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We strive to be an early adopter in leveraging latest technologies: Girish Nayak, ICICI Lombard

Sharing the digital roadmap and strategies of his company, Girish Nayak, Chief of Customer Service, Operations & Technology, ICICI Lombard General Insurance informs that about the 90 per cent of the policy issuance is done by over 120 bots in near real-time

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What are the focus areas in your role as the CIO of ICICI Lombard?
At ICICI Lombard we strive to be an early adopter in leveraging latest technologies to add value to our customers and partners. We believe emerging technologies would play a critical role as agents of change across all lines of businesses and operations. Thus, in terms of technology landscape and focus areas for the next couple of years, we are focusing on the following:

  • Leveraging the power of the cloud to transform our IT system by breaking down the monolithic architecture of the past into micro-services based architecture, which is far more flexible, responsive and scalable. It would also enable us to do integrations with new age digital partners a lot easier and faster, thereby providing an excellent and seamless customer experience
  • Exploiting opportunities in using artificial intelligence and deep learning for automating operations and enhancing customer experience across multiple lines of businesses and processes
  • Leveraging our centralised data lake and using advanced analytics to design novel and highly personalised experiences for our customers, to define new ways to measure, manage, and control business operations, and to streamline and automate a lot of processes that were designed for the data-less world of the past.

What does digital mean for your company?
In the past, digital used to mean either you are digitising your existing manual processes (i.e. following the same old process digitally) or you are moving your products online to sell through digital channels. However, today’s highly mobile and connected customers, who are getting almost everything under the sun delivered instantly with a few taps, need to be serviced completely differently.

Thus, digital for us means rethinking from first principles and redefining our products and processes to serve our customers completely, digitally end-to-end, and in a cheaper, better and faster manner. So broadly our digital agenda is based on leveraging emerging technologies across three pillars of growth:

  • Delightful customer experiences
  • New business opportunities and avenues
  • Building foundational capabilities and improving operational efficiencies

We recently launched AI-powered break-in inspection service on our app through which our customers can just upload pictures of their vehicle (the insurance for which has expired) and our AI module will analyse the images to detect the presence of any damage, post which the break-in policy proposal will be either accepted or recommended for verification.

We started a virtual survey where a garage operator can conduct a video survey of a vehicle using our mobile app and the surveyor sitting at the central location can instantly process the claims. Similarly, in case of an accident, our customers can get in touch with us instantly via video streaming to do the survey on the spot and get assistance on filing the claim and finding the right garage for repairing the vehicle. These have resulted in significantly enhanced customer experience and a reduction in the time taken to process a claim.

We launched India’s first artificial intelligence based technology to facilitate instant health insurance claims approval for cashless cases, bringing down the requests’ approval from one hour to as low as one minute in many cases.

As it is said data is the new oil, we had started capturing a lot of granular level data since last few years and have built a centralised data lake to mine these massive datasets for various use cases such as personalised product offerings, risk profiling, and selection, pricing, cross-selling, claims prediction and fraud detection.

What are the driving factors for your digital strategy?
Digital strategy is driven primarily by changing consumer preferences and expectations. Customers today are:

  • Mobile first, tech-savvy, multiscreen and multimedia oriented
  • Looking for simplified and personalized services delivered completely digitally
  • Looking for instant gratification

So we are moving from a product-centric approach of an insurance provider to a customer-centric solutions provider approach. We are focusing on serving our digital native customers completely digitally end-to-end with highly personalised products and services. The key elements of our digital strategy include:

  • Drive new digital products through value-based partnerships to capture the digital insurance market. E.g. we have launched multiple “moment of truth” based microinsurance products on digital platforms – trip insurance on Ola and IRCTC – accident, disability, and baggage loss
  • Leverage consumer shift towards mobile by creating new distribution channels, enabling end-to-end digital sales and service (including but not limited to chat based interfaces). e.g. sachet based products (vector-borne cover) on platforms like Paytm, Hospital Daily Cash programme for affordable and rural segments, cashless based OPD program in partnership with Practo – doctor consultation, pharmacy, and diagnostic
  • Any innovations that help in increasing the reach or distribution, enhancing customer experience, preventive risk management or in simplifying and making the processes faster.

How is ICICI Lombard leveraging chatbots and enhancing the insurance experience?
Customer centricity has always been our prime focus. Leveraging Natural Language Processing and Robotic Process Automation technologies, we have built over 120 bots for automating the manual process of quote generation and policy booking across various products for our corporate and SME customers. Today, for certain products, almost 90 per cent of our policy issuance is done through these bots in near real-time.

We have developed chabot based solutions across multiple lines of business to address low complexity high volume issues/tasks. For example, currently, our customers and partners can instantly get answers, quotes or can easily complete various transactions without any manual intervention through our chabot platform – MyRA. For example, customers can buy TW insurance, renew their health and motor policies. Similarly, thousands of customers and partners have completed instant KYC by just uploading a picture of an ID card.


If you have an interesting article / experience / case study to share, please get in touch with us at [email protected]

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