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What customers will soon expect from insurance carriers


February 26, 2018   by Jason Contant


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Insurance customers are going to start expecting personalized products and services based on data, Andrew Lo, president and CEO of Kanetix Ltd., said during a webinar Thursday.

“Our customers are going to expect smart personalization like, ‘Give me the products that I need today,’” Lo said during the Insurance Institute of Canada’s webinar, Innovation in Insurance – Beyond Blockchain and AI. “Your customers are going to want to be able to access you right away, anytime they want.”

Lo used the example of telematics as an example of collecting data and analytics on driving behaviour to deliver more personalized insurance coverage. “Most carriers, if they are using telematics, they’re collecting data in order to determine driving behaviour that is catered to the individual, versus underwriting that is based on statistics,” he said.

With the introduction of smart speakers, connected cars and smart thermostats, for example, customers are going to expect the industry to use all of these as data points to provide products and services. “All this technology is going to enable a frictionless experience,” Lo said. “People are going to expect no friction in purchase and service of anything.”

Data, which Lo describes as “infinitely expandable and now exponentially growing,” is also creating a whole new industry in artificial intelligence and machine learning. “This industry has now really come to life and we have so much data that we can actually train machines,” he said. He noted that Intel and Nvidia are creating hardware that will mimic the self-learning process of a human brain.

“AI does not work without a lot of data,” Lo said. “AI means it can build its own software; it learns from the data, and it changes its programming on its own, in order to do work for us that we can’t process with our own human brains.”

Does this mean consumers will lose the human connection and communicate solely with machines? Not necessarily.

Lo said that although some insurance companies offer an AI chatbot, consumers often want to be able to research insurance and talk to a provider. “Human insurance providers are always going to be a necessity in this, but people are going to want more intelligent interactions and conversations online,” he said.