Insurtech funding thru Q3 2019 has hit record levels totaling about $4.4B (approximately 60% being P&C and 40% L&H). Surprisingly, little funding attention has been made to the “Chatbot.” Even though the simple chatbot provides immediate benefits to customers, agents, and employees.
According to an analysis of Coverager data, there have been 5 Insurtechs funded for approximately $35M to launch chatbots specifically focused on the Insurance vertical. This amount pails in comparison to how much traditional tech providers like IBM, Microsoft, Amazon and Google have invested in chatbot technology. Afterall, wouldn’t a carrier like to have a chatbot as smart as Watson was on Jeopardy or as ‘helpful’ as Alexa or Siri?
Chatbots can help you:
- Save Time
- Save Money
- Improve customer, agent & employee satisfaction
- Increase customers
- Can decrease errors
- Allow you to show some humor
So where do you start?
As with any project, start with the use case. What opportunity or problem are you trying to address? First, identify your use case then, identify what vendor to use.
Remember, you don’t have to start with customers. There are perhaps even more use cases for internal staff or your brokers.
Now that you have a use case and realize chatbots can help, who should you consider partnering with? Insurtech or Traditional Tech?
Partner with an Insurtech if your current tech stack is outdated and/or you want to jump start training the bot specifically for insurance.
Partner with a traditional tech company to integrate easier with your current systems and/or knowing they will be around for the long term. Unlike Insurtechs, some of the big tech companies provide their chat technology for free!
Here are 7 traditional chatbot providers to consider
- AMAZON: simply put AWS Lex lets you leverage Alexa’s brains. If you are an AWS user – integration is easy
- GOOGLE: Dialogueflow integrates with lots of services and is strong on ML analytics and understanding intent
- IBM WATSON: No this isn’t just your Jeopardy contestant. Watson also includes a process for measuring the emotion of the user and transferring the conversation to a human if the user grows angry
- MICROSOFT: AzureBot is about building enterprise-grade bots focused on controlling the data. It integrates with Cognitive services to make interactions more human-like
- LIVEPERSON: is a completely integrated customer service platform.
- LIVECHAT is a platform for supporting live agents with a collection of canned responses and commonly sought info
- BOLD360: is about “bot and agent harmony” Its software aims to blend the work of humans and AI.
Here are 5 Insurtech chatbot providers to consider
- Hi MARLEY: Insurance focused specializing in claims, underwriting and policy interactions. APIs to connect with Guidewire and Duck Creek
- CLAIMBOT: Mostly focused on claims-based interactions. Delivers a seamless conversational chatbot experience on SMS, Facebook Messenger and any browser
- INSURMI: Designed to guide consumers through the entire insurance customer journey from sales to claims to customer service
- LEO: Focused on helping the insurance agent sell and service customers 24/7
- https://www.pypestream.com: Focuses on conversational transactions that are AI enhanced
The Path Forward
As with any activity, it’s very important to pay attention to what’s going on outside your four walls and to identify the best use case.
Look at implementing chatbots thru four lenses:
- Will implementing a chatbot create new value for you and your policyholders?
- If you don’t provide chatbots, will you lose market share?
- How might chatbots destroy old paradigms, ways to interact, and insurance products?
- How can chatbots help improve operational efficiency and customer/agent/employee experience?
Evaluating the upside and downside of any new innovation positions you to better meet the changing needs of your agents, customers, & employees.
About Insurtech Advisors
Insurtech Advisors is dedicated to helping regional insurance carriers plan for the future today. We help you identify and partner with Insurtechs. This enables you to thrive and continue to meet the needs of your members, employees, and independent agents.
Kaenan is a professional in the areas of block chain, telematics, wearables, analytics, artificial intelligence (AI) and Insurtech. He has played a key role in innovating many start-ups and established carriers. His advice has been widely appreciated in the financial community, which resulted in multiple quotes and publications in various media.
Most recently he was Practice Lead for Innovation, Fintech, and Strategic Insights at EY. Throughout his career he has held leading roles within Marketing Strategy and Decision Management with top Insurance, Banking and Finance companies, including USAA, Citibank and Sallie Mae.