The Rise of Voice-Assistant Technology Among P&C Firms

by on Sep 20, 2017

Much of the future innovation in the property and casualty (P&C) insurance field likely lies within artificial intelligence (AI) technology, with six of the largest firms boasting a voice-enabled assistant as another way to communicate with customers. However, it is the depth of capability and extensiveness of this interaction that will set firms apart as voice-enabled technology expands across the industry. Farmers Insurance is the latest firm tracked by P&C Monitor to add an Amazon Alexa skill, allowing users to inquire about claims and coverage information. Corporate Insight has been tracking the rollout of voice-assistant capabilities among P&C firms, revealing noteworthy technological advancements.

Currently, most of the voice-enabled capability in the P&C industry is available through Amazon’s Echo devices, with Alexa Voice Service, and centers around delivering information to public users or providing a quote. With Nationwide’s Alexa skill, questions such as “Alexa, what is collision coverage?” or “Alexa, tell me about primary coverage,” will provide the public user with a verbal response, offering coverage information and product definitions. Nationwide has recently added its SmartRide telematics application to its Alexa capability, allowing customers to hear their safe-driving statistics. Similarly, Safeco’s Alexa capability, known as “Insurance Adviser”, can provide users with coverage and product information as well as connect users with a local agent; an “Alexa, ask Insurance Adviser to help me find an insurance agent,” command will directly connect a customer with a Safeco agent.

Insurance firms are beginning to incorporate internal quote processes into Alexa skills, allowing users to receive a quote through voice-enabled technology. Liberty Mutual is currently the only firm that lets users receive an auto quote via voice assistance, employing its Guestimator tool. Users can receive a quote after several questions, as the Guestimator tool figures out critical information such as the number of vehicles owned, driver information, cost of car at purchase, annual mileage and body and style of the car. Users can also begin a home insurance claim through answering several of Alexa’s questions.

Allstate’s Alexa capability is unique in that the skill is exclusively for clients. Billing and payment information as well as agent information is available on voice command. As firms continue to innovate within AI technology, increasingly personalized responses, commands and access to information will become the norm.

As AI technology grows, P&C firms must continue to expand their voice-assistant capabilities to reach customers. Users will see a more personalized experience across different voice-assistant devices. In the case of Progressive Insurance, Google Home Assistant provides users home or auto insurance-related tips, such as advice about moving or buying a car. We expect to see increases in access to individual account information as well as integration of in-house trademarked applications.