Across industries, professionals are wringing their hands over artificial intelligence (AI) and its supposed job-killing abilities.
The insurance industry isn't immune to the anxiety: One recent report said that artificial intelligence could be on track to kill 2.5 million financial jobs by 2033, with a whopping 885,000 of those in the insurance industry.
It's a chilling number, but I urge insurance professionals not to believe the fear mongering. AI won't eradicate humans from the world of insurance, no matter how advanced it becomes. Agents will continue to serve as the industry’s primary distribution force. However, AI will have a positive impact on agents’ jobs by taking over tedious tasks, allowing them to spend more time on strategic work.
The industry should focus on the benefits of digital transformation instead of disruption and predicting casualties. But to get there, insurance carriers and InsurTech firms alike must determine which processes can benefit from automation, and then successfully implement AI technologies in their operations.
Transformation Over Disruption
In the tech universe, we have a tendency to cry “disruption” whenever a new technology enters the market. While many argue that AI and emerging InsurTech firms will shake up insurance, true disruption would require a quarter of all jobs lost. I don’t foresee that happening.
However, these new technologies will almost certainly cause digital transformation. From cloud-based solutions to data tools to machine learning algorithms, the prioritization of the customer experience through the improvement of digital insights will fundamentally improve the delivery of insurance and consumers’ perception of the industry at large.
Much of the industry already gets it: Nearly 70 percent of insurers report that their companies are on the journey to digitally transform their infrastructure, according to Ensono and Forrester. Those who don’t understand the impact these technologies have---or who don’t figure it out soon---will be left behind.
Unless you have the proper resources to improve the customer and agent experience through digital transformation, you’ll be weeded out down the line. Carriers and agents should be looking to InsurTech firms for ideas and partnerships---rather than viewing them as a threat---in their journeys to digital transformation.