ESI Team

AI and the Future of Insurance

April 10, 2024
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On the 38th episode of Enterprise Software Innovators, hosts Evan Reiser (Abnormal Security) and Saam Motamedi (Greylock Partners) talk with Mojgan Lefebvre, EVP and Chief Technology & Operations Officer of Travelers. Travelers is a Fortune 500 insurance company offering a range of insurance products to customers across the globe. With over $41 billion in revenue and over 32,000 employees, Travelers is the second-largest writer of U.S. commercial property casualty insurance and the sixth-largest writer of U.S. personal insurance through independent agents. In this conversation, Mojgan joins the show to share her perspective on integrating emerging technology into enterprise operations, prioritizing the customer experience through data-driven insights, and the importance of culture for successful AI adoption.

In the insurance world, where uncertainty is part of the daily routine, companies like Travelers are turning to AI to bring a new level of precision and efficiency to their operations. While there are many approaches to implementing new technologies, Mojgan believes that ensuring use cases are highly impactful and scalable is the key to success. "We want to make sure we're focusing on the use cases that are going to make a business difference that we can scale. Everything is new; you're going to make mistakes, but you want to make sure you make them the right way. You fail the right way, learn from it, and then continue to iterate. Unless you start experimenting while being thoughtful about the business outcomes you're focused on, you won't really get there." Although the roadmap to success may vary, it's essential to recognize that leaders should prioritize their focus on leveraging AI to address and solve existing problems through specific use cases.

By embracing AI, Travelers is tapping into the immense potential to analyze data more deeply, make predictions more accurately, and meet customer needs more personally. The vast amounts of data that insurance companies interact with highlight the transformative role of AI and deep learning models. These technologies address complex challenges, such as extreme weather events, through sophisticated modeling and data analysis. However, Mojgan thinks that the true magic of AI in insurance comes from technology, which allows Travelers employees to be more human. "Insurance is such a different business in terms of your interaction with the customer. A lot of that interaction is in moments that aren't necessarily the best moments of life. And to the extent that we can, make those moments less hectic with the least amount of anxiety, and as seamless as possible…Leveraging AI to make sure that we have all of the information about who they are, their preferences, everything that we can glean from already existing materials without having to ask them that question, all of that is really important."

The cultural and organizational shifts necessitated by integrating AI into enterprise operations present both challenges and opportunities for business leaders. For AI adoption to be successful, the entire organization must cultivate a culture that prizes innovation and continuous learning. Mojgan's insights emphasize the importance of nurturing a culture of innovation and deep customer engagement within the IT organization. This calls attention to the necessity for a thorough strategy to handle technological transformations, incorporating strong support from leadership, the development of talent, and an in-depth comprehension of business processes. "We're lucky that we have a CEO who is very forward thinking and uses the saying that, 'At the point where the pace of change outside of your company is faster than the inside, then the future won't exist.'"

Mojgan's insights reveal that technology's potential is fully realized in an environment that fosters innovation, learning, and cross-functional collaboration. A culture that embraces change, prioritizes ethical considerations, and aligns AI initiatives with strategic business goals is indispensable for navigating the complexities of digital transformation. A dedicated focus on applied use cases of operational excellence and a seamless customer experience creates a positive feedback loop for the business. In this context, the successful integration of AI becomes more than just a technological achievement; it becomes a significant competitive advantage.

Listen to Mojgan's episode here and read the transcript here.