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Wealth Management

HOW INSURANCE BENEFITS FROM THE IMPLEMENTATION OF AI AND BIG DATA

Sofie Quidenus-Wahlforss is the CEO and founder of omni:us, an AI provider helping the insurance industry embrace digitisation. 

 

The insurance industry has undergone more transformation in the last year than any other year, due to the innovative and increasing incorporation of artificial intelligence and big data practices. As a new year begins, there can be no question that traditional industries must embrace digitisation in order to maintain the same trust, loyalty and retention with customers, paving the way for new and emerging technology to take the floor. For the insurance industry especially, one still toeing the line between tradition and innovation, the advancement of this emerging technology can be felt across a variety of company practices.

 

With the rise of cutting-edge technology used across various industries, customers are now demanding the same level of service – convenience, timely responses and quick resolution, to start – from each provider they work with, forcing late adopters to innovate with AI and big data in order to keep up.

 

AI is now generally viewed as a necessary next step to insurers, as is the data that’s collected by the inclusion of automated practices. Big data is aptly named – it’s big, and growing. The International Data Corporation suggested that by 2025, the global data sphere will produce a total 163 zettabytes per annum (1 zettabyte = 1 trillion gigabytes) –  a tenfold increase in data generation, with unstructured data growing 15 times faster than structured, promising a wealth of information if companies have the proper systems in place to understand it.

 

However, many insurers are still in the dark as to how exactly the incorporation of artificial intelligence and implementation of data-led practices can aid business, and what their company stands to gain from such innovation. Today, companies must not only implement AI or collect data, but effectively apply its insight to valuable practices, thereby optimising the company’s efficiency, product offering and customer interactions. However, the inclusion of AI and big data can transform business practices and enhance customer service for insurers in a myriad of ways:

 

 

Improve productivity and efficiency

Insurance companies must process large amounts of highly variable documents each day, always striving to balance speed with accuracy and minimise human error. This is a prime opportunity for artificial intelligence to automate such tedious, manual tasks of claims management by reading, understanding and extracting relevant information – completing in minutes what may have previously taken hours or even days or even weeks to do. Additionally, the more the system “reads”, the more it learns, so it’s ever-improving.

 

 

Switch the focus to data and customers

As well as improving time and accuracy, AI unlocks the wealth of data available in various claims documents that will contain valuable information for long-term innovation. At omni:us. we predict that the insurance industry will move from process driven to data driven over the next few years, primarily because data holds the key to improved customer understanding. By using AI to analyse customer data, insurers will be able to develop better practices, improve services and understand customers better for a two-way benefit.

 

 

Embrace the digital customer

Insurers must master the art of attraction and retention by relying on the incorporation of advanced technologies like artificial intelligence, especially when working with the newest generation of insurance customers: Generation Y.  With less than half of the generation’s insurance customers loyal to their current provider (and only 29.5% currently satisfied with them), habits towards technology could unlock retention among young customers. By further digitalising each aspect of a customer’s experience from web services to policy comparison, sales, interaction and, of course, claims, insurance companies can satisfy the expectations of all customers, and retain regardless of generation.

 

 

Tailor to the consumer

Once the customer interaction chain is digitised, it’s highly important to provide according to their standard. In the digital age, people are looking for personalised options in every field. In addition to given claims documents, new resources like GPS-based apps enable new opportunities for offering bespoke coverage (such as pay-per-mile insurance) and the hyper-personalised options that consumers have come to expect.

 

 

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Business

STOP THE CONFUSION: HOW TO KNOW IF YOUR BUSINESS MAY BE INSURED AGAINST COVID-19

COVID-19

By Alex Balcombe, Partner at Harris Balcombe

 

The last few weeks has seen businesses in hospitality, tourism, retail, leisure and more forced to close their doors following the Government’s orders that they should close to prevent the spread of coronavirus.

While this is expected to flatten the curve and reduce the number of coronavirus cases, it will of course have an impact on businesses and employees alike.  For small businesses especially, there are many concerns about how they can claim on their insurance to weigh the fall of this impact.

 

Mixed Messaging

In response to calls to help struggling businesses, the Government has informed the public that companies who are facing turmoil will be able to claim on their business interruption insurance during this difficult time. For most, this is wrong.

Alex Balcombe

The insurance industry has also been extremely vocal that there is no cover for any coronavirus-hit businesses during this tough financial period. This isn’t strictly true either.

How can businesses see through the mixed messaging and best secure their future and their livelihoods and reduce money worries? It’s an extremely stressful time for many companies, and confusion over whether or not they can be covered can only cause more unnecessary stress.

Since it’s a new disease, most businesses will not be covered for business interruption due to COVID-19. In fact, the vast majority of policies do not cover anything related to COVID-19.

That said –  don’t rule out the idea that you may be covered. There is a chance that you will be covered against COVID-19, but not know it. This is a very small chance, but your current cover may already protect your business against the consequences of coronavirus, and the nationwide response to it –  though those with this cover are unlikely to realise it.

 

How Could I Be Covered?

Not everyone has business interruption insurance, as it’s not a legal requirement. It is entirely up to the policy holder to weigh up the benefits of having it, and their ability to trade should a disaster happen.

To be considered for cover for COVID-19, there are two types of policy extensions to your business interruption cover that can potentially cover you for this situation:

Infectious Disease Extension 

Many policies expressly state which diseases fall within the realm of being an infectious or notifiable disease. If this is the case, your policy will not provide cover. As it is a new disease, these policies will not have included COVID-19.

Other infectious disease extension policies will define the disease with reference to the actions of the government. Since the UK Government has named COVID-19 as a notifiable disease throughout the UK, it is possible that your business may fall into this definition, thus meaning you may be able to make a claim.

However, again, it’s not always that simple. Many policies require the disease to have been on your premises, while others specify a radius from your premises in order to qualify.

 

Denial of Access Extension (non-damage)

Denial of Access Extension (non-damage) policies may cover you if you’re prevented from accessing your property. This could be due to an event, or by the actions of a competent authority, which could cause your business interruption cover to engage.

If covered by this clause, there are often very subtle differences in wording in your policy. This could depend on the insurer or policy. You may well be covered, but it will depend on your particular circumstances, and the specific policy wording.

 

What now?

It’s clear that the Government needs to do more in ensuring there is clear messaging for businesses, and to help the insurance market look after policy holders. This is an unprecedented situation, and with many people looking to claim on their insurance, we’re already seeing major delays which could have a domino impact.

People throughout the world are understandably facing all kinds of worries because of the current pandemic. Our ways of living have changed, and many business owners will not have experienced a situation like this in their life times. If you own a business and are unsure about whether you can claim for business interruption, or are confused about ambiguous wording, get in touch with a loss assessor.

These claims are not simple, but loss assessors will be experts in business interruption insurance, and will specialise in large and complex claims. They will be able to help and guide you along the way, check your wording and work on your behalf to make sure you get everything you are entitled to.

 

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Wealth Management

HERE’S HOW YOU CAN LEARN TO TRADE RISK-FREE DURING THE COVID-19 MARKET CRASH

COVID-19

Trading app BullBear has launched new features to support budding investors looking to hone their skills against the backdrop of the COVID-19 stock market plunge. The risk-free financial game aims to empower the next generation of investors to learn how to trade stocks and shares by playing with dummy chips as opposed to real money. The app updates come as investors pull back from a volatile stock market rocked by the coronavirus outbreak.

 

At a time when some fresher investors are experiencing their first-ever stock market crash and seasoned investors are reluctant to invest new capital in the market, BullBear is empowering a whole new cohort of traders by teaching them how to trade effectively at no risk.

 

App users can engage in both short-term and long-term trading games using real-time market data from popular stocks enabling them to build investing confidence, making the app both engaging and educative.

 

With over 35,000 downloads, the app provides a free, fun way for thousands to learn how trading works by offering a practice arena in which trades take place and where no real money can be lost. Users can also enter into duals and competitions with other players. Whilst the app incorporates dummy chips to invest with, players can still redeem prizes by winning ‘bulls’ when they rank high in games. These bulls can be used to redeem rewards, such as gift cards from retailers like Amazon, Apple, Google Play and Netflix, at the in-app store.

 

Co-founder of the BullBear app, Anurag Saboo, stated

 

“I realised just how lacking the support for young investors was when my cofounder and I wanted to invest some money in stocks whilst at university. We had no idea where to start and so spent a couple of months trying to find a platform through which we could learn the basics before we risked any cash. But it simply didn’t exist. The resources that did were dull and theoretical. Paper trading can be very boring, and no-commission trading helps only if you make money out of your portfolio. Social methods of learning can help, for example, Etoro’s copy trades, but they still don’t let investors explore the markets themselves before putting money down. Combine this with the fact that only a small percentage of young investors make money through the market, and others end up staying away or are pushed away through losses, we decided to launch BullBear to offer a free, fun alternative.”

 

During a time of crisis accompanied by a turbulent stock market, the BullBear app provides a fail-proof way for budding investors to develop their trading knowledge, helping them to make more informed investments.

 

The BullBear app is available to download now on Google Play and the App Store.

 

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