Erie Insurance is testing the use of Google Glass in a bid to boost workforce efficiency, something it says will be crucial as waves of baby boomers retire from the industry over the next few years.

The Pennsylvania-based property/casualty insurer claims it is the first carrier to use Google Glass for this purpose. The technology involves the use of an optical head-mounted display (glasses with added technology) as a computer.

Some in the industry have suggested it would be particularly useful for adjusters, with a single Google Glass device serving as a camera, tape recorder, video conferencing device, GPS and computer. In Erie Insurance’s case, supervisors offer remote guidance to field employees by way of the hands-free, live streaming options Google Glass provides.

Erie’s Commercial Risk Control group is using Google Glass initially. The division visits businesses to assess their risks before underwriting, and the idea is that the technology could help lead to quicker coverage decisions for customers. Traditionally, risk control supervisors travel with field employees, and Erie Insurance Chief Underwriting Officer Jayashree Ishwar said the technology will save both time and money and improve customer service.

“This dramatically reduces the amount of time [supervisors] have to spend on the road, [making] them available to provide expert on-call advice, and can lead to faster answers for customers,” Ishwar said.

He added that Google Glass is also boosting Erie Insurance’s capabilities for cross-training and knowledge sharing among employees in different geographic regions. As well, it will help train new employees as baby boomers retire. The insurer notes predictions that the insurance industry will have 400,000 open positions to fill by 2020 as baby boomers retire.

Erie Insurance operates in 12 states and the District of Columbia.

Source: Erie Insurance

Topics Underwriting