Pay close attention to the modern financial services industry and you’ll notice that one technology is mentioned more than almost any other, artificial intelligence (AI).
By now, many are conversant with how AI works and why it’s useful, but how many have successfully integrated it into their operations? Furthermore, what challenges and considerations should one factor into their decision making? In answer to these questions, Greg Williams, Co-Founder, CEO, and President of Acrisure, shares his advice to the industry.
Established in 2005, Acrisure is one of the insurance industry’s fastest-growing brokers. Since 2013, it has been engaged in an M&A drive that’s inflated revenue from US$38mn to $2.2bn and expanded geographically across the US from just three states to 42, as well as seven other countries.
List three areas where AI is significantly improving insurance for Acisure’s customers.
First, we’re combining AI with our massive data sets to identify product opportunities and uncover insights about existing customers. With an improved ability to identify new customers, AI drives a second advantage, namely providing services to customers who we aren’t reaching today. Third, by creating automation efficiencies among our back-office teams, we free up the mindshare of our colleagues.
Customers benefit from this greater share of our teams’ time and attention as it is focused on them, exactly where it should be.
What advice would you give to other companies seeking to integrate automation tech into their operations?
At Acrisure, we are guided by a ‘limitless’ philosophy. Instead, we advance our strategic ambitions, measure as we make progress, continually push what we can achieve, and stay very tight in our execution. For example, Acrisure purchased AI expert Tulco’s insurance practice roughly 18 months after first partnering with it, a testament to our ability to be nimble and seize the opportunity as it arises.
My advice, therefore, is to never limit yourself based on current constraints; identify the problem, understand the types of solutions that would help solve that problem, then find the people who will help you surpass your own expectations.
Are there any cultural challenges to overcome when implementing AI within insurance?
It’s evident that the insurance industry must adopt AI and other related technologies soon to stay relevant within the global digital ecosystem. No doubt, there has been progress. However, a recent study of insurance executives from Deloitte revealed that close to 80% of respondents believe that the pandemic unveiled shortcomings in their company’s digital capabilities and transformation plans.
Altering a traditional way of operating with technology is always a challenge. Our AI strategy is the best of human and machine as it augments and enhances the core relationship between customer and broker. This approach overcomes the ‘change factor’ because ultimately we’re empowering people to take their customer relationships to new heights.
Is there anything regarding insurance AI that no one's discussing that you'd like to highlight?
The recent history of insurtech has largely been focused on taking advantage of the inefficiencies inherent in the insurance value chain and the opportunity for more tech-enabled ‘disruption’. We certainly see these opportunities as well, but feel very strongly that the greater value lies in infusing better and more advanced technology into the advisor relationship at the core of the insurance or financial service offering.
Acrisure’s foundation is built on aligning with entrepreneurs, and it has resulted in explosive growth. Technology and innovation, added to this same foundation, can take us exponentially higher. That said, ‘disruption’ for the sake of disruption won’t lead to the same results. New technologies should always be viewed as tools aimed towards improving the human experience