AI technology helps customers get back on the road sooner


Suncorp has announced it has successfully integrated IBM Watson artificial intelligence technology into its online claims process.

This will help further streamline the more than 500,000 motor claims Suncorp receives each year.

Using IBM Watson’s Natural Language Classifier, the system analyses customer descriptions of motor vehicle accidents – which are often written in a conversational way, including colloquialisms and Australian slang – to help Suncorp better understand the circumstances and confidently determine liability.

The new digital solution relies on Watson to conduct liability analysis and assist in fast-tracking simple claims, such as single vehicle incidents with detailed descriptions. If the incident description provided by the customer is limited, or there is a low confidence score from the system in determining liability, the claim is quickly routed to a claim consultant to help make the liability decision.

Since going into production in June 2017, the proportion of customers who were fast-tracked through the process has tripled, enabling claim consultants to focus more time on complex scenarios, while helping more customers get their vehicle into a repairer and back on the road faster.

The technology enables claims to be lodged, excess paid (or waived based on the decision) and repairs booked within 5 minutes.

“This technology augments our claim consultant’s knowledge and expertise, providing data-driven insights and instilling greater confidence in our liability decisions. It has also helped us speed the process for our customers, while improving their experience at a time that’s often very stressful,” Gary Dransfield, CEO Insurance, Suncorp, said.

“Ultimately this enhances our customers’ experience by delivering innovative digital solutions to help make the claim process easier.

“Previously, depending on the complexity or details around a customer’s claim, they could be diverted to a claim consultant for a phone call, who would then use their judgment to make the liability decision,” Mr Dransfield said.

“By integrating Watson, not only is our claims process streamlined, but we have further improved the consistency of our liability decisions, while establishing a reliable reference point based on a very large history of claims and industry guidelines.”

“This is a unique application of artificial intelligence that directly impacts the lives of everyday Australians, while helping Suncorp’s team focus their time on the more challenging incidents,” said Mark Allaby, Managing Partner, Financial Services, IBM Australia.

“Suncorp is fast becoming one of the leading Australian organisations for digital innovation and technology, and this is due to their commitment to keeping the customer at the heart of their ongoing transformation.”

Suncorp trained Watson on the complexities associated with determining liability in motor vehicle accidents using nearly 15,000 de-personalised claim scenarios and the resulting liability determination, in line with guidelines from the Australian Prudential Regulatory Authority (APRA). By the end of the trial period, Watson could accurately determine liability for around 90 per cent of cases.

This technology is being used across Suncorp’s Personal Insurance brands including, AAMI, Suncorp, GIO and Bingle.

About Suncorp
Suncorp Group Limited is a trusted provider of financial services and solutions, helping customers to make good choices and take positive action to improve their financial wellbeing.

Since 1902, we have created value for stakeholders while being a responsible and resilient business. Today, we are a top 20 ASX-listed company with $97 billion in assets. We employ approximately 13,400 people and serve close to nine million customers across Australia and New Zealand.

Our Marketplace of products, services and experiences is designed to make it easier for our customers to meet their financial needs. It brings together our strong portfolio of banking & wealth and insurance solutions from across our many brands including Suncorp, AAMI, GIO, Apia and Shannons, as well as those from our partners.

About IBM Watson: Pioneering a New Era of Computing
Watson represents a new era in computing called cognitive computing, where systems understand the world in a way more similar to humans: through senses, learning, and experience. Watson continuously learns from previous interactions, gaining in value and knowledge over time. With the help of Watson, organizations are harnessing the power of cognitive computing to transform industries, help professionals do their jobs better, and solve important challenges.

As part of IBM’s strategy to accelerate the growth of cognitive computing, Watson is open to the world, allowing a growing community of developers, students, entrepreneurs and tech enthusiasts to easily tap into the most advanced and diverse cognitive computing platform available today. Watson solutions are being built, used and deployed in more than 45 countries and across 20 different industries.

For more information on IBM Watson, visit: Join the conversation at #ibmwatson.