In today’s episode of Agents Influence, host Jason Cass interviews Mark McLaughlin, IBM‘s Global Insurance Director. The two explore the insurance industry, its challenges, and the revolutionary solutions of the future. Mark shares his opinion on the role technology will play in the insurance industry going forward.

Show Notes:

  • Introduction of guest Mark McLaughlin, IBM Global Insurance Director.
  • People in the C-Suite tend to use more Iphones while programmers use androids. Mark uses an Iphone.
  • Mark believes success is 50%-50% skill and luck
  • Exciting innovation is now taking place all over the world in the insurance industry–China, Latin America, and Germany.
  • Mark reviews his background and tells us the story that led him to where he is today.
  • There are so many tools that can revolutionize the insurance industry, but nothing replaces the assurance of human connection and service.
  • The smart carriers realize that these technological tools don’t build trust, and the tools won’t replace the human experience but rather make the industry more efficient.
  • Trust with insurance plumits when there is less human interaction.
  • The future is relationships because technology enhances the relationships rather than replacing them.
  • For example, when we look at the travel industry, Travel agents who provide true value-adding services are thriving rather than dying with evolution of technology.
  • The insurance carriers are starting to think with the mindset of diversification.
  • We have to ask ourselves where do we add value. In general, humans add value in the emotional space.
  • In the long-term, Artificial Intelligence (AI) will enhance the insurance experience and make it more efficient.
  • Claims are going to move to the cloud.
  • Once we can bring in AI, we can offer claims that match your life by tracking your gym frequency, for example.
  • AI will help us look at risk from a more quantitative perspective.
  • There is still a lot of resistance to move to the cloud or adopt these new technologies.
  • Soon, it will be impossible to secure the data unless you are in the cloud.
  • The relationship between insurers and the insured will be a collaboration model–Exchanging data in return for reduced risk.
  • Tracking the insured’s car or tracking their health enables the creation of more realistic claims. This tracking is a strong value proposition.
  • Computers can go through a lot of information really quickly. The tools are mostly complementing the human work and doing all of the repetitive, boring tasks allowing humans to focus on what matters.
  • The Watson interface is now available in the car.
  • Future is headed to a more collaborative, assemblable world where insurance policy promotes better health through partnerships in the community.
  • Leaders are readers and readers are leaders.
    • Thinking Fast and Slow was the last book Mark read.
  • Mark mostly focuses on insurance technology when reading –Digital Insurance, social media–blogs, Wall Street Journal and New York Times
  • If you follow the money in the industry, it will tell you where the industry is going.
  • Everything comes back to seeing risk and figuring out ways to offset it.
  • We have to understand if it makes business sense for us to create certain things because third-parties don’t want to create tools that insurance agencies won’t use.
  • The price to try all these new technological tools are dropping quickly.

3 Key Points:

  1. The insurance industry is complex and comprised of many long, time-consuming processes that technology is starting to change.
  2. Artificial Intelligence will not get rid of the human aspect but instead complement it. Technology will eliminate services that are not adding value.
  3. The price of all these new technological advancements is dropping rapidly. Insurance agents resistant to adopting new tools used to be a concern for the industry, as tools would not be created unless they were used, but as prices drop, tool-use and adoption won’t be as big of a factor for technology advancements in the insurance industry.

Key Quotes:

–       “Take advantage of those technologies out there.” – Mark.
–       “These [technological] tools, at the end of the day, don’t build trust with the insured. You cannot replace the human connection.” –Mark.
–       “Trust is worst in US and Japan, the more mature markets” – Mark.
–       “The more we [insurance agents and carriers] get to know our industry the less they like us” – Mark

Resources Mentioned:

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