Canadian insurance companies are leading push towards artificial intelligence

Published: September 23, 2018

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Canadian insurance companies are at the forefront of using innovative artificial intelligence (AI) models in their solutions, while an increasing number of carriers are turning to machine learning technologies. One expert believes it has been brokers who have led the charge in adopting AI into the insurance market.

“Because of the higher penetration of brokers in the insurance ecosystem in Canada versus the US or other parts of the world, that does change the adoption and use of artificial intelligence solutions because brokers, by definition, are the closest of all the market segments to the customer,” said Stephen Applebaum, managing partner of the Insurance Solutions Group. “The brokerage industry has quickly learned the value of AI in everything from marketing to customer service delivery.”

Applebaum says AI integration has increased rapidly in recent years and is likely to continue to drive upwards in the coming years.

“What’s changed the most in three years is we’ve moved from headlines and a lot of hype and promotion to practicality and implementation,” he said. “That’s pretty amazing in a traditionally conservative, slow-moving industry for any technology to see adoption that rapidly.”

Among the leading adopters of AI are Aviva Canada and The Co-operators, two of the largest property and casualty insurers in the country.

“What they’re doing right is number one, focusing any AI solutions or any AI programs on opportunities to quickly improve customer service excellence and customer-centricity because that’s the watch word of the industry today. Everybody has come to understand that this is about the customer, not about the products,” added Applebaum. “If you look at the AI programs – which really span everything from the frontend of the enterprise all the way to the backend – they all have a customer-centricity or a customer service excellence theme or strategy or objective to them.”