Why insurance's mixed emotions over ChatGPT isn't a bad thing

New advancements always create trepidation, insurtech head suggests

Why insurance's mixed emotions over ChatGPT isn't a bad thing


By Gia Snape

For every person that sings the praises of ChatGPT and other artificial intelligence (AI)-driven technologies, there’s another that sees doom and gloom over AI’s growing influence on insurance.

Experts have called out ChatGPT, a large-language model trained by OpenAI, for its propensity for generating inaccurate text, its potential for biases, and vulnerability to security and privacy risks.

Despite the ambivalence over ChatGPT and AI, one insurtech leader believes it’s still too early to cast judgment on the technology.

“I think we’re so early in this discussion that you’re still seeing those two sides play out,” said Jason Walker (pictured), president of Agency Revolution, a San Diego-based firm that provides websites and marketing automation software for insurance agencies and brokerages in the US and Canada.

“You’ve got people on both sides of the line. Is it good or is it bad for our space, for our industry, for the world at large?” Walker asked. “But from our perspective, there are pragmatic applications for AI that can be used today to empower the insurance agency.”

‘Initial trepidation’ over new advancements

New advancements in insurance always create initial trepidation, Walker pointed out. It wasn’t that long ago that the industry was rocked by these AI-powered platforms.

“Some platforms that ultimately did not make it because they weren’t returning correct results, or they didn’t have the proper integrations with solutions that were already in the space,” he said. “The fear factor decreased as the solutions continued to evolve and proved that it is possible to allow a consumer to do accurate rating online, or at least with the agencies’ help.”

Walker compared rating and quoting platforms to ChatGPT because both “handle sensitive information in an industry that’s highly regulated.”

“Because we are watching a tool that’s so new, you hear people on both sides of the aisle talking about how it’s dangerous or how it’s the best thing since the internet,” he told Insurance Business.

Prior to joining Agency Revolution, Walker previously led Agency Insurtech, which focused on using AI to improve customer experience. He also spent more than a decade building digital marketing and tech firms for the insurance and financial services industries.

Ultimately, he said, the industry needs to judge every AI-powered product on its own merits, and companies can get ahead of AI’s weaknesses or gaps by implementing parameters around usage.

“You will always have bad players that will try to take adantage of solutions to cut corners,” Walker added. “But you will also have good players that are using AI in a pragmatic fashion, putting parameters and guide rails around it.”

Using ChatGPT for agency marketing and social media

Walker has reason to be singing ChatGPT’s praises. Agency Revolution recently launched an AI-powered social media app that enables insurance carriers and agents to create and distribute content for clients and prospects.

The mobile app uses ChatGPT and Vestorly, a content curation platform acquired by FMG, Agency Revolution’s parent company, in 2022.

Walker explained their motivation to integrate ChatGPT in their application: “Independent insurance agencies are always told they should leverage social media more. But the challenge has always been in the content. The agency might select some content [to post on Facebook or LinkedIn], but it’s not always relevant to them, their location, or the businesses that they’re trying to serve.

“So, adoption and usage don’t grow, because agencies are looking for ways to impact their growth and retention metrics, and if they can’t associate a particular tactic with growth, they won’t continue to invest in it.”

According to Walker, the new app simplifies social media and marketing for agents by curating content based on their interests and personalizing based on preference for tone, length, and formatting.

It also leverages FMG’s Curator platform, which incorporates compliance requirements and social media best practices.

But Walker also stressed that the use of ChatGPT is “simplified” and is only meant to help agencies develop a voice that resonates with their clients and communities.

“At any point, the agency can go in and edit the content. They can make it a little bit more on brand or within their voice, he said.

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