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Can Technology Change Insurance?

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We are living in an exciting time. It seems like we can’t get through even one week without hearing about a major breakthrough in one industry or another. Not only are there now thousands of companies pushing the limits of what was previously believed to be impossible, they’re all in a race to do it first. There isn’t a single industry that is prone to these advancements and new industries seem to be created on a regular basis. The world around us, and how we live in it, is changing incredibly fast and we’re excited about it.

We keep hearing about autonomous vehicles, virtual reality, cryptocurrencies, robotic surgeons, artificial intelligence and many more advancements that seem to one-up themselves each month. As soon as we’ve understood the newest technology, it either updates to a more advanced version or is made obsolete by another company’s improvement. It’s very hard to keep up with these trends in real time which is why we would like to focus on the future implications some of these technologies will bring.

Artificial intelligence is a feature that will be used in almost every industry, business and service within the next 15 to 20 years, possibly even sooner. There are already numerous applications of this technology and the amount of money being spent on advancing it is astounding. In July we heard about Facebook’s development of a software that used artificial intelligence, AI, to teach “chatbots” how to negotiate. After they were taught the basics of negotiation, their AI would take over the process, which lead to some incredible, and scary, results.

Facebook had to re-program the robots after they developed their own language because the goal of their software is for us to be able to purchase our own negotiating robots to do things like find the best airfare prices, negotiate prices with servicemen like plumbers or contractors and be our personal assistants. The project definitely proved that AI is going to play a large role in the future but that there needs to be some caution as we move forward.

We chose to mention AI because it will have limitless application potential, including customer service. Insurance companies aren’t exactly known for their amazing customer service, it’s something they’ve struggled with for a long time. The implementation of AI could change that. Through algorithms programmed with our satisfaction in mind, they could use AI to better the services they offer to their customers.

Automated chats, calls, marketing departments and sales teams could prevent the endless emails, long wait times when calling in, being pitched products we have no use for and so much more. Have you ever filed a claim with your insurance company? If you answered yes then you probably know how complicated and frustrating that process can be, especially if you’ve just been in an accident or experienced a loss at your home.

The next technology we want to cover is autonomous vehicles. An autonomous vehicle is one that requires little to no human input. Just ten years ago this was thought to be impossible due to the endless possibilities that being on the road presents but through some incredible advancements, that have happened at record pace, it is a reality we are already seeing today. Many new cars offer autonomous features such as lane assist, adaptive cruise control and the vehicle’s ability to park itself.

This presents very exciting possibilities. Most car accidents today could be avoided if the vehicles on the road were autonomous and communicating with each other. This could drastically change the insurance industry as we know it. If the probability of accidents dropped significantly, theoretically, so would the price of insurance. Drivers in larger cities are often charged more because the probability of an accident on congested roads is much higher. If the probability of an accident on all roads dropped, the price should too.

The technology in an autonomous vehicle isn’t something we fully understand, but it is something we’re very excited about. Many insurers see this advancement as impending doom, but we’ve learned that adapting to changes rather than fighting them leads to exciting results. There isn’t much that can stop technology from advancing, especially one that numerous governments have invested billions of dollars into over the last several years.

As we continue to see more and more new technologies each day, we like to think about how they can be used to benefit society, including our own clients. We’re not investing money into these technologies yet but if we see potential to serve you better, we certainly will. Our goal for the last 25 years has been to provide an unmatched level of service, as times change, so does our service. We’re excited about the possibilities ahead and hope you are too.

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