Bots deployed by AA Insurance and Quanton have boosted service capacity during disasters such as the Auckland floods and Cyclone Gabrielle.
AA Insurance has now developed 27 bots with robotic process automation (RPA) specialist Quanton and also created its own in-house automation team.
Recent data on claims settlement rates painted a telling picture of the benefits of RPA, said AA Insurance technical solutions manager Brian May.
“Since 2018, AA Insurance has realised value in building a virtual workforce to reduce inefficiencies, remove employee pain points and ultimately deliver exceptional customer outcomes,” May said.
AA Insurance engaged Quanton to help understand the benefits RPA could deliver for the business and its customers.
The first bot to be deployed was a pilot to remove the manual work involved in online vehicle windscreen claims and deliver end-to-end zero touch claim lodgement.
The bot handled nearly 10,000 windscreen claims between January to July 2023 and provided operational resilience by managing any peaks in windscreen claims lodged online.
The bot also reduced already tight turnaround times by ensuring suppliers received customer claims within two hours so they could contact customers promptly.
“For employees who are the first port of call for customers, particularly for the online claims team, it frees them up to focus on more complex claims and supporting our customers,” AA Insurance automation team lead Dan Rippon said.
The insurer has since deployed a number of bots handling processes including claims admin tasks and preparing files for bulk receipting in finance.
“During the recent Auckland Anniversary flooding and Cyclone Gabrielle our motor total loss policy cancellations bot allowed us to quickly scale up our team’s capacity with unprecedented surge in total loss motor claims," May said.
The bot was able to review and validate policy information for customers whose cars were deemed a total loss and then cancel cover from the date of loss.
This had been a time-consuming job previously included in the AA Insurance motor team’s day-to-day tasks, May said.
A bot "employee" dubbed Marvin – or rather eight Marvins – also reviewed nearly 35,000 renewals in 2020-21, removing a premium increase and reissuing notices to customers after AA Insurance implemented a premium freeze during the COVID-19 lockdowns.
“Without Marvin, our employees would have been taken away from helping customers directly at a time when they needed us most,” May said.
Marvin was developed in-house by the AA Insurance team after they were trained and mentored by Quanton.
The bots were developed in three weeks and did the work of around 32 staff over 12 days, operating 24/7, Rippon said.
Garry Green, managing director and founder of Quanton, said AA Insurance and its customers were benefitting from the use of automation to increase employee productivity, improve customer experience and boost agility to respond rapidly to real world events.
"The ability to train and adapt the bot’s skills quickly is a real game changer for AA Insurance," Green said.
May said the journey wasn’t solely focused on efficiency. It has been around supporting good customer outcomes, removing employee pain points and getting critical things that needed to be delivered right.
In April, Quanton inked an A/NZ reseller and partner deal with conversational AI platform provider Druid.