Artificial intelligence, machine learning, analytics and other “intelligent” technology could help U.S. insurers boost their profitability by up to $20 billion, according to a new Accenture report.

Carriers appear to increasingly embrace the technology potential. About 53 percent of insurers surveyed said they were already using intelligent technology in one or more business process. And 46 percent said they’re looking into or piloting the technologies to streamline some of their business processes or customer experiences.

The data for insurers who have already incorporated some of these options into their operations is telling. According to Accenture, insurers that have used some aspect of this technology to revamp their customer experience and drive more human/machine interaction and collaboration are getting returns more than 10 times their initial investment.

Accenture estimates that the tech could help boost industry wide profitability between $10.4 billion and $20.8 billion.

Among Accenture’s findings:

  • 75 percent of insurers plan to use AI to automate tasks in the next three years, either to “a large or very large extent.”
  • 24 percent of respondents are reinventing processes to help them adapt to changing conditions and automate repeatable tasks.
  • 31 percent are using data and analytics to drive “new insight, advice, decisions and customer experiences.”
  • 34 percent are rethinking human/machine interactions with an eye on driving speed, quality and consistent outcomes.
  • 80 percent of insurers said they saw the value of intelligent tech as a tool to handle more complex tasks and adapting without humans involved.
  • 63 percent of insurance execs said they saw intelligent technologies as completely transforming the industry.

The full study is called “Reimagining Insurance Processes with Intelligent Solutions.” It’s based on an analysis of the potential profit impact of intelligent tech on U.S. tier 1 insurers, plus a survey of 185 insurance process professionals. Those surveyed came from more than 1,000 large global companies with revenues between $500 million and $25 billion. Executives who responded to the survey included CXOs, executives, managers, analysts or engineers.

Source: Accenture