Revolution to evolution to change claims

A leading expert from Google has challenged the claims industry to forget about evolution and focus on revolution to change the customer experience for the better.

Nigel Walsh, Managing Director, Google Insurance, said that breakthroughs in technology and the potential of AI has created the opportunity for real disruption to the status quo. He said the only thing standing in our way is an inability to imagine a different future.

Speaking during a compelling discussion with Jonny Valentine, ClaimsTech Lead, ILC and CTO of ThingCo, Nigel said that the explosion of insurtech created the momentum for change and now it is up to traditional insurers to maintain than.

He said, “Insurtech burst onto the scene and immediately created a phenomenal mindset shift for every insurer because it showed that there is another way to do things. Insurtechs have had a tough time over the last few months, but there still great ones out there changing the way we interact and engage with consumers.”

He said that while many insurtechs originally planned to go it alone, there has been a change in dynamic recently with more and more opting instead to partner with traditional insurers. This has meant their innovations are now accessible to the wider market.

“Things have evolved and there is a lot of tech available now delivering all sorts of services. But one thing I’d say is if it doesn’t add a competitive advantage to your business, don’t use it.”

Generative AI

One technology creating massive opportunity for the industry is AI, particularly generative AI. ChatGTP, for example, apart from the standard functions of a chatbot, has the ability to process reams of information in a split second and then provide advice on appropriate courses of action. For insurers, this means it can almost instantaneously read an insurance policy and check what cover is provided, or summarise long insurance documents, claims or underwriting manuals into succinct bullet points.

It can provide similar interpretative services for speech and images, while Google has taken the technology a stop further by releasing the first watermarking solution for images created by generated technology. This can provide insurers with the provenance of an image and tell them whether it has been manipulated, and when.

Nigel said, “The industry is built on process after process, but generative AI will allow you to do things very differently. It is a phenomenal area of opportunity and offers a huge amount of freedom to every organisation. If you’re not using it every day, I’d go back and challenge the areas where it you could be.”


Another area of change, Nigel predicted, will be embedded insurance. Embedded insurance brings all a customer’s insurance needs into a much broader package of services, ending the need to arrange multiple policies through multiple carriers. Contact between policyholder and insurer will be reduced to virtually zero, without the customer even needing to even submit all claim; it will happen automatically, without the need for any customer action at all.

Nigel concluded, “If our kids buy insurance the same way we did, then we’ve probably failed. We talk about evolution, but where is the revolution? We need to stop evolving, we need to stop trying simply to digitalise old processes. We have to rethink this from the outside in rather than the inside out because we have the opportunity now to do things completely differently. The possibilities are endless. The only thing stopping us are our imaginations.”

The Exclusive Motor Claims Conference was held at Landing Forty-Two, London, supported by ILC’s Motor Corporate Partners: Activate Group, AkzoNobel, Autoglass, BHR Assist, CAPS, Carpenters Group, Copart, DAC Beachcroft, e2e, Entegral, Enterprise, Gemini ARC, GT Motive, Innovation Group, Kennedys, S&G Response, Solera Audatex, Synetiq and Thingco, and sponsored by headline partner Enterprise along with sponsors BHR Assist, Clearspeed, EDAM Group, LexisNexis Risk Solutions and Wiser Academy.


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