November 21, 2021
Future of Insurance Is Preventive
by Guy Attar
Insurers could use artificial intelligence to identify risks and prevent losses from happening. Why don’t they?
Insurers, which traditionally render services after catastrophes like earthquakes, hurricanes and wildfires, are busier than ever as climate risk becomes a genuine, dangerous possibility to many customers. But these disasters are now too unpredictable and frequent for traditional, retroactive action taken by companies. And with the advent of exciting new AI technology, insurers can do more.
What AI advances mean for risk-avoidance measures
The aerial imaging capabilities developed by exciting new companies in the P&C space mean that preventive measures are not just a pipe dream; they’re possible. Using up-to-date, 3D imaging of a property, insurers could notify customers of potential risks in advance of the risk occurring. This enables the customer to avoid the risk, or at least prepare for and mitigate the damage the risk could cause.
The warnings could be generalized, referring to widely known or regional information concerning weather, for example. An insurer could contact a customer, warning them that, due to low temperatures occurring that evening, the customer should leave a faucet running to avoid burst pipes. Outside of weather warnings, generalized advice could be given around crime: If the area of the customer’s residence has recently suffered from a spate of burglaries, for example, an insurer could recommend installing or updating a burglar alarm system.
The guidance insurers provide could also be personalized to a customer’s property. If a customer has tall trees or branches overhanging their roof, the insurer can recommend trimming back or removing them to minimize the threat of damage in the event of a hurricane or windstorm. Even swimming pools, which AI imaging can identify and analyze, could be part of a protective offering provided by companies. Insurers have the capability to advise that customers cover their pool or add an enclosure, to avoid the risk of accidents.
The list is endless: AI imaging can detect if a roof needs replacing or if vegetation should be removed to reduce vulnerability to wildfire damage. Insurers could even warn customers to remove snow from a property’s roof, once the weight of the snow risks the roof collapsing. This is based on up-to-date weather measurements and specific, intelligent calculations of a property’s roof size, among other characteristics.
Insurers can go one step further
These AI imaging capabilities provide the means insurers need to go that extra mile and help customers to remain safe. But insurers could go even further, offering mitigation services to protect against the imminent risks they identify on behalf of their customers.
By hiring third-party administrators and other suppliers, insurers could predict risks, warn customers and then carry out the preventive measures their clients need. These suppliers could include roofers, construction contractors, alarm or IoT system suppliers, or gardeners, to name a few. Although this extended service requires high investment by the insurer to avoid the damages, such investment pays out in the long term, as insurers eventually avoid paying out large amounts of money for losses when risks are realized.
Can preventive coverage be a customer engagement tool?
Taking a proactive approach to risk management not only benefits an insurer’s bottom line, it cultivates tighter relationships with customers. Leveraging AI predictions and the resulting preventive analysis as a customer engagement tool is a no-brainer. In the insurance industry today, customers rarely hear from or connect with their insurance carrier beyond the initial sale – unless receiving a renewal or filing a claim. But such distance and sporadic contact is ceasing to be effective in today’s increasingly customer-focused marketplace. When personalization, regular communication and intelligent customer experiences are the name of the game, establishing proactive relationships with customers can not only reduce claims but also improve retention rates.
Many insurers are sitting up and taking notice of the need for better customer service, developing customer portals to push information out to customers. But what if you could take this one step further, building and maintaining positive customer relationships as you help them to avoid risks?
See also: Future of Work and Collaboration
It’s time that insurance changed forever
At GeoX, we know there is a better way to conduct P&C operations that not only saves time and money but offers an elevated customer experience. We know this because we provide reliable, high-quality intelligence for residential and commercial properties across the U.S., interpreting aerial imagery using AI and 3D computer vision technology and producing accurate data and insights about a property. We enable insurers to identify a wide variety of risks within seconds, at scale and with no IT infrastructure requirements.
At GeoX, our purpose is to strengthen the business performance of each of our customers, to better protect the safety of their customers and employees, and to strengthen human connections throughout the policy life cycle.