In 2016 one of the three winning startups of Open-F@b Call4Ideas, the open innovation initiative of BNP Paribas Cardif (in partnership with InsuranceUp) was Spixii, a young company that developed a chatbot to revolve customer experience in insurance industry.
This technology allows insurers, brokers and price comparison websites to get in touch with customers through communication systems such as Facebook Messenger and Skype. Through a simple conversation, people can find an answer to their insurance needs in just a few minutes. Simply put, it is an automated insurance agent, “Siri” for insurance.
Today the chatbot is in full swing, thanks to the development of its fundamental element: artificial intelligence. In a nutshell, these are software programs capable of simulating a conversation between a robotic operator and a human being. "Bot" is the short for "robot", in computer science means a program that has access to the same systems of communication and interaction with the machines used by human beings. Basically they are computer programs "speaking" like human beings. Siri and Cortana, the personal assistants made available by Apple and Microsoft respectively, are bots. Bots existed for a long time, but it is only thanks to the incredible developments in artificial intelligence, apps, messaging services, that the chatbot has just begun to show the many opportunities and business applications it offers. Businesses interested in chatbot are financial and insurance ones.
Juniper Research says that the use of chatbot for the customer relationship will always be higher by companies, especially banking, financial services, e-health. The reason is simple: it allows a reduction in costs compared to traditional customer service tools and is also much more effective, as shown in the info graphic.
According to Juniper, the chatbot will replace "flesh-and-blood" workers with artificial intelligence, which will be increasingly sophisticated, able to learn from the same conversations and to reshape according to the user. Therefore it is more effective. Many companies are already testing it.
And many other insurtech startups: Lemonade in NY, which is among the most funded, said to have solved a claim in three seconds, via chatbot. Among the most funded insurtech startups there is also Trov, on demand policies to protect personal assets, also characterized by the use of a chatbot to manage claims.
Cove, a New Zealand startup that will launch its product in 2018, has built on the chatbot technology the entire process from purchase to claim. The founders consider that the artificial intelligence will make insurance a more humane matter.
"Most of the people we spoke to, admitted they did not understand their insurance policy or what they bought. In general, what they want is an experience with quick and painless insurance providing in any case serious coverage", they state in a press release.
This new type of insurance experience can be provided by a chatbot, which can simplify purchasing process of traditionally complex products such as life insurance, making it smoother process without paperwork. Moreover, chatbot can seamlessly connect to a wide range of other technologies, such as face recognition software, to identify an individual's age and health just thanks to a selfie.