'

The insurance industry is a prime target for AI technologies and solutions

AI can help insurance carriers establish themselves as digital insurers.

Video: Apple and Cisco team up on cybersecurity insurance

In their quest to become digital insurers, insurance carriers have a revolutionary opportunity to improve their businesses with emerging artificial intelligence (AI) technologies. It is certainly a balancing act to find that perfect peanut butter-and-jelly combination of operational efficiency and customer engagement. However, I believe many insurance carriers to be up to the task -- with the right guidance at least.

Read also: Cutting through the noise and defining the value of the digital twin for your business

When determining how to make these AI investments, there is much to consider -- from managing risk exposure and fraud detection to understanding your customers' needs and how your insurance products and services deliver the experience expected by consumers. Forrester identified 12 AI technologies and solutions that can help insurers achieve improved operational efficiencies and better customer experience (CX). AI is currently not pervasive in insurance; however, insurers have experimented with AI in four primary focus areas:

  • Technologies Oriented and Experience Focused: Experience-related AI technologies include virtual assistant, speech analytics, and recommendation engines. These technologies are being adopted in customer service and insurance product selection business activities.
  • Technologies Oriented and Operational Focused: Operational AI technologies comprises text analytics, advanced analytics, facial and image recognition, machine learning, and natural language generation. Most of these AI technologies are being adopted to improve operational efficiencies. However, facial recognition and machine learning are being used to mitigate the risk exposure of insurers.
  • Solutions Oriented and Experience Focused: The two experience-focused AI solutions concentrate on providing a positive customer experience. The solutions combine multiple AI technologies to create conversational solutions and industry pre-trained solutions. The latter is also being used to train internal customer-facing roles.
  • Solutions Oriented and Operational Focused: As machine learning has grown in maturity, we find insurers combining other AI technologies with machine learning to create deep learning solutions. Currently, risk management is the focus area of deep learning solutions.

While each of these focus areas have strengths and weaknesses, the most important aspect of choosing which AI technology to invest in is what your company needs. Those investing in these AI technologies must consider exactly what his or her company will most benefit from, and which technology will be most helpful in enabling that company to reach its goals. AI technologies enable companies to break the glass ceiling and focus more on its clients, which will lead to a successful navigation for insurance carriers into the world of becoming digital insurers.

-- By Gordon Barnett, Principal Analyst

Learn how to move past AI pilots and POCs to yield business results: Register for Forrester's complimentary webinar, Five steps to successfully implement your AI strategy.

Previous and related coverage

Forrester Research: What we see coming for the channel in 2018

Forrester shares eight predictions for the channel this year.

Forrester forecasts 5 percent growth in global tech market over the next two years

Forrester examines how the global tech market will be impacted in the coming years.