“Kate,” a new virtual assistant, debuts for GEICO auto insurance customers. Liberty Mutual is expanding its telematics and other safe driver offerings. Kinsale has started offering new school board liability coverage.

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GEICO is debuting a new virtual assistant. Named Kate, the service helps customers pursue actions such as checking their current balance on an auto insurance policy or spot the date due for their next payment.

Customers can access Kate by downloading the GEICO mobile app. It’s designed so they can ask her a question and she will respond with quick, personalized answers, thanks to interactive voice assistant technology. She’s programmed to know about insurance and provide customers specific policy information.

To start talking with Kate, customers can either type or speak with her directly, 24 hours a day.

Kate is available right now within the mobile app for iOS, with plans to introduce her to Android policyholders in early 2017. GEICO’s updated version of its app is in the App Store for iOS devices and Google Play for Android devices.

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Liberty Mutual said it is expanding a telematics and other safe driving offerings.

A new HighwayHero app tracks and scores driving behavior, giving feedback after driving trips. Users can track their progress against other local drivers and win awards such as “Safest Driver” badges. So far, drivers in 16 states are eligible for discounts based on their scores.

Separately, Liberty Mutual said it is expanding ByMile, its pay-as-you-drive insurance that gives lower premiums for customers who drive their car less. This is currently available in Illinois, but the insurer said it will expand into additional states through 2017.

Also, the insurer plans to unveil its RightTrack mobile app in Colorado, Kentucky, Ohio, Tennessee and Wisconsin next month, with several more states planned by the end of 2017. RightTrack is Liberty Mutual’s usage-based insurance program and helps insurers save money based on their driving habits.

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Kinsale Insurance Co. now offers educational institutional (school board) liability coverage through its Public Entity Division.

The division targets hard-to-place/distressed educational institution risks that are typically nonrenewed due to claim activity or having other tough characteristics. Typical accounts for the new cover will include small to midsize schools with up to a maximum of 5,000 students.

Kinsale said that student populations greater than 5,000 should be discussed with a Kinsale public entity underwriter.

The coverage addresses losses that an insured educator or educational institution must pay for a claim arising out of a wrongful act. Also, employment practices coverage is included for most policies. Primary and excess limits are available up to $5 million on eligible accounts.

Kinsale is a subsidiary of Kinsale Capital Group Inc.

 

Sources: GEICO, Liberty Mutual, Kinsale