UK insurers looking to innovate could follow in the footsteps of SBI General by introducing an artificial intelligence (AI) chatbot insurance buying facility through WhatsApp. GlobalData survey data found that the majority of UK respondents believe AI technology will have a significant effect on their industry and the way they do their job.

GlobalData’s Emerging Technology: Sentiment Analysis Q3 2022 Survey found that 81.3% of respondents believe that AI technology will change the way they do their job over the next three years. Meanwhile, 49.3% believe that AI will significantly disrupt their industry. WhatsApp chatbots can speed up and enhance the customer experience via increased personalisation as well as improved communication and interaction with customers. They can also help insurers gather data on consumers. This can help insurers discover trends in buying behavior and allow insurers to customize individual experiences.

SBI General (one of the leading general insurance companies in India) and Gupshup (a conversational messaging platform developer) announced a partnership to offer an insurance buying journey through WhatsApp. Customers can now buy insurance from SBI General by sending a ‘Hi’ message to the WhatsApp chatbot. With Gupshup’s conversational chatbot, customers can not just purchase a new insurance policy from SBI General but renew an existing one, initiate claims, and more from within WhatsApp. In addition, the WhatsApp chatbot allows for deeper insights into customer journeys and the possibility of advanced personalisation.

Customers are increasingly looking for convenience in their policy buying experience as well as interactivity and personalization. Indeed, personalisation will be increasingly in demand in the UK as the cost-of-living crisis continues. Tailoring policies around individuals can help keep premiums down by only insuring what is necessary. However, the majority of the UK insurance industry is yet to implement this technology through messaging platforms such as WhatsApp. GlobalData’s 2021 UK Insurance Consumer Survey found that 9.4% of respondents would buy home insurance from WhatsApp, while 7.4% would buy motor insurance and 7.2% would buy travel insurance on the platform. This suggests there is some demand in the UK for WhatsApp to enter the insurance market.

Overall, with increased access to the internet across demographics, customers are more willing to explore simpler and more convenient options for financial solutions. If UK insurers are looking to innovate, WhatsApp chatbots could help enhance the customer experience and provide a better insight into consumer trends. They could also help insurers directly reach a much wider audience given the vast popularity of the app.

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