AI has a role in insurance – but not to replace humans, says Hiscox

Chief information officer on why human assistance is the key

AI has a role in insurance – but not to replace humans, says Hiscox


By Terry Gangcuangco

Hiscox, the first insurer to tap natural language processing technology provider Eigen Technologies to automate internal processes, has offered assurances that it is not out to replace its workforce with automation.

Speaking at a Computing event on artificial intelligence and machine learning, Hiscox chief information officer Ian Penny said it’s about human assistance, which means making staff more productive and enabling them to make better decisions.

“Ultimately the buck stops with us, not the machine,” he was quoted as saying.

This is consistent with what group head of strategy and corporate development Lidia Bozhevolnaya said in an Insurance Business report in August.   

“We are always looking for ways to make the processes in our business more efficient, especially when it comes to providing better service,” noted Bozhevolnaya at the time. “Our goal is to be digital wherever possible, but with a human touch where it matters to the customer.”

Meanwhile Penny, during the AI & Machine Learning Live 2018 conference, cited some of the benefits of employing automation technology. 

“It’s freeing up our underwriters and our claims handlers so they have more time to work on the things that are interesting,” noted the CIO. “It’s reasonable to think they will value the work more and so do a better job.”


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