Finance in Focus: What cognitive computing can do for insurance

Finance in Focus: What cognitive computing can do for insurance


The insurance industry, like most of the financial services industry, has been so slow to adapt to technology, which is ironic because this industry probably has access to vast amounts of data that is just sitting in silos within organizations. We’ve seen so much effort around complying with regulation and cutting costs, but in reality much remains untapped within organizations that could easily improve both cybersecurity and the customer experience.

Cognitive computing offers a great opportunity for insurance companies to understand the true nature of risk for the industry, especially new, upcoming risks such as cybersecurity threats and hundred-year events that occur more often than every 100 years. It also offers the prospect of understanding how to price and reserve for those risks. Gathering data through Internet of Things sensors coupled with cognitive computing enables insurance companies to expand their business models and value propositions. For instance, this data can lead to getting a grasp on loss prevention—not just understanding a loss after it happened, but actually preventing a loss.

Other areas that can benefit from cognitive technology are customer engagement and customer insights for understanding the true nature of what customers value, want or need. Ongoing interaction and conversation to relate to customers in a natural way around what they really want is vital for customer segmentation, personalization, user experience and novel ways to engage in that interaction. A heavy emphasis on web self-service has been in existence to help ensure customers can get to the information they need. And a cognitive approach can provide digital advice by having natural conversations about insurance needs and digitally meeting customers where they are through chatbots, snapchats and Instagram posts.


Kathy Hutson is a global insurance front-office segment leader for IBM global insurance. Hutson specializes in technology solutions that help insurers develop compelling customer experiences and winning distribution strategies. She draws on more than 14 years of experience in the financial services industry working with insurance companies globally, including at Citigroup, McKinsey & Company and the New York State Insurance Department. Follow Hutson on Twitter @ktwiter99.

Sebastien Meunier is a strategy consultant in finance at Chappuis, Halder & Co. Meunier has a successful track record of defining business strategies and leading global transformations in financial institutions—from lines of business to IT and operations and transverse functions. He is passionate about innovation and new technologies and has developed a large network in fintech, meeting with many start-ups, investors and organizations in this space. Understanding the potential of the new technologies—blockchain, machine learning, open architectures—allows Meunier to anticipate their impact and to create opportunities for financial institutions. He strives to bridge the gap between business and technology, driving growth and efficiency in financial institutions by connecting them with the best innovations from the market. Follow Meunier on Twitter @sbmeunier.

Unlock the data within your organization by using IBM solutions built with analytics and cognitive technology for deeper customer insights, streamlined producer operations and to prevent insurance claims fraud. And Don’t miss other episodes in this podcast series.