CFO World

Real Insurance debuts voice-enabled life insurance app

Insurance group says its new Google Assistant app will allow customers to ask about key elements of life insurance policies on-demand

Real Insurance is claiming a life insurance industry first with a new Google Assistant app allowing customers to gather details on policy information through their mobile or smart speaker.

The company said the Google Assistant app can be used to answer questions on-demand, such as whether an individual needs life insurance, why if they’re young and healthy, how much cover they need, whether they’re eligible given their a smoker, and more. It’s compatible with both Google-based smartphones as well as smart speakers and accessible by logging into the Real Insurance website and speaking the term: ‘Hey Google, talk to real Life insurance’.

With voice quickly becoming the fastest form of search globally, Real Insurance CMO, Simon Hovell, said it was imperative the company develop content to suit.

“In addition, understanding how to optimise for this emerging technology is crucial, just like it is for more traditional search,” he said. “We’re excited to see Real Insurance get on-board with Google Assistant and provide the content Aussies require around purchasing a life insurance policy.”

The company is claiming to be the first life insurer to have a Google app answering such questions in a customer service offering. To get there, group CIO, Sanjeev Gupta, said the team needed to put the customer’s journey and experience at the centre. The intention is to give customers a comprehensive tool to build information, cutting back call centre time and streamlining and speeding up the application process.

 “Google Assistant integration means customer can self-serve, get answers immediately and on-demand,” Gupta said. “Working with Google assistant allows Real Insurance’s voice-assistant service to be accessed by 6.7 million Android users in Australia, either through a smart speaker, mobile phone, home hub, vehicle and other voice-enabled devices. Currently, one out of 4-5 people in Australia have access to one of these devices.”

Gupta saw the launch as a beginning step in what Real Insurance is hoping to achieve with voice-enabled interaction.

“While it’s a step change in the way we interact with our customers, we will continue to make ongoing improvements to ensure more and more customers get the answers they require and when they need these answers the most,” he said.

It’s been two years since the Google smart speaker debuted in Australia, and a little over 12 months since Amazon Alexa’s arrival to local shores. And in that time, many local brands have launched voice-based capabilities, from banks through to retailers, entertainment providers and utilities providers.

According to Edison Research from January 2019, 29 per cent of the Australian adult population, or 5.7 million people, had adopted smart speakers and at a rate faster than their US counterparts (26 per cent) by the end of 2018.

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