Robo-Insurance Agents? Bring ‘Em On, Say Consumers

Insurance Journal
Seven in 10 consumers around the world would welcome robo-advisory services – computer-generated advice and services that are independent of a human advisor – for their banking, insurance and retirement planning, according to a report by consultants at Accenture.

Close to three-quarters would welcome a robot telling them what insurance to buy.

At the same time, a large number of consumers still want human interaction. Nearly two-thirds want some human interaction when dealing with complex financial needs and with complaints.

Thus firms face a challenge blending a physical presence with an advanced digital user-experience and trying to integrate robot and human services.

The global Distribution & Marketing Consumer research by Accenture, which includes a survey of nearly 33,000 consumers in 18 countries and regions, found that the vast majority are willing to receive exclusively robo-generated advice for certain banking and insurance products. Consumers are now open to robo-advice to help determine which bank account to open (71 percent), which insurance coverage to purchase (74 percent), and how to plan for retirement (68 percent). Nearly four out of five (78 percent) consumers said they would welcome robo-advice for traditional investing, where the technology first emerged.

First-Class Human Interaction

However, the study also found that nearly two-thirds of consumers still want human interaction in financial services, especially to deal with complaints (68 percent) and advice about complex products such as mortgages (61 percent).
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