A bit of history

Transforming a business process in an industry dating back 2 millennia Before Christ can be challenging. Then much later, in fact, some 3.5 millennia later the catalyst occurred creating modern insurance; several years after the 1666 Great Fire of London in 1680, awareness for better protection of the homeowners was formulated for the first time. Many years have passed and for more than 80% of homeowners reported damage, a field adjuster must visit the home site to see the damage and evaluate the cost for the repair.

The 21st-century digital insurance

In a mobile-first, self-service economy many 21st-century insurance companies introduced new services allowing their customers to fill in an online form, whether using a mobile app or using a paper form to be scan/fax returned, to describe their damage. With the collected information, an insurer can analyze the claim and provide an estimate for the repairs covered by the insurance company. After several experiments and live deployments, carriers identified the limits of the self-service process. A majority of the carriers working with SightCall report that this “asynchronous” service, in which a customer sends information to the carrier which is then considered by the carrier who then replies several days later, has reached its limits. In fact, these carriers have identified that damages over $500 have a risk profile too high for self-service handling. The risk stems from the fraud factor and the accuracy of the collected information. Regarding fraud, a top-three global insurance carrier reported that “when they receive the same Google image as proof of damage over 10 times during the same day, they were more than just irritated”. As far as accuracy, most carriers know that their customers don’t have the skills to accurately capture photos including clear views of the actual damage in order to perform an estimate. Customers may try their best but in most cases, the insurer requires additional information to complete the claim. As a result in 2017, more than 80% of filed claims require an onsite visit with an average claim process duration of 3 weeks. This is where AR-powered live video comes to improve the process by replacing onsite visits with a remote video assessment. The insurer connects via a live video session with the insured to collect the evidence required to complete the claim. The desk adjuster is in control and can perform their job as if they were onsite. Actually, even better than being on site because all of the information (pictures, annotations…) is immediately saved into the claims management system. With this optimization, the claims process can be reduced from 3 weeks to a few hours.

When digital meets human

Several industries demonstrated have that self-service went too far and have reacted by re-engaging in a “real human” interaction with their customers. Now consider a crisis situation, such as when there is a water leak in the kitchen. A customer may become impatient speaking to a robot or an Artificial Intelligence engine; in fact, it may be perceived by the customer as poor rather than great customer service. Whereas today bots are great to collect initial information based on several standard questions. A natural evolution now available is an integration of such chatbots and live video assistance, and thereby providing a very interesting combination of automatic questions/answers and live human interaction escalation which can be seamless in the conversation stream. With technology and an evolution of consumer behavior, the frontier between artificial and human interaction is evolving. It is clear that there are many interesting evolutions in this space ahead. A couple of software vendors as SightCall are currently experimenting with Augmented Reality to streamline the claims process with 3D guidance on top of the physical world. For now, leading insurers including Axa, Allianz, AG Insurance, American Family, to name only a few beginning with an “A”, have engaged in the transformation with Augmented Reality Video Assistance. Results are instantaneous: Customers love it. The NPS results are reaching their highest level and the cost reductions are phenomenal. Replacing a $200 to $500 onsite visit and post-treatment with a live video with the customer is cost-cutting by up to 80%.