Augmented underwriting by the insurer’s Hiscox London Market division could reduce the time for lead open-market quotes from three days to three minutes, Hiscox said.

Hiscox has collaborated with Google Cloud to create the first AI-enhanced lead underwriting model in the London market insurance industry.

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The collaboration combines the insurer’s Hiscox London Market division’s recently built technology platform, Hiscox AI Laboratories (Hailo) with Google Cloud’s generative AI technology.

The aim is “to automate lead algorithmic underwriting from submission to quote”, the carrier said.

The work used both Google Cloud’s BigQuery and Vertex AI platform to extract key data and insights from email submissions, a manual process that can typically take up to three days in today’s insurance operating model.

By introducing AI into specific elements of the process, underwriting teams can quote in as little as three minutes, according to Hiscox.

“We are delighted to be working with Google Cloud to explore the applications of AI technology to augment our underwriting teams’ knowledge and expertise,” said Kate Markham, Hiscox’s CEO London Market.

“This early stage work suggests that there are areas of the business where automation can support better, faster results for our brokers and clients, and we look forward to developing the programme further,” she said.

Proof of concept was undertaken in Hiscox’s sabotage and terrorism line of business, although the firm said the principles would apply across lines “within and beyond big-ticket insurance”.

“We chose this line of business because it involves a considerable amount of manual data extraction and analysis,” Markham said.

“Human insight is and will always be a crucial part of the specialist underwriting process, but when expertise is paired with cutting-edge AI technology we will be able to serve our customers even more effectively and efficiently - not only in this specific line of business but in many others over time too, and this is an incredibly exciting prospect,” she continued.

“AI technology, deployed in the right way, has the potential to remove manual tasks from our specialist underwriters, freeing them up to focus on more complex risks where human expertise and analysis are a must,” Markham added.

Sandeep Kottekudiyil, client director at Google Cloud, added: “Our work with Hiscox demonstrates the value that AI can bring to the underwriting process. We look forward to our ongoing collaboration with Hiscox to transform the insurance industry through the responsible use of AI.”