Newfront Survey Shows Consumers Are Open to AI Solutions for Insurance Needs

Respondents report they are concerned about accuracy, quality of tools 

While artificial intelligence is seemingly everywhere today, dominating headlines and altering business practices across sectors, the pros and cons of adopting the technology are oft-debated, especially in industries as complex and data-heavy as insurance. Debates about security, accuracy, and bias rage on as the technology continues to advance.

At Newfront, we believe that the rewards of adopting AI into our solutions far outweigh any risks, especially for our clients and employees, when approached thoughtfully. As a tech-enabled brokerage working to modernize the risk management, total rewards, and business insurance industry, AI has already increased productivity, simplified processes, and improved overall client experience for us—and we’ve only discovered the tip of the (AI)ceberg so far.

While we are cautiously optimistic in our approach to AI, we wanted to confirm our clients felt the same. We connected with 1,000 US consumers to explore their understanding, sentiments, and willingness to adopt AI into their daily lives and specifically, into their insurance decisions. Ultimately, consumers agree with us—more than half of respondents reported that AI can help them better understand insurance policies. The interest does have some nuances that we dive into below.

Overall: Consumers are open-minded with a healthy skepticism

Our preliminary research reveals most Americans are familiar with how to use the technology and have at least tried it out: 51% of respondents said they had tested ChatGPT or something similar. Nearly a quarter of Americans have used an AI tool more than six times in the past year, according to the survey. And, 39% reported that AI can actually help their job or has already proven to be beneficial.

However, less than half (43%) indicated that they trust responses generated by an AI-powered source, illuminating a key point for Newfront as we work to enhance our capabilities through the technology. In July, we introduced Newfront’s AI Principles, a set of guidelines to drive responsible development. Several of our principles address the idea of making AI trustworthy, such as thoroughly testing solutions before launching and incorporating transparency and explainability—all with the goal of making users comfortable with the technology’s outputs. 

Insurance: Consumers are interested in how AI can help them

As an insurance brokerage, it was also important for us to discover if people wanted AI to integrate with insurance and plans. According to the survey, 47% of the population is at least somewhat comfortable with AI assisting with claims, policy recommendations, reading contracts, and more. Knowing this, our insurance experts and tech talent felt more confident in developing their AI-powered tools. 

However, the tricky part for Newfront was knowing a standard chatbot wouldn’t cut it. The same research shows that a third of people are not confident in the help they receive from a chatbot—and when it comes to something as important as insurance we didn’t want anyone to doubt the quality of the help and responses. As we developed the Newfront benefits assistant, we ensured it relied heavily on experts thoroughly vetting responses, a key element of our AI principles, to help address any concerns about accuracy.  

How Newfront is using AI 

Ultimately, consumers appear to have a fairly clear understanding of how AI could reduce complexity in business and personal life. They are also modestly skeptical of the accuracy of AI-generated results. 

Using the survey results to confirm our direction, Newfront, in recent months, has piloted products that deliver demonstrable time savings to clients and employees and has taken steps to establish industry standards for the use of AI. 

We have long believed that technology should empower, not replace, our workers. The Newfront benefits assistant tool was one of our first proprietary tools to reach the market and is estimated to save HR teams up to four weeks a year in administrative work alone. Using AI to create solutions that increase productivity and eliminate repetitive tasks is a great example of how we can all embrace technology to supercharge our colleagues, allowing them more time to focus on meaningful and strategic work.

As mentioned above, we also knew we needed to integrate ethical standards and practices as distrust and misinformation continue to be top of mind for consumers. Prior to launching our AI-powered products, Newfront’s Chief Technology Officer, Gordon Wintrob, and Head of Data, Patrick Miller, worked together to create the first AI principles for insurance. As one of the first brokerages to integrate the technology, our team outlined the five ethical guidelines as part of a framework for our approach. These range from security to negating bias. View the full framework here. As we continue to pioneer the charge to modernize the insurance world, it’s important that we also work to gain trust as well as maintain the top level of service. 

Looking ahead 

There’s no way around it: AI is here to stay. As brands and consumers look for ways to thoughtfully and intentionally integrate AI into their daily lives, let’s remember the technology exists to help us focus on more meaningful and value-added work. That said, it’s on all of us to uphold the highest standards of transparency and implement the right security measures to protect sensitive information. We are confident in our ability to use AI for the better and welcome its continued exploration as a learning tool to improve efficiency.

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