Where the Rubber Meets the Road: Implementing AI in Commercial Insurance

Artificial Intelligence - June 12 2019

Recently, I had the opportunity to demo Chisel AI’s Submission Triage and Policy Check solutions at Digital Insurance's Dig|In conference down in Austin. In speaking with commercial insurance brokers and carriers at the event, a common theme was how to get artificial intelligence implemented.

Insurers understand the necessity of innovation in their industry and are excited about the potential benefits of AI in streamlining workflows and improving the digital customer experience. But they have valid questions about how to deploy an AI solution in production, and what a successful AI rollout looks like in the real world.

This uncertainty around AI implementation isn’t unique to commercial insurance. According to a new report conducted by CompTIA, a mere 19 percent of companies say that they have expert knowledge around AI. This finding is based on a survey of 500 U.S. business and technology professionals. As David Weldon writes in Digital Insurance, the adoption and use of AI technologies has been hampered by “confusion about how to best implement them.”

I may be a natural “glass half full” kind of guy, but I see this as a positive thing. It means that we’re finally moving beyond the phase of AI pilots, POCs, and innovation teams tentatively dipping their toes into the notion of artificial intelligence. We’re now getting past the AI hype, and the initial handshakes between insurers and insurtechs, and down to the real work of deploying and scaling out AI. This is where the rubber hits the road and insurers start to see what effective AI solutions can do for them.

I’ve said this before, but unless commercial insurance brokers and carriers start with a strong business case for AI right out of the gate, and have a dedicated operational person who will “own” the AI deployment, it will be very tough to make AI work. Artificial intelligence needs to support the operational part of the insurer’s business, otherwise it’s just AI for AI’s sake. I’m an engineer at heart: I like to take things apart to see how they work, and I like to build things that solve real problems, deliver tangible benefits, and make life easier for the people who use them.

So, when I see insurers moving from AI as an idea to actually putting AI into action within and across their organizations, it makes me very happy. This isn’t to say there won’t be challenges along the way, and a few “growing pains” as the solutions mature. Insurers will have to learn how to work with their insurtech partners and embrace the entrepreneurial mindset of “failing faster” to make AI real.    

Wisdom from The Woz

At the Dig|In conference, Steve Wozniak, co-founder of Apple Computer Inc. with Steve Jobs, and designer of the first Apple I and II that launched the personal computer industry, sat down for a fireside chat about innovation. His humane perspective on where many technology innovation efforts go wrong was inspiring:

"It’s like human concerns almost never come out. In my time at Apple, we always made computers that were easy to use. That meant, make them usable by humans intuitively without making them have to learn and memorize things. That meant the human was more important than the technology.”

– Steve Wozniak

This is what excites me most about AI in insurance. When I talk to commercial insurance underwriters and knowledge workers about what their workday looks like, they tell me about coming in early and getting home late and still never getting through the mountain of mundane administrative tasks on their “To Do” list. Often, they’ll mention things like missing their daughter’s soccer game or showing up late for dinner with their significant other.

I get excited about AI solutions automating high volume, routine tasks and giving people back hours of their day, so they can not only focus on more enriching work, but also get out of the office on time more often. My vision of AI is helping humans be more efficient at their work, so there’s less “missing out” on important things in their non-working lives. When human and digital employees work together, I believe great things can happen.

New Tech Guide: AI in Commercial Insurance

To help commercial insurance brokers and carriers get up to speed on the technical aspects of implementing AI, we’ve put together a new technology guide: Artificial Intelligence in Commercial Insurance. The aim of this guide is to cut through the confusion and provide a clear picture of what a real-world AI implementation looks like, starting with a strong business case right through to production and beyond. Inside we answer common questions brokers and carriers have about what is required to implement an AI solution, such as:

  • What IT and business roles are needed on the broker or carrier side?
  • What are the phases and timelines for rolling out an AI solution like Chisel AI?
  • What type of data – and how much data – is needed to train the model?
  • How does the AI solution integrate with core insurance systems?
  • What are the technical KPIs for measuring the accuracy of an AI solution?

We also walk readers through the various implementation phases and discuss the roles and responsibilities of the insurer and their insurtech partner at each step along the way.

You can download your complimentary copy here.

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