85% of insurers will 'extensively' invest in AI over next 3 years, survey finds

Seventy-five percent of insurance executives believe artificial intelligence will significantly change the insurance industry within the next three years, according to an Accenture report.

The report, titled Technology for People, includes survey responses from 563 insurance executives across 31 countries, including IT directors, chief technology officers and CIOs. The represented insurance companies are from various sectors, not limited to healthcare.

Here are five things to know about AI in the insurance industry.

1. The majority of insurance executives (85 percent) said they plan to extensively invest in AI-related technologies over the next three years, according to the Accenture survey.

2. About two-thirds of respondents (68 percent) said they already use AI-powered virtual assistance for customer interactions. John Cusano, global head of Accenture's insurance practice, told Bloomberg AI's entrance into the insurance industry is "coming pretty quickly."

"One of the first services to be managed differently will be routine inquiries about the status of claims or bills, which in the past have been handled by call centers," he said.

3. Seventy-nine percent of insurance executives said AI will revolutionize how insurers interact with their customers. More than half of respondents (55 percent) said a key benefit to embedding AI into user interfaces is better data analysis and insights.

4. Bloomberg repots another reason insurers may move toward AI is to cut costs and improve profit margins. The international insurer Allianz SE, for example, implemented digital policy underwriting and claims management as part of its goal to see productivity gains of 1 billion euros ($1.1 billion) in 2018.

5. However, the Accenture report noted a few barriers to widespread AI adoption, such as being unable to integrate AI into their existing technology. To address this issue, insurers will need to improve data quality, privacy policies and infrastructure compatibility.

Click here to view the Accenture report.

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