Managing director says there ’is a huge future for AI models in all facets of insurance’

Ignite Insurance Systems managing director Toby MacLachlan has urged brokers to not “shy away” from artificial intelligence (AI) over fears that data could be put at risk.

Instead, he told Insurance Times that he wanted firms to “engage with it” with their “eyes wide open” as it has the ability to ”reshape insurance”.

AI has been experimented with in the insurance industry – for example, Ignite launched an new AI Layer tool for brokers earlier this year (9 June 2023) that uses dynamic calls on policy data to answer customer queries quickly.

It is powered by OpenAI, the creators of ChatGPT.

However, earlier this year (14 June 2023), Verlingue corporate director Ian McKinney told Insurance Times that it was “difficult to envisage a point in the near future where AI systems could be considered safe enough to use on a day-to-day basis”.

He said: “You wouldn’t share a client report with a friend for a view, so why do it with AI?”

MacLachlan disagreed, however, saying that brokers could “obfuscate or tokenise personal data” when interacting with OpenAI.

He explained that this would prevent AI “to see the real data, such as [consumers’] names and addresses”.

MacLachlan said: “OpenAI is not an insatiable data-swallowing monster - there is a setting now within ChatGPT that disables chat history so you can choose what data is used to train future models.”

‘Huge future’

With its new tool, Ignite said it wanted to replace less advanced chatbots currently being used by brokers and reduce the need for call centres.

And following the launch, MacLachlan said that the “AI revolution is coming to insurance”.

Other firms to have used AI in the insurance industry so far include Zurich, which said in March that it was experimenting with ChatGPT as it explored how it could use AI technology for tasks such as extracting data for claims and modelling.

Insurtech Artificial Labs also announced in May that it was using the tool as part of a pilot to assist underwriters.

“[Ignite] believes there is a huge future for AI models in all facets of insurance,” MacLachlan said.