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Technology – Friend or Foe?

“It’s no secret that the insurance sector is conservative by nature and has largely been slow to embrace technology. In the past year, many of the large incumbents have been touting new ‘digital’ offerings to keep the insurtech challengers…at bay,” states Travys Wilkins from independent comparison website CompareGuru.

In an ITOnline article, he lists five ways in which he believes that technology is affecting and enhancing the insurance landscape:

1. Blockchain

According to Wilkens blockchain has been seen to assist companies in detecting fraud, maintain records and essentially save substantial time and labour resources. It ultimately allows you to know your customer and smart contracts and therefore could give both insurers and customers the ability to manage claims in a transparent manner.

2. Chatbots

Chatbots are increasingly being used in the insurance industry to support agents.

“The industry is still getting to grips with chatbots and with recent advances in cognitive technology, which helps Chatbots increase accuracy and provide far more relative automated responses, I suspect the uptake will increase even more,” Wilkens shares.

3. On-Demand Insurance

On-Demand Insurance is the ability to get insurance coverage whenever you want, wherever you want, by use of a mobile app.

“On-demand means that the insurance offered is on a need-based model. A simple way to define it is that you only pay for the time that you are at risk,” says Wilkins.

Recently, short-term insurer Santam partnered with on-demand insurance technology company JaSure. The Insurtech company offers digital, on-demand insurance to clients, effectively allowing them to choose what they want to insure and when to do so

4. Behaviour Tracking

Devices such as Discovery’s DQ-Track or wearables like Fitbit have given insurers some insight into our behaviour. Wilkens also points out that some insurers utilise machine learning technology to form smart recommendations on insurance policies, based on your social media. “In the future, those offering car insurance will have a far better idea of if you drive properly or not. Those offering life insurance will know if you exercise or live a healthy lifestyle,” he remarks. Ultimately this will allow insurers to adjust their prices accordingly and offer low-risk clients better rates.

5. Artificial Intelligence

Wilkins is surprised how long it has taken for AI to find its way into the insurance sector.

Through AI and automation, insurers could prevent many errors and thereby speed up entire processes for themselves and the customer.

I suppose the question now is how is technology changing the client-financial advisor relationship? Do you see it as a barrier or opportunity?

Click here to read the online article.

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