The recent Efma-Accenture Innovation in Insurance Awards 2017 offered a valuable opportunity to learn how global insurers are leveraging digital technologies to transform themselves into everyday insurers. The innovations we saw are built on exponentially expanding digital technologies such as Artificial Intelligence (AI), Internet of Things (IoT), big data, analytics, and blockchain, and are being applied across the entire insurance value chain, from product development to claims.

As customers come to expect increasingly personalized, on-demand service, insurers must evolve to meet their expectations. To that end, leading insurers are embracing new technologies to shape innovative business models and client value proposition. I strongly believe that those who will innovate at scale will be in a position to weather disruption and transform into everyday insurers.

How can insurers be successful in their transition to the everyday insurance model? We believe there are two keys:

  1. Put customers’ needs first: the business model should revolve around the customer, rather than on selling products.
  2. Simultaneously invest in the new while protecting the legacy. This is a delicate balance to achieve and will be unique to your particular business.

We have analyzed the most compelling innovations in our database of more than 750 innovations by both incumbent and InsurTech innovations, and have identified these seven major innovation trends, which I will explore in this blog series:

Analysis the most compelling innovations in our database of more than 750 innovations by both incumbent and InsurTech innovations, has identified these seven major innovation trends.

The future of insurance will be seamless, convenient, and germane to customers’ everyday lives. From providing life insurance cover for a growing family, to shaping and rewarding healthy lifestyle choices, we will examine how these compelling innovations are helping insurers reach customers with ‘living services’ to help them at every stage of their lives.

AI is the New UI

As Artificial Intelligence continues to evolve, it moves from the back-end of the insurance business to the front line as the insurers’ customer-facing brand representative. From simultaneous translations, to machine learning natural language interface, to self-driving cars, artificial intelligence is becoming the new User Interface. Machine learning allows AI to become smarter with each interaction, fine-tuning and honing highly personalized customer interactions.

The following innovations from the Efma-Accenture Innovation in Insurance Awards 2017 illustrate how inventive insurers are leveraging AI’s capabilities, and it’s not only highly visible InsurTechs like Lemonade and its bots Mia and James. These are just a few innovations that caught my attention at this year’s awards:

Europ Assistance (France) operates a multi-channel roadside assistance customer support environment and has recently introduced a chatbot and virtural assistant. Customers can access the chatbot via the Facebook Messanger app (no need to download an additional app), or they can speak with a virtual assistant that uses natural language processing (NPL) to provide real-time service.

Liberty Mutual / Safeco utilizes Amazon’s Alexa personal assistant. Their new ‘skill’ allows insurance customers to simply ask questions – using their own natural voices and speech – and Alexa will guide them through some answers. No need to call a customer service center or visit a website.

Next week we will continue looking into exciting innovative trends introduced by insurers leveraging AI starting with the Virtual Advisor.

To read more about the submissions to the Efma-Accenture Innovation in Insurance Awards 2017, and to register for 2018, visit the Efma portal.

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