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04 September 2018 by Patrick Davis

AI and Insurance: The Inevitable Disruption

AI and Insurance: The Inevitable Disruption

You have something of value - so you must protect it. This is a simple tried-and-tested concept, marketed to your ears daily, that has led to the insurance industry becoming a giant, aged and monopolised beast. A few innovations here and there (such as black boxes for cars, or early-adopters for automated claims) have led to more insight into data and how to use it - but what's next?

This question becomes ever more prominent as innovations such as driverless vehicles and smarter security systems aim to minimise the margin of human error - potentially decreasing the number of opportunities for companies to offer policies...

AI has already dramatically changed the technical landscape in other areas - for example Chatbots automate a large majority of customer service and banks use AI to combat fraud. The insurance behemoths are next up for more AI integration. Currently, masses of paperwork and contracts, historical records and analysis of trends lead to an incredible amount of stats. But someday soon, our belongings and home will be so totally intertwined with the IoT that these finer details will just become second knowledge to companies.

For example, customers may one day not even need to be quoted for prices on their car insurance - the pricing system will already know what they have paid previously from just a few personal details (or even automatically gathered beforehand) due to pre-analysed data held by AI, exposing any good or bad habits. The future’s connectivity will be so advanced and accessible that AI can pretty much infinitely analyse data from drivers. Their real time actions could even effect their risk category and their driving record.  

Furthermore, what of the smart home market? A compelling forward-looking insurance policy from London-based company Neos protects your home from pretty much any issue a smart-home sensor could detect. You’re on holiday and a gas leak develops... no problem - a sensor notifies you and the insurance company via a smartphone whilst simultaneously arranging for a contractor to fix it ASAP. No one is hurt and nothing is lost, all because of the AI behind these sensors analysing data in real time.

By adopting AI and automation in this respect, insurance companies should expect to overcome automation in other areas. The idea of industries now moving away from what is termed categorical data towards source data means that companies know their customers better than ever before - and this is just the beginning.