Imagine a future where ‘simple, flexible and transparent’ are words you would use to describe the service you receive from your insurer.
What if the quick, friendly exchange that made your day was with a robot that processed your claim with lightning speed using a friendlier and easy-to-use platform?
That scenario is not as far-fetched as it sounds, writes Marty Epstein, CEO of Liberty Short-Term Insurance. In fact, it is what you can expect from Liberty’s Short-term insurance offering, which has been developed together with our underwriter Standard Insurance Limited (SIL).
The short-term insurance market in South Africa is extremely competitive but we identified a gap for a fully digital offering a while ago. The number of digitally savvy consumers who bank, shop and make payments online is growing rapidly and they expect simplicity, convenience and innovation from other products and services, including insurance. That is certainly true of our current and prospective customers. We are therefore launching a Short-term insurance business that meets the needs of our customers.
Together with SIL we are building a new generation insurer that uses telematics, chatbots and other cutting-edge technology which allows enhancements to be made in real time. Thus ensuring our products and services are agile and evolve with time as the circumstances and aspirations of our clients change.
With the distinct make up of our offering, we have truly brought the concept of Artificial Intelligence (AI) to life. AI which is based on the idea of building machines capable of thinking, acting, and learning like humans allows for a business and brand such as Liberty to respond more effectively and efficiently.
We have developed a bot (a web robot based on a software application that runs automated tasks over the internet) that has a personality; it is intuitive and learns with each customer interaction so that it can classify, identify and understand customer needs. And it can also deliver a firm quote within five minutes.
The Liberty Short-term insurance’s value proposition will appeal to digitally savvy professionals as well as to people who want to experience exceptional service without the excessive bureaucratic rigmarole. Many of the targeted consumers have grown up with technology and readily embrace telematics and chatbots, which are revolutionising financial services around the world.
Buying insurance can be intimidating for younger drivers and bots can make the experience easier and friendly. Traditionally, younger drivers also pay more for their car insurance premiums but that’s changing, thanks to telematics. Demonstrating you’re a safe driver regardless of your age makes premiums affordable. Research has also shown that drivers don’t mind sharing data if it comes with benefits.
In our case, we will be offering a significant discount based on a ‘driving test’ that measures driver behaviour over a two-week period. The premium reduction kicks in after (within two weeks/300km) the test is successfully completed and will apply for the remainder of the year until renewal.
All clients will need is a mobile phone and the Liberty’s short-term insurance app, which they will also need, to access emergency services.
However, customers can engage on any digital channel, including Facebook Messenger, to get a quote, make a claim and to service their policy.
We are starting off with car insurance, but we are planning to broaden our offering later this year. We will leverage SIL’s existing claims-handling capabilities with a dedicated Liberty Short-term insurance team to service the Liberty customer base.
As for the future, we are excited by the power and flexibility of the technology we’re deploying and the freedom to explore new features, guided by customers’ needs and wants.