Are we still talking about AI
as a tool of the future? Not exactly.
“Being supported by technology has always been crucial at Allianz,’’ says Barbara Karuth-Zelle referring to processes supported by AI and data analytics in the insurance branch. The use of AI is present throughout the organization and across the full insurance value chain. We use intelligent chatbots in our client interaction, e.g., to answer customer queries, and embed AI tools in the underwriting process to assess and price risks more accurately. We also use them to simplify and speed up back-office operations and claims management, where AI enables immediate routing to partner repair shops instead of customers having to invest so much time and energy getting an appointment at a shop. This, naturally, leads to improved customer satisfaction.”
In this article, we expand on what Barbara Karuth-Zelle and Lucie Bakker shared in their interview with Der Spiegel about possible applications of AI in insurance, with a focus on existing AI tools at Allianz and what they mean for an employee and / or customer.
Starting with the obvious one, how does an AI solution support both customers and employees in the moment of truth, i.e., when you need help after an incident? Lucie Bakker explained to Der Spiegel how Allianz handles motor claims with the AI-powered CE application. Developed by the Allianz-owned company Control Expert, the app allows customers to take pictures of their damaged car and get a settlement offer immediately. All they need to do is take a picture of the damage or damaged parts and through an AI solution, they’re automatically presented with a loss amount, receive coverage confirmation, and are offered a direct payment. The entire process is completed in a few minutes and leads to immediate results for the customer. “We are 100% focused on customer satisfaction. It’s the main driver behind our strategy.’’
It's a strategy that's changing a lot of things in claims management, Lucie Bakker explains. “AI is also helping us to adopt a more predictive and preventive approach – evolving from an insurer who analyzes risks from a rear-view mirror perspective and pays claims to an organization that helps customers to mitigate risks and avoid losses in light of natural catastrophes and related events.”
A good example is the AI-based Severe Weather SMS tool. How does it work? By leveraging available data from customers (in accordance with data privacy regulations) and tracking weather patterns, the tool sends a storm warning via text message. This helps customers avoid damage and brings us corresponding savings in claims expenses.
These are a few tools offered by Allianz available to everyone today, and yet it doesn’t end here. “We’re continuously monitoring technology and trends and exploring new ways to integrate useful AI-solutions into our daily working lives in a secure way. If we ask you again, what comes to mind when you think about AI in the workplace? ChatGPT is probably among the possible answers – a tool that creates written content by learning from existing data and continues to dominate headlines worldwide. We’re currently investigating around 60 use cases globally for Generative AI, including for an internal version of ChatGPT, and we encourage our employees to experiment, learn and see how to apply this new technology to their jobs,” says Barbara Karuth-Zelle.
AI-powered tools are already changing the way we work and will continue to do so in the years to come. By using these tools effectively, we will increase efficiency and productivity, thereby improving our services and customer experience. This is why we aim to make AI-solutions broadly available, while maintaining the right balance when it comes to people interaction, as in the end, insurance is a people business.
Interested in reading more about AI in the insurance sector?
** As of September 30, 2023.
*** As reported – not adjusted to reflect the application of IFRS 9 and IFRS 17.