Insurance Blog | Accenture    

For the insurance industry, the health and safety benefits of wearables and other IoT-connected devices is well established. But meeting new customer demands for protection goes beyond capturing user-generated data.

What matters now is how an insurer and their ecosystem partners use the data shared with them by the customer. And whether they have the right mix of talent and technology to optimize its use.

Analytics capabilities, including predictive and prescriptive analytics, can enable data-driven insurance offers in real-time. Known customer behaviors and preferences can inform these offers, which moves the insurer beyond limited customer attribute data like demographics and income.

AI-led transformations in insurance

There are multiple examples of these kinds of AI-led transformations in the industry. One such example, from the Efma-Accenture Innovation in Insurance Awards, is AXA Asia. Their empathetic AI-powered chatbot, Emma, provides personal support and guidance for customers using natural language conversations to support customers’ overall well-being.

Mitsui Sumitomo Insurance Group (Japan) is another. Their MS1 Brain, which fuses the strengths of humans and AI—with AI partnering with agencies—to drive a customer-centric sales process. The solution collects, analyzes, and utilizes various customer information to accurately understand needs and offer the most appropriate products.

These kinds of real-time, customer-centric experiences are becoming the norm. And demand for them will grow among commercial lines customers and among group benefits customers as they accommodate new employee needs.

Optimized AI + Workforce

In their book, Human + Machine, Paul Daugherty and Jim Wilson wrote, “For years, the dream of many researchers was to create artificial intelligence that could rival that of people. However, we’re seeing that AI is instead becoming a tool to extend our human capabilities.”

The choice carriers face is not binary. It’s not a question of whether the human or the machine is better suited to manage risk. Carriers need to take a blended approach, asking how best to leverage machines to help humans provide the most engaging, efficient service for customers.

Our Insurance Consumer Study 2021 shows that pure machine interaction was ranked as the least appealing option. Under 10% of consumers say they are comfortable engaging with a robot when making a claim, applying for a loan or mortgage, or asking for advice on products and offerings. Human interaction ranked second, with trust with in-office human advice falling between 2018 and 2020. Human interaction informed by AI ranked first.

As technology, emerging risks, customer expectations, and competitive pressures change the industry, insurers need to rethink their work, workforce, and workplaces. This requires a shift in mindset that goes beyond incremental change—rearchitecting the work and roles done in an insurance organization to better serve customers.

To learn more about consumer preferences and trends in insurance, read our Insurance Consumer Study Report.