ZURICH May 18 Zurich Insurance is
deploying artificial intelligence in deciding personal injury
claims after trials cut the processing time from an hour to just
seconds, its chairman said.
"We recently introduced AI claims handling ... and saved
40,000 work hours, while speeding up the claim processing time
to five seconds," Tom de Swaan told Reuters, after the insurer
started using machines in March to review paperwork, such as
"We absolutely plan to expand the use of this type of AI
(artificial intelligence)," he said.
Insurers are racing to hone the benefits of technological
advancements such as big data and AI as tech-driven startups,
like Lemonade Inc, enter the market.
Lemonade promises renters and homeowners insurance in as
little as 90 seconds and payment of claims in three minutes with
the help of artificial intelligence bots that set up policies
and process claims.
De Swaan said Zurich Insurance, Europe's fifth-biggest
insurer, would increasingly use machine learning, or AI, for
"Accuracy has improved. Because it's machine learning, every
new claim leads to further development and improvements," the
Dutch native said.
Japanese insurer Fukoku Mutual Life Insurance began
implementing AI in January, replacing 34 staff members in a move
it said would save 140 million yen ($1.3 million) a year.
British insurer Aviva is also currently looking at using
De Swaan said he does not fear competition from tech giants
like Google-parent Alphabet or Apple entering
the insurance market, although some technology companies have
expressed interest in cooperating with Zurich.
"None of the technology companies so far have taken
insurance risk on their balance sheet, because they don't want
to be regulated," he said. "You need the balance sheet to be
able to sell insurance and take insurance risk."
($1 = 110.4700 yen)
(Additional reporting by Paul Arnold; Editing by Susan Fenton)