A digital evolution is definitely underway, but many in the insurance industry still heavily rely upon human processing. From onboarding new customers and customer call center inquiries, to processing claims, insurance personnel often get bogged down by basic, repetitive service actions and frequently asked questions.

It almost seems like natural language processing (NLP) – which enables computers to understand and process human languages – was specifically developed with insurers in mind! 

The time, effort and cost-savings that can be achieved by freeing up agents to deal with higher value calls and complex issues can translate into significant savings and new revenue opportunities. It’s a win-win – natural language processing will empower insurers to reallocate their resources more efficiently and customers will enjoy vastly improved service.

NLP has emerged as a key trend in better engaging and satisfying customers. Quick and accurate resolution is a goal across verticals, including insurance. Introducing NLP technologies, including chatbots and virtual agents/assistants, is the next step in achieving the highest levels of customer service, engagement and retention. Despite a conservative reputation, insurers are not shying away from NLP’s potential. They’re investing in AI, with chatbots and virtual agents playing a significant part in this expansion.

In fact, the insurance industry outspent 12 major global industry sectors in AI investments in 2015. Insurers spent approximately $124 million, compared to a cross-industry average of $70 million, according to the Tata Consultancy Services study, “Getting Smarter by the Sector: How 13 Industries Use Artificial Intelligence.” The study surveyed 835 executives across global industry sectors and reported that they all identified AI as increasingly important to their strategic competitiveness by 2020.

Insurers worldwide are excited about AI and NLP’s impact on their bottom lines. An insurer that can use technology to chat with its customers, understand what they need, process their requests and quickly resolve calls, sometimes in a matter of minutes, and even detect fraud, will gain a massive competitive advantage.  

Customer service representative (CSR) NLP is already quickly gaining in popularity. The next big thing will be using NLP technology for internal processes. For instance, an underwriter could ask about risk (“How many Toyotas were stolen this year in a specific area?”) and receive a quick answer to his/her voice query that was retrieved from the database).

Are you ready for NLP? Stay tuned for our upcoming white paper, Insurers Can Benefit from Natural Language Processing (NLP), which will outline the advantages of NLP for insurers and explain what is needed to maximize NLP.