Voice-Activated Devices Enter the World of Insurance
I’m not suggesting it will happen tomorrow, but the convergence of advanced analytics and voice-controlled consumer devices, such as Apple’s Siri, Amazon’s Alexa, and Microsoft’s Cortana, will present a fascinating opportunity for insurers. Based on the consumerization of IT and evolving customer expectations, this is more of an inevitability than a possibility.
As voice-activated devices become cheaper, more sophisticated and ubiquitous, consumers are choosing them as a means of convenience. There is no longer a need to visit Google to start a search, NASDAQ to check stock prices or iTunes to buy a song. In fact, these devices now provide the interface to a growing multitude of applications, allowing consumers to easily access what they want when they want it.
Meanwhile, in the insurance industry, the profusion of new data sources continues to expand, and insurtechs and other startups are pushing into the analytics space. All with good reason: The ability to manage and understand data separates the fast from the slow, and the profitable from the unprofitable.
When analytics and voice services converge
So, what does the convergence of advanced analytics and voice services look like?
Imagine an underwriter is evaluating the risk associated with an application for commercial property. To determine the risk, the underwriter needs to bring together internal data assets, external purchased data assets and information from the web to make an informed decision. Instead of manually searching for this information, the underwriter could talk with Alexa to pull together information about the application provided internally by the producer, purchased by the company, and on the web to make a quicker decision in real time.
Data experts could focus on managing internal data to ensure that information assets are intelligible and readily available to analytics applications. Then they could train applications to understand how and when to connect to external data sources.
Statisticians and actuaries would need only to learn how to ask questions appropriately to get the answers they were looking for. And, because answers beget more questions, all they would need to do is ask – no additional set up required. Imagine offering that ability to claims professionals, brokers or agents.
Today, companies leveraging analytics software are gaining advantage in the insurance marketplace. Tomorrow, that advantage may be more closely tied to the inquisitiveness of human nature. As a side benefit, these kinds of capabilities may even make the insurance industry more attractive to millennials and beyond.