Artificial intelligence (AI) presents a major opportunity for insurers to grow their business, according to new research by Accenture.
The professional services firm found that insurers that invest in disruptive technologies like AI and human-machine collaboration at the same rate as “top-performing” businesses could boost their revenues by an average 17% and their employment by 7% over the next five years.
Benefits of AI for insurers will include “faster underwriting, quicker claims settlement and improved customer service,” explained Andrew Woolf, the Talent & Organization lead within Accenture’s Financial Services practice.
The report, Future Workforce Survey — Insurance: Realizing the Full Value of AI, says that insurers will achieve cost savings, but growth will be a much greater benefit.
Most executives expect to see a net gain in employment, while insurance company employees expect AI to create opportunities for them and to improve their work-life balance.
Yet the senior executives surveyed believe that only one in four of their employees is ready to work with AI. And while almost half (43%) cite the growing skills gap as the top factor influencing their workforce strategy, only 4% plan to significantly increase their investment in reskilling programmes in the next three years.
“AI has the potential to boost innovation, growth and efficiency, but insurers’ hesitance to properly reskill their employees could limit its impact,” said Michael Costonis, who leads Accenture’s Insurance practice globally. “To complicate matters, despite having a business that is ripe to apply technology and innovation, insurers aren’t in a good position to win the war on technology talent. Executives need to think pragmatically about how they can bring new talent in, redesign jobs and reskill existing employees appropriately. Creating a more flexible work environment could be a key first step to attracting data scientists and other outside talent.”