ICICI Lombard partners Microsoft for AI-based insurance renewal

by Nilesh Wadhwa 19 Dec 2018


ICICI Lombard, the leading private sector non-life insurance company in India, today launched the industry's first Artificial Intelligence- (Al) based solution to facilitate instant renewals of expired or lapsed motor insurance policies.

The tech-based feature will allow the user to capture images of his/her car (the insurance for which has expired) and upload it using ICICI Lombard's 'Insure' mobile app. Each image will then be analysed by the cloud-hosted Al module to detect the presence of any damage, post which the break-in policy proposal will be either accepted or recommended for verification.

In collaboration with Microsoft, ICICI Lombard has developed this Al-based solution using various offerings on the Microsoft Azure platform such as GPU-enabled Data Science Virtual Machines, Azure Container Services as well as open source technologies such as Docker and Tensor Flow. By containerising this solution in the cloud, the company will be able to process multiple break-in cases simultaneously, without impacting the customer experience.

Speaking at the launch, Sanjeev Mantri, executive director, ICICI Lombard said, "At ICICI Lombard, we always strive to provide the best-in-class experience to our customers by using the latest technology solutions. Based on deep neural networks and machine learning algorithms, ICICI Lombard has developed an Al-based break-in inspection solution for image-based damage detection. This solution will make renewals of expired policies real-time, consistent and convenient for our customers, significantly enhancing their policy purchase experience."

"Microsoft's goal is to amplify human ingenuity by making AJ accessible and valuable to every individual and organisation. We are happy to collaborate with ICICI Lombard to bring the power of Artificial Intelligence and its transformative impact to redefining the customer experience for their customers, starting with the claims approval process," said Meetul Patel, COO, Microsoft India.

The ‘Break in inspection’ feature is operated through the following steps:

-Post-filling policy details click the self-inspection button on the 'Insure' app
- Capture vehicle's photographs and click upload
- After uploading the images, the AI module analyses the photos and provides confirmation immediately.
-In case the AI module confirms the damages on the vehicle to be in adherence to the underwriting guidelines, the policy is processed for issuance. In case AI confirms otherwise, the vehicle is recommended to technical experts, who review the damages and decide on the proposal.

In the past, ICICI Lombard has introduced solutions such as 'InstaSpect', India's first real-time claims approval for motor insurance that processes claims using live video inspection and an Al-powered interface for customer query management through chatbots (MyRA). The company claims to have carried out over 300,000 inspections alone using InstaSpect.

Earlier this year, the company launched India's first Al-based technology to facilitate instant health insurance claims approval within a minute compared to an hour in the past.

Explaining the context behind the technology Girish Nayak, chief of Customer Service, Technology & Operations, ICICI Lombard speaking to Autocar Professional, said: "The technology has been tried and tested, the images are analysed in the cloud using AI and through Machine learning this technology would keep getting better." When asked about the probability of fraudulent claims, he said that the company will have other steps to keep frauds in check.

The company also plans to begin claim processing using the Insure app in the next quarter. The insurance major is working on other parameters to utilise machine learning and AI for processing the claims, making the process quicker and agile. In fact, the new feature will effectively translate towards purchasing and claiming insurance possible across the country (depending on network reception) in a matter of few minutes. At present, the company estimates it takes around 45-60 minutes at the least for a vehicle inspection to be done using the InstaSpect, wherein the process is human dependent, but through the machine learning and AI, it would come down to around 3 minutes (depending on internet connection). 

In the first half of FY2019, ICICI Lombard has issued around 5.5 million policies, and is said to have a 93 percent claimed process in less than 30 days, as against the 70 percent industry average.

Also read: Meetul Patel: 'Smarter AI, which takes into account India’s road challenges, will emerge from within the country itself and solve its mobility challenges.'