Future of Finance


Peppercorn InsurTech is using AI to cut costs and improve service in motor insurance

Peppercorn InsurTech is using AI to cut costs and improve service in motor insurance

Personal lines insurance is a byword for low levels of customer satisfaction, and none attracts less enthusiasm from buyers than motor insurance. The scope to cut prices through automation and improve customer service by moving away from form-filling and call centre queues, is correspondingly high. 

Peppercorn Insurance is a start-up that aims to cut motor insurance premiums and lift service levels by using artificially intelligent (AI) machines as digital agents to sell and change insurance policies and even handle claims as well, around the clock. Nigel Lombard, the founder and CEO of Peppercorn, is now on his third InsurTech start-up. Dominic Hobson asked him what distinguishes digital agents from chatbots, whether he plans to sell the software to other insurers, and about his long-term ambitions for the business.

Questions that are being asked

1.  You are starting with car insurance. Why?

2. The insurance industry suffers from high expense ratios, reflecting legacy technologies process, fraud – and now customer churn. How can technology address these issues?

3. Can digital agents provide a better customer experience than brokers, call centres, comparison sites and chatbots? 

4. How hard is it to apply the same technologies to the claims process?

5. AI needs data. Where are you getting it from?

6. Are you concerned that some combination of customer resistance, regulation and the law will cause data sources to dry up?

7. Looking ahead 5-10 years, what will the customer experience of buying car insurance be like?