A QUARTER OF UK CONSUMERS WOULD TRUST A ROBOT FOR SOME FORM OF INSURANCE ADVICE

New research from CenturyLink EMEA, an IT Services company specialising in digital transformation, indicates that consumers are becoming more comfortable with taking advice from robots when it comes to insurance matters. In a survey of over 1,200 UK adults, conducted by Censuswide, it was revealed that one in four customers (25%) would either definitely, or possibly, trust an automated, robotic service – such as a chatbot – to provide advice on a personal matter surrounding insurance.

The findings also point towards a generational split in views towards robotic advice. Those between the ages of 16 and 34 placed most trust in automated services (33%), whilst only 21% of those between the ages of 45 and 55+ would be happy with this form of interaction. Men are also more accepting of this kind of advice, with almost a third (30%) placing trust in insurance robots, as opposed to only 23% of women.

In terms of the type of advice consumers would feel comfortable in taking from a robot, nearly one in five (19%) would trust robotic guidance on how to claim for something, for example a car accident or contents theft. A further 18% would seek robotic advice as to which insurance provider would give them the best offer for their needs, but only 15% would trust robotic technology to manage and send relevant documents required to set up a policy, such as passports and proof of identification documents.

Interestingly, when it comes to what kinds of insurance policies consumers would trust robotic services for, more people would trust automated advice for car / motor insurance (19%) than pet insurance (12%). Only 13% would trust this type of advice for holiday insurance and even fewer people would be comfortable with automated advice for their phone insurance (9%). This could point towards the frequency that people renew insurance policies for certain products, or could expose consumers views on how often they might need to interact with, or claim for something, with a specific type of policy.

Jay Hibbin, director of insurance and financial services CenturyLink EMEA, commented:“It is interesting to see the growing trust that consumers have in robotic advice for insurance matters, particularly that almost a fifth (19%) would trust automated advice just as much as they would from a human. Businesses must take note of the views of the consumers and adapt their strategies to reflect this shift in the way buyers like to receive their services.

“The insurance industry is going through a rapid period of change and businesses are having to think about how they streamline services in order to survive and thrive. Time-poor IT teams at insurance enterprises have been, perhaps unfairly, described as “anti-innovation” and “risk averse” but now is the time to shake off these stereotypes. By working on, and investing, in digital transformation strategies, IT leaders that can meet the new demands, and expectations, of consumers. If insurers are to stay competitive and keep up with the challengers that are nipping at their heels, they must look to how they implement and maintain technologies such as these to provide services fit for the future”.

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