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Thursday, November 14, 2019

Business TravellerCEO Insider

The Surprising Truth About AI in Travel Insurance and Beyond

When it comes to “personalization” as part of the consumer experience, many companies are overlooking what’s important. You’ve probably received email pitches that include your name in the subject line or wish you a happy birthday around the day you were born, but did they make you want to know more? Probably not. In fact, 93% of consumers say they’re unlikely to engage with this sort of marketing.

Personalization may not always work as the sole tool to draw customers, but, executed correctly, it is among the most important facets of both customer service and retention. What consumers are looking for is added value. A personalized experience that can provide a more relevant product with attractive pricing and great service is a key driver in the quest to improve customer satisfaction and increase repeat purchases.

Looking ahead, Artificial Intelligence (AI) will be one of the cornerstones of this enhanced personalized experience. In fact, AI is already changing the way we buy a number of goods and services in remarkable ways, including in the formerly staid business of travel insurance.

How AI Makes A Difference With Travel Insurance

At Allianz, we have decades of experience providing customized insurance policies to travelers seeking the best protection for their trip. The volume of available data points numbers in the billions; coupled with machine learning, these figures create a powerful tool for changing the way customers buy and manage their insurance policies, offering a more tailored, efficient experience.

We’ve already seen how AI can help reduce the time it takes to approve an insurance claim, taking a process that once lasted days down to mere minutes. These faster payouts are particularly important for travel insurance. When a customer finds themselves dealing with a trip delay, knowing their insurance provider is able to provide an almost immediate payment creates a loyalty that would be impossible to have without the use of AI.

Personalization works in a similar manner. Machine learning and mathematical models turn data points into custom insurance options. When purchasing an insurance policy on a booking platform or airline website, algorithms take anonymized traveler and trip information, including trip length, number of travelers, and many other travel details into account and, within seconds, provide a quote with benefits tailored to someone’s protection needs.

With AI, insurance is individualized, tailored to buyers through cutting-edge technology and key insights gleaned from dozens of available data points. Our aim is for customers to sense that their needs are being met down to the most minute detail. With this individualized attention comes consumer loyalty, repeat business and brand advocacy as satisfied customers will be inclined to highlight the value to friends and family.

AI’s Business Edge

Consumer retention drives business growth, and AI’s strength in providing this value makes it an essential part of the insurance-buying process. At the same time, companies must ensure travelers feel comfortable taking part in this cutting-edge service.

At Allianz, we completely anonymize and summarize our data. Any details the customer enters are solely used to enhance their buying experience. Data used for machine learning is anonymous, without the risk of personal information being exposed.

This policy builds trust and a winning relationship with our customers. It’s not just good business practice – customers expect intuitive services with intelligent options; companies that cannot provide the highest quality of service will fall behind in a business world driven by AI.

Moreover, these policies don’t just enable customers to make the most accurate buying decisions. Within corporations, AI allows developers and analysts to spend less time on repetitive tasks and more time on creative assignments. Higher job satisfaction comes when employees know their work is meaningful and self-motivated.

When a powerful infrastructure for machine learning is in place, data scientists and analysts know they can leverage this technology to achieve company goals. Their success not only drives growth, but also helps develop new ideas that become an industry standard in increasingly short timespans.

The Future of AI & Travel

At Allianz, we’re continuing to innovate new ways to personalize travel insurance with our AI technology. The successes we’ve seen are a strong foundation for future work and continued development.

Much of our work is based around two essential cornerstones: accuracy and ease of use. The days of buying insurance based solely on age and trip duration are of a different era. A more comprehensive arsenal of information creates smarter buying options, higher satisfaction and a continuously evolving and streamlined recommendation process.

It’s important not to forget the human element in all of this. Consumer feedback drives what we do with technology. AI that doesn’t serve the customer behind the keyboard, tablet, or phone isn’t working. It’s only when consumer preferences and behaviors are taken into account that AI creates success. We’ve seen this progress year after year, and the future is only looking more exciting for the travel industry.

Our Growth, Your Gain

The AI-backed technology at Allianz provides our customers with high-quality and intuitive travel options. Our employees take advantage of new opportunities in creative, cutting-edge fields. As a business, we create more value with our accurate and iterative approach to travel insurance.

All of this benefits not only our customers, but also our partners. The travel industry is looking for the next step forward in innovation and disruption, and the past few years have seen some of the most unique growth opportunities of the 21st century.

By staying ahead of the curve, we’ll continue to provide the highest level of value to all of our clients, whether they’re individual customers or long-standing partner companies. It’s part of our commitment to a future we’re excited to help write.


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The views expressed in this article are those of the author alone and not the CEOWORLD magazine.
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Mike Nelson
Mike Nelson, Chief Executive Officer, Global Travel and Americas, Allianz Worldwide Partners. Mike leads operations across the Americas region, which includes offices in Brazil, Canada, Mexico and the US, with combined revenues that exceed $1 billion. He also serves on the executive management board of Allianz Partners Group. He holds a bachelor's degree in accounting and an MBA from the University of Minnesota. Mike Nelson is an opinion columnist for the CEOWORLD magazine.
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