The claims function has much to gain from artificial intelligence (AI), from simple automation to chatbots. Successful implementation depends on digital trust.

AI can help insurers offer a superior claims experience due to a faster, more transparent process—for example, it’s hard to beat the wow factor of Lemonade’s AI-enabled claims processing. In the case of Lemonade, customers download a separate app. That’s a nice way to maintain control over the insurer-customer relationship, but given the clutter on most people’s smartphones, it may not be optimal to expect customers to download—never mind use—a dedicated app.

Instead, some insurers are meeting customers where they are, and providing customer service via chatbots on third-party messaging platforms. However, using third-party platforms raises security issues. On an unsecured channel, how can insurers offer personalized claims service without compromising trust? We can look to the banking industry for some guidance: here’s how TD Ameritrade tackles identity authentication on platforms like Facebook Messenger and Amazon Alexa.

Finally, claims leaders must remember that technology in general, and AI in particular, is not inherently objective. For example, one city designed an app to passively identify potholes as people drove around with their smartphones. However, developers failed to consider that since wealthier people are more likely to own smartphones, the majority of the roadwork was allocated to more affluent neighborhoods—which defeated the purpose of the app and more important, damaged public trust.

In short, if claims leaders wish to leverage AI’s benefits, they must reassure customers that the technology can be trusted—that their privacy will be respected, their information protected and that they will be treated fairly.

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