Product Managers Turn To AI To Speed Things Up

Geico will start to use AI to speed up repairs
Geico will start to use AI to speed up repairs
Image Credit: Mike Mozart

As product managers one of the challenges that we face every day is finding ways that our company can run quicker, faster, and get more done. We need to always be taking a look at how we are delivering our products to our customers and find ways to make our internal operations run smoother. Product managers who work in the auto insurance industry deal with these kind of issues every day. They have to first sell their policies and then they need to make sure that the company can efficiently service them when their customers have a need.

The Challenge Of Being An Auto Insurance Product Manager

The product managers who work for Geico who is the U.S.’s second-biggest auto insurer, will try to speed up vehicle repairs for its policyholders by expanding their product development definition and running photographs of damaged vehicles through artificial-intelligence software. The product manager’s will offer their customers the quick-estimate process in partnership with a company called Tractable Ltd. Tractable is among a number of specialists companies who are trying to help car insurers use artificial intelligence and other techniques to eliminate time-consuming hassles when customers file accident claims.

The product managers view Tractable’s technology as a way to obtain accurate estimates for policyholders and get drivers back on the road faster. Geico is a large company and is second in the U.S. private-passenger auto-insurance market, with a 13.6% share. Because Geico is so large this means its moves are often followed by other car insurers, so its use of artificial intelligence in handling claims could quickly become standard industry practice and these product managers could add it to their product manager resume. The current market leader in auto insurance, State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance with a 16.2% share, uses some artificial intelligence as part of its claims process for damaged vehicles. When a customer files a claim, machine learning is used to predict with a level of confidence if a vehicle is a total loss or repairable. It is important to note that human claims adjusters are still involved.

Using Tractable’s technology, an auto-body shop would send in photographs of a damaged vehicle to Geico with its repair estimate. Using these photos algorithms would assess the severity of the damage and any necessary repairs, which the algorithms have learned from reviewing millions of historical estimates and photos. The repair estimate could be potentially confirmed within minutes. If the artificial intelligence tool notices an issue with the estimate, it provides information to a human Geico adjuster, who can then review the damage and repairs with the shop. The reason for using the new AI system is because repairs can start immediately if the estimate is confirmed, quickening the process of getting a car back on the road.

Next Steps For Speeding Things Up By Using AI

Things are not stopping here. Tractable already works with product managers at another insurance company, Hartford Financial Services in the U.S. Currently, its technology is in use by carriers in Japan, France and Spain. Auto insurance industry consultants said the technology works best on photos of vehicles with visible exterior damage, especially fender benders.

This is not the first time that auto insurance product managers have looked for ways to speed up their company’s processing of claims. Geico, was behind rival Progressive Corp. in embracing telematics, a way to collect information about mileage and an owner’s driving habits directly from a vehicle. The Geico product managers understood that they had clearly missed the bus and were late in terms of appreciating the value of telematics. In trying to make up for their past mistakes, the Geico product managers have a number of new initiatives, and hopefully they will see the light of day before not too long.

The Geico product manager’s decision is one of many that car insurers are grappling with as more technology becomes available. The product manager’s move into artificial intelligence is aimed at eliminating common, frustrating experiences for policyholders in filing claims. The most time-consuming steps under conventional practice occur when adjusters make appointments to meet policyholders in person to inspect a damaged vehicle, or visit a body shop where the vehicle has been towed. This process can take up to several days to complete.

What All Of This Means For You

Product managers have many different responsibilities. Not only do we have to define and launch new products, but we are also responsible for making sure that our existing products can be delivered as smoothly as possible. What this means is that we need to always be looking at how we are currently delivering products and then searching our product manager job description for ways that we can do it even better. In the auto insurance business, their product manager are facing the same set of challenges that we all are.

At the Geico auto insurance company, their product managers are trying to streamline their processing of damaged vehicles by using artificial-intelligence software. The goal is to use the AI software in order to provide accurate estimates for policy holders and then get them back on the road as quickly as possible. The AI tool will use photos of past damaged cars to create an estimate for the car that it is looking at. If it disagrees with a human repair shop owner, then a Geico employee will get involved. The use of AI tools is spreading to other insurance companies. In the past telematics was used to track drivers and the Geico product managers were slow to adopt it. The goal of using AI in evaluating claims is to speed up the slowest part of the claims process.

The goal of any product manager is to find ways to make the delivery of their product go as smoothly as possible. This requires us to always be looking for ways that we can improve our internal processes. Auto insurance product managers may have found a way to use artificial-intelligence to speed up the claims part of their business. If this turns out to be a good idea, then it may just be the start of how AI is applied to auto insurance in the future.

– Dr. Jim Anderson Blue Elephant Consulting –
Your Source For Real World Product Management Skills™

Question For You: What other parts of the auto insurance business could AI be applied to?

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