Insurance: the chatbots are taking over

Insurance company Cove Insurance has announced plans to introduce what it says will be “the first insurance experience in New Zealand to be fully managed by a chatbot.”

The company has given no details of the planned service, but says it has been working for a year on the project, and that traditional insurance companies were struggling to connect with a younger digitally-focused market.

“Chatbots offer a way to open the conversation and educate this audience of the role life insurance plays in their lives, and provide a simple manner to purchase the policy that best suits the individual,” it said.

Cove CEO Andy Coon said Cove had drawn its inspiration for the service from US based peer-to-peer insurance company Lemonade.

“We took note of how simple and clear the customer processes are with Lemonade and the emerging breed of digital financial service providers, as well as how quickly they are gaining enormous popularity.”

Cove claims that, internationally, chatbots in the insurance industry have enabled claims to be paid in as little as three seconds, and policies purchased in just 90 seconds.

Cove head of product Rob Coon, said the aim with the chatbot insurance was to offer insurance products that would be clear and easy to understand, easy to manage, and simple to purchase”.

“Early feedback from consumer testing on our next range of insurance products has been extremely positive, and we look forward to introducing them to New Zealanders in 2018,” he said.

The chatbots are coming to everything

The use of chatbots across all areas is growing in New Zealand. In May Community Law Wellington launched a chatbot to provide information to parents and students about schools and education throughout New Zealand, saying it would use machine learning and artificial intelligence to ‘learn on the job’.

In September nib said it had become the first health insurer in New Zealand to offer customer assistance from a chatbot. nib said the chatbot, dubbed ‘Frankie’ would “help provide convenient, timely responses to our customers’ enquiries about our recently launched new range of health covers,” and would enable the company to provide 24 x 7 service.

Copyright © 2017 IDG Communications, Inc.

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