Less than a month after announcing a partnership with Credit Union Australia’s health insurance arm, Sydney artificial intelligence company Flamingo AI has announced a paid trial with US-based Fortune 100 insurer Liberty Mutual.
The three month trial will see Liberty Mutual use the Flamingo’s cognitive virtual assistant platform to guide customers through the process of getting a quote for their car insurance, through to payment.
The organisations had announced the trial agreement in November 2016, with Flamingo having since been paid for security audits, its systems integration phase, and user acceptance testing.
Flamingo has two virtual assistants, Rosie and Maggie. Billed as a virtual sales and service assistant, Rosie can guide customers through research, getting quotes, applying, and payment, while Maggie is classed as a virtual enquiry assistant, answering questions customers have when they arrive at a website.
Rosie can also work in HAVA – human assisted virtual assistant – mode, where an employee interacts with Rosie to guide the customer to an outcome, Flamingo explained, with the human training the machine while “the machine augments the human”.
Flamingo reported than HAVA employees can be 30 percent more productive than unassisted call centre agents. It also reports a 41 percent conversion of insurance applications and a 20 percent improvement in customer retention.
The news follows Flamingo, which is listed on the ASX, raising $5.1 million in September and $10 million in December to deliver on projects in its pipeline and explore new opportunities for Rosie.
Similar to the partnership with Liberty Mutual, the deal announced with CUA Health in February will see Rosie undertake a “period of learning” to understand frequently asked questions and their answers, before being launched on the CUA Health website for a three month pilot.
Philip Fraser, CEO of CUA Health, said Rosie will not be a replacement for the organisation’s human service team, but rather as consumers become more tech-savvy, an increasing number are coming to prefer the “convenience and accessibility” of a digital sales channel.
“Rosie has the ability to cater directly to this growing market while also supplementing our personalised interactions with members, managing many of the most common health insurance inquiries,” he explained.
“[Rosie] provides us with a huge opportunity to grow our health member base by lifting the number of quote requests that are followed all the way through to taking out a policy.”
CUA Health and Liberty Mutual are just the latest insurers to explore virtual assistants and AI, with local health insurer NIB last year launching its virtual assistant ‘nibby’. In the fintech space, the Commonwealth Bank in January launched Ceba, a chatbot which it stated can help customers with over 200 banking tasks, such as activating their card, checking their account balance, and making payments.
Looking beyond AI, Liberty Mutual has set up Solaria Labs, an innovation hub focusing on next-generation vehicles, connected homes, and the sharing economy, with the idea of “[owning] the whole process” from concept to product to launch.
Image: Dr Catriona Wallace of FlamingoAI.