AI: Digitization, Automation, AI Define Role of Human Agents in Insurance Industry.


* Artificial Intelligence (AI) and automation hold a lot of promise for the insurance industry. When used correctly both have the ability to benefit companies, agents and policy holders. AI algorithms can create risk profiles in minutes or even seconds, enabling instant quotes and opening the market up to a wave of new products. However, AI cannot and will not replace agents when it comes to relationship building. Instead, the role of AI should be to enhance and enrich the agent's job, giving him or her more tools and products to help develop new client relationships and strengthen existing ones.

"Insurance executives need to understand how AI has already, and is going to continue, to reshape the industry and how essential agents still are," said Traffk Co-founder and CEO Paul Ford. "Agents will be pivotal as they have a trusted personal connection with consumers through their networks. We think enabling agents with the right tools will help create a better experience for both them and the consumer, opening up insurance to a wider audience, and enabling more agent success in the future."

The digitization of the insurance industry is already changing the way that agents work. Thanks to more self-service capabilities, agents don't have to spend as much time on routine customer service questions and can instead focus on more business development activities to retain, cross-sell, or upsell customers. Switching focus can have a huge impact on the bottom line. Research across a wide range of industries has shown that increasing customer retention rates by 5% increases profits by 25% or more. The impact for insurance could be even higher since as a customer gets older, their insurance needs often expand.

As AI develops more policies for potential customers to consider, agents will need to take on the role of trusted advisor, helping customers navigate the intricacies of policies to determine which one is best for their situation and determine which ancillary services may be beneficial to them. The customer is counting on the agent to connect them with products that match their needs and to then help them get the most out of the services and products they buy.

While automation has the capacity to provide a whole new world of possibilities for the industry, it cannot replace human interaction, especially when it comes to navigating complicating policies and stipulations. Customers want to have human contact in case AI cannot answer their questions...

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