’We changed the way that we look at ourselves internally,’ says head of insurance products

Acturis’ head of insurance products Simon De Ferry has said the uprise of live chat since the pandemic has made it the software house’s “dominant method” of communications with partners.

During Insurance Times’ eTrading webinar last week (19 July 2023), De Ferry highlighted that customers want a prompt and appropriate response to queries and that the firm had the right tools and equipment to streamline live chat process.

He said this included ensuring that the microphones are of good quality and other technical aspects.

”There’s a number of things we look at,” he said.

“[This includes] the deployment of the actual technology itself, the experience to the underwriters and making sure we can train them.

“We changed the way that we look at ourselves internally.”


Live chat technology refers to a digital communication tool that enables real-time, text-based conversations between businesses and their customers or website visitors.

It typically appears as a chatbox or widget on a website or mobile app, allowing users to engage in instant messaging with a insurer’s representative or chatbot.

To help with its live chat capabilities, De Ferry said Acturis would be growing its team by at least 25% this year.

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“We understand our focus that we need to be quick, so we are in a huge expansion,” he said.

Meanwhile, Will Edwards, head of SME at Zurich, told Insurance Times that the insurance market had made significant technological advancements in recent years – especially with regards to live chat technology.

And he felt that artificial intelligence (AI) could be used “as a complementary offering, rather than as a replacement [for workers]”.

For Zurich, he said every live chat session is supported by a human underwriter, preserving the personal connection between underwriter and broker.