What the Rise of Chatbots Means for Insurance Software


What do you get when you cross artificial intelligence advancements with a proliferation of messaging apps? A rise in chatbots, according to Business Insider. BI contributor Laurie Beaver put it this way: “AI has reached a stage in which chatbots can have increasingly engaging and human conversations, allowing businesses to leverage the inexpensive and wide-reaching technology to engage with more consumers.”

Messaging apps are pretty hot in and of themselves. Last month, BI Intelligence said that the combined user base of the top four chat apps is actually larger than that of the top four social networks. Put it together, and you get a perfect storm of chatbot opportunity.

What does it mean for the P&C insurance industry?

For customers, chatbots spell a more personalized experience in the channel of their choice. And messengers are nothing if not a channel of choice. That’s true especially among millennials, who are easily the most coveted customer demographic out there – partly for the percentage of the population they represent (one fourth), partly for their annual buying power ($200 billion), according to Forbes.

For businesses, chatbots spell potential. They’re “a rich data source to help brands understand user habits to further personalize the customer experience,” said Dave O’Flanagan at Target Marketing Mag.

We’re not just talking about sending texts. Chatbots can help people schedule appointments and make dinner reservations. They can send weather and news updates, help users order groceries, even problem-solve with them, said Matt Schlicht at Chatbots Magazine. They can expedite and personalize the online shopping experience, allowing a customer to message a brand via Facebook and simply tell it what they want, replacing the work of web browsing with a digital showroom sales experience.

For insurance, the opportunities get more specific. Chatbots can improve sales and marketing, underwriting, claims, and customer service, to name just a few of the possibilities that Akila Narayanan identified at Cognizant. For example, chatbots like Nina, a virtual assistant for Insurer LV in the UK, can demystify complex products and guide users to the right policy.

“Chatbots are here to stay,” Narayanan said. “They can prove very helpful to insurance organizations by helping them achieve more effective customer engagement, help explain complex products, improve sales and distribution, and enable quick and contextual access to information.”

Given their popularity among millennials, we would go so far as to say that chatbots aren’t just an opportunity; they’re soon to become a business necessity.

Which is why we decided this summer to prioritize chatbot capability at Silvervine, joining forces with Elafris: a trailblazer in chatbot technology. For us, this was a natural next step within our data-focused approach to core systems.

Artificial intelligence “is nothing without data,” O’Flanagan said. “No form of AI can be implemented until a system is established for collecting data and using it efficiently and effectively.”

With those words, he happens to have described exactly what we do here at Silvervine. Given the rise of the chatbot and its implications for the insurance industry, we want to ensure that our customers are equipped to make the most of it. Request a demo to learn more.