The insurance media is buzzing this month with the news that a trial of the Automated Policy Checking AI solution developed by Sprout.ai means Zurich Insurance can cut property claims settlement times to sub 24 hours. The announcement was made following a three-month pilot of the technology, run between December 2020 and February 2021.
What is Automated Policy Checking?
This AI engine uses what we call explainable AI – tools like Natural Language Processing and Knowledge Graphs add layers of context and aid decision making. To put the software’s capabilities into context, its speed and ability are the equivalent of a claims handler with 100 years’ experience and a reading speed of 10,000 words per microsecond. That equates to 600 million words per minute, compared to the most commonly cited average human reading speed of 300 words per minute.
The software is not, however, designed to replace claims handlers any more than a calculator is designed to replace an accountant. On the contrary, it is a tool that the handler uses and drives in order to aid decision-making and to triage and process claims better and faster. That was the exact outcome of the three-month pilot at Zurich.
Better accuracy, improved transparency
Checks found an accuracy rate of more than 98 percent during the pilot, which exceeds the average accuracy of human claims handlers. By automatically providing links to the insurance ombudsman data used to arrive at each recommendation, it also means there is greater transparency to support every decision.
The AI solution was developed using more than 20,000 historic claims. However, it is important to understand that those were just the beginning – they can be thought of as the training material used so that the software could learn its craft. Every new claim added to the database brings new knowledge and experience, and as with a human claims handler, this will help the AI to keep getting better at what it does.
A success for all
The pilot is part of a company-wide commitment to innovation at Zurich aimed at delivering a faster service with the best possible outcomes for every customer. Everyone involved in the pilot, from the claims handlers to the executive decision makers, felt that it was an unqualified success in helping the company achieve those goals.
One highly experienced claims handler who was directly involved in the pilot took the trouble to email us at Sprout.ai afterwards. Here’s what she said:
“Just want to say thanks for the opportunity to participate in the pilot, it’s been great fun and I’ve certainly learned some things along the way! The Sprout.ai team have been second to none and fully invested/listened in our feedback to ensure it’s a success for all! I will certainly be singing your praises.”
Meanwhile, Amy Brettell, Zurich’s Head of Customer, UK Claims described this project as “a fantastic example of a collaboration which provides a true solution to some of the issues that often stand in the way of creating customer loyalty and helping rebuild trust in our sector.”