to upsell or cross-sell suitable policies to potential users.
- Prospects can also compare different products and premiums and select the one that fits best with their profile before purchasing.
- During the purchase stage, conversational AI bots can help with document submission, policy information retrieval, and payment transactions. Underwriting also falls under this stage.
This method works best for trivial insurance products like travel, motor, and mutual fund insurance that don’t require prospects to comb through much information. Your sales and marketing teams can also initiate suitable marketing campaigns with the data collected by bots through websites or apps to convert prospects into confirmed policy buyers.
5. Provide a Seamless Omnichannel Experience
Just like in the healthcare sector where the digital front door is critical, the insurance sector will also benefit from a seamless omnichannel experience. It’s not uncommon that insurance providers to have digital channels other than call centres and emails available for customers to reach out to. Some channel examples include messaging apps like Whatsapp and social media accounts.
When you integrate conversational AI into your communication channels, you’ll solve the siloed and frustrating communication experience that many online customers face. Imagine all your channels–both offline and online–are operating based on a single source of truth regarding your policyholders’ or prospects’ profiles. AI-powered virtual assistants ensure that different departments across different channels are unified to consistently provide quality customer experience.
A Real-Life Use Case of Insurance Conversational AI
If you think that use cases of conversational AI look good on paper, just wait until you see how it can look in real life.
You’re an Operations Manager who joined Insurance Company ABC and you noticed that a lot of the company’s operational benchmarks are on a downward trend.
For example, on the customer service end, customers are expressing dissatisfaction because they can only update their profile details through agents or by sending emails. Even then, the information doesn’t get updated immediately in the client portal. There’s also a high turnover rate because employees are overwhelmed with high volume enquiries, stuck working with legacy systems, and lacking career progress. From the marketing side, leads are dwindling, and online behaviour is worrying (e.g., high bounce rate and low goal completion). What’s worse, operational costs are never-ending.
You realise that for your organisation to stay competitive in the insurance industry, you must unify stakeholders and systems across offline and online channels. Enter conversational AI. A virtual assistant, XYZ, is deployed across various digital assets and communication channels, such as the company’s official website, mobile app, WhatsApp, client portals, and agent servicing portals.
As a result, customers find the omnichannel experience to be seamless. Updating profile details only requires them to log in to the client portal and make the necessary edits.
Submitting claims is easy as they only need to upload relevant documents directly to the portal and let the bots do the rest. They’ll also receive confirmation emails after each process. And since the portal is available in an app version, customers have the latest policy and transaction information on the go.
You’re also getting more leads and closed deals since the website is transformed into a self-help hub. Prospects engage with virtual agents and quickly get the policy information that they need. Your staff are freed up from mundane admin work to focus on more strategic initiatives like offering personalised follow-ups with prospects that want further discussion. Not only that, but staff are also more satisfied with their career since they’re doing high-value work.
The best part is that the virtual assistant platform is designed to scale with the business’s evolving
needs without requiring any replacement. This means that Insurance Company ABC is capable of providing quality insurance service to customers in-line with industry standards.
Deploying conversational AI in the insurance sector is pretty much proven thanks to KeyReply’s partnership with AIA Singapore–a leading insurance provider in Singapore.
The virtual assistant, Maia, was deployed across various communication channels to accelerate agent servicing, automate self-service facilities, and many other capabilities. Upon deployment, Maia was instrumental in reducing live chat average user waiting time by 40% and exceeding 100% of usage goals.
Currently, 20 departments in AIA Singapore are offering their best service experience and enabling customers to live healthier, longer, better lives.
Transform Your Insurance Customer Experience with Conversational AI
With powerful conversational AI solutions and use cases, insurance providers like yourself can take the first step towards future-proofing your customer experience. By automating your business process, you enable your insurance staff to perform their best and your customers to benefit from exceptional service quality.
Some insurance providers are already on the fast track to going completely digital soon, gradually shifting from even phone calls and emails towards conversational AI. Making the jump to virtual assistants will ensure you stay competitive with the rest of the insurance provider giants.
Reach out to our friendly experts to learn more about KeyReply’s proven method of deploying AI solutions in the insurance sector.