AI to cut office workload by 90% at Japan’s Mitsui Sumitomo Insurance

Reduction in office work allows employees to concentrate more on sales, says company

AI to cut office workload by 90% at Japan’s Mitsui Sumitomo Insurance

Insurance News

By Gabriel Olano

Mitsui Sumitomo Insurance is harnessing artificial intelligence (AI) to perform up to 90% of office tasks at its sales division, beginning fiscal year 2018.

According to the insurer, this will free up its employees, allowing them to devote more time to selling insurance policies.

The move is part of parent company MS&AD Insurance Group Holdings’ efforts to institute several operational reforms to streamline its operations, reported Nikkei. These reforms include integrating systems with sister insurer Aioi Nissay Dowa Insurance, which could save up to ¥16 billion (US$141 million) each year.

Mitsui Sumitomo Insurance’s sales division will begin tapping AI-powered technologies for tasks such as responding to inquiries from customers and agents, as well as processing insurance applications. Employees will then have more time to support the company’s sales activities.

The firm will hold a review of its 15,000 employees in Japan, as it continues to improve productivity. It was not mentioned if any employees would be dismissed, but the insurer said that, aside from sales, it will concentrate its workers in areas that cannot be easily automated, such as claims settlement and product development.

Other Japanese insurers, such as Tokio Marine and Sompo, have conducted similar endeavours, re-assigning employees freed from administrative work into sales and new businesses such as cyber insurance. Tokio Marine has said that it seeks to reduce its office workload by 20-30% using AI, while Sompo seeks to use technology to halve the work needed to settle car accident claims in 2018.

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