P&C Insurers: Embed Empathy Into User Interactions with AI

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2 minute read

During challenging economic times, property and casualty insurers can utilize digital agents to provide empathetic member support at scale.

Filing an insurance claim can be a confusing, stressful and emotional endeavor. Uncertainty in the current economy only adds to feelings of uneasiness, as some property and casualty (P&C) insurance customers struggle to pay premiums and keep policies active.

Insurance carriers, meanwhile, face worsening profitability challenges across the industry. According to McKinsey, inflated pricing led to “an approximately $30 billion increase in loss costs” in 2021, with expectations of ongoing losses in 2022 and this year. If inflation alone was not enough, the additional strain of a higher frequency of car accidents and severe weather events has left insurers with no other choice but to raise their premiums.

How do these changes effect insurance member behaviors? In times of economic turbulence, contact centers become even more important, as people rely on phone-based conversations for personalized guidance and support. With members facing rising premium rates at a time when many are keeping tighter budgets, P&C insurers can expect continued spikes in contact center demand as members seek to understand their new rates, file claims, explore alternative coverage options and make changes to their existing plans.

Insurers should prioritize deploying a solution to avoid subjecting customers to long contact center wait times. Some carriers have deployed automated solutions such as basic FAQ chatbots or IVR systems, however, it’s important to note that these solutions lack emotional intelligence, a vital quality for driving positive insurance experiences. According to recent survey data, displays of empathy during interactions with insurance providers play a critical role in P&C member satisfaction. The survey found that nearly half of respondents’ 5-star satisfaction ratings were attributed to “positive or empathetic adjuster attitude and handling approach.”

P&C insurance providers need to invest in digital solutions that will enable them to scale the delivery of human-like member support, and virtual agents powered by Conversational AI are best suited for the job.

Personalized Insurance Experiences with Conversational AI

Conversational AI-powered virtual agents help P&C carriers drive empathetic, personalized support in two distinct ways. First, virtual agents provide direct member-facing support. Whereas simple chatbots fail to understand and appropriately respond to users’ emotions, moods and intents, Conversational AI agents are equipped with robust sentiment analysis capabilities that help them recognize when a user is happy, stressed, angry or upset. These agents then use this context to form responses that demonstrate that they understand and empathize with users’ feelings, just like a human agent.

Empathy, however, is important but not enough — members also want resolutions. Unlike chatbots, Conversational AI agents are enabled by extensive integration frameworks that allow them to tap into enterprise systems, suggest personalized resolutions and act on behalf of users. By deploying intelligent virtual agents for direct member support, P&C insurers can deliver complete, empathetic and personalized resolutions at AI speed and scale.

Virtual agents, such as those from Amelia, also collaborate with human insurance agents to address increasingly complex customer questions and issues. Amelia supports human colleagues as a “whisper agent,” working in the background of live agent conversations to handle administrative and rote tasks, so human colleagues can focus on delivering high-value, one-on-one, empathetic member support.

As both the first point of contact for insurance members and as a real-time sidekick for human workers, Conversational AI agents are well-equipped to drive positive member experiences — and let customers know that, no matter the circumstances, their insurance providers have their backs.

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