The future of insurance: the role tech plays in prevention
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As companies showcased their latest innovations, one of the ideas discussed was how they can do more to utilize technology and provide advice to customers to prevent losses and reduce the likelihood of a claim being made.
David Williams, non-executive director of MGA insurtech Qlaims, which provides loss recovery insurance to UK consumers and businesses, explains that in an insurance context, companies that have the expertise to support customers should take action before a loss occurs.
I see AI becoming embedded across many areas, such as report checking and claims settlements, as we’re able train these machines to be better than most human beings
"At this year’s conference I noticed a lot of companies discussing prevention in an insurance context, however there needs to be more understanding that it is about building relationships with the customer to offer them support," says Williams.
Zurich Resilience Solutions is one company that is using technology in this way, through sensors that can monitor the real-time performance of buildings to identify problems before they occur, and make them more efficient and sustainable.
“We have many insurance industry professionals who are experts in using preventative methods, for example, in flood prevention. However, it would be great if they could provide advice before an event and before considerable damage occurs,” says Williams.
AI can be used to support insurers in many ways such as preventing catastrophic claims and detecting fraud.
The insurance industry is becoming better at utilizing data but Williams points out that there are limited skilled resources. "Artificial intelligence (AI) can do the work of 24 actuaries such as detecting patterns and running scenarios," he says.
“I see AI becoming embedded across many areas, such as report checking and claims settlements, as we’re able train these machines to be better than most human beings,” says Williams.
“We will be able to take some parameters on the volume of claims, for example, and be able to make decisions instantly that would previously take a lot of resources and that could take several days to settle a claim or even weeks.”
There is no doubt that the companies that showcased their solutions at this year's event have a key part to play in prevention, and this year’s conference offered a platform for early-stage insurtech start-ups to also demonstrate their capabilities.
Insurtech allows us to push the boundaries of what was previously possible, building future-ready business models.
Generali, for example, has signed partnerships with venture incubators, for example universities, scouting and relationships hubs, such as Sønr, accelerators such as with Plug&Play insurtech hub in Munich and F10 in Zurich.
“Insurtech allows us to push the boundaries of what was previously possible, building future-ready business models,” says Bruno Scaroni, Generali group chief transformation officer.
“We have been working hard to maximise our expertise to inspire new projects thanks to initiatives, such as our ‘Innovation Fund.’”
Generali’s ‘Lifetime Partner 24: Driving Growth’ strategic plan will see an investment of €1.1 billion in digital and technology.
“Our strategy is the right way ensure that the Group will continue to lead the way in the industry by increasing customer value through our Lifetime Partner advisory model,” says Scaroni.