Startup insurance company, Cove Insurance, has made good on its promise of last November to have “the first insurance experience in New Zealand to be fully managed by a chatbot,” announcing, in private beta only, a chatbot service enabling customers to buy car insurance.
Cove announced on 20 June that it had sold, to its CEO Andy Coon, insurance cover for his 2001 Audi S3 through the Facebook Messenger based chatbot. It said the service would be available to the public later this year.
When it announced the plan last year, Cove said that, internationally, chatbots in the insurance industry had enabled claims to be paid in as little as three seconds, and policies purchased in just 90 seconds.
Coon said: “We timed it at slightly over three minutes to get insured, which is an immense improvement compared to what New Zealanders are used to. However our goal is to continue using technology to make this process simpler and faster. I believe we can take steps to further streamline this process.”
When the service goes live Cove says it will initially be offered via Facebook Messenger. “Within this interface the customer will be asked series of questions, before being presented with an insurance quote which is available for immediate purchase, with coverage beginning instantly.”
However chief product officer Rob Coon said the company would soon be offering chatbot insurance through other channels, including a simplified web experience, and that Cove was also looking at making the claims experience seamless, with the goal of being able to offer near-instant claims approval later in the year.
Cove said Dr Ming Cheuk, University of Auckland bioengineering graduate, had been working with the Cove team for a year on the project and would soon begin to develop intelligent claims approval technology, which will mix AI with behavioural sciences to automate much of the claims process.
Cove said it was also leveraging a number of cloud providers such as Amazon Web Services (AWS) “to ensure the company remains agile, and can focus more on development of innovative technology while benefiting from rapid deployment.”
The company has also used Auckland based chatbot and user interface developer Spark 64 in its development and Wellington based IT consultancy API Talent, acquired by Deloitte in March, has provided advice.