Modern Insurance Magazine recently caught up with Eddie Longworth, Director at JEL Consulting, to discuss his ongoing work towards a Voluntary Code of Conduct for Responsible AI in Claims.
Q. Hi Eddie, thanks so much for your time today!
We’re here to discuss your campaign for Responsible AI in Claims. Where did this idea originate, and why do you think a Voluntary Code of Conduct is necessary?
A. As with many of these ideas, it originated at around 2 am one morning when I couldn’t get to sleep! I was thinking about the best way of making sure that AI was not misused in the claims sector. At the time, Consumer Duty regulations hadn’t been around long, and I could easily foresee the day when the use of AI across the whole insurance industry could be subjected to the same treatment. It occurred to me that it would be far better for my sector (claims) to get ahead of the game and establish new best practices on a voluntary basis.
Q. What are the benefits of a Voluntary Code of Conduct in the use of Artificial Intelligence (AI) in the claims industry?
A. The key issue between successful claims management and the policyholder is one of trust. The policyholder has to believe (and it has to be true) that they can trust us to do the right job in the right way, and always settle fairly. The advent of AI is great news for all stakeholders in a claims environment, but it does leave open this issue of trust. How can we all be sure that AI applications have been implemented in ways that are appropriate, fair, and equitable?
A Voluntary Code of Conduct can help us to achieve those ends and demonstrate to policyholders that we have their best interests at heart. I am not suggesting that a claims department would ever knowingly misuse AI – but we do need to ensure that best practices are followed, and the policyholder must know that they are being properly looked after with absolute certainty.
Q. How are you embracing collaboration in your approach to the campaign?
A. It’s been amazing! So far we have 80+ professionals involved in helping us to draft the voluntary Code. These are from insurers, trade associations, claims managers, suppliers, law companies, tech companies, experts in ethics, loss adjusters, and many more.
I have never seen such a representative body of people all working on the same issue and with the same goal. I am very grateful to all those who are currently part of the working group, and I know that we will continue to benefit from the expertise of those within the claims ecosystem as more relevant parties come on board.
Q. So, what are the next steps?
A. We have had a couple of meetings to establish the bare bones of the issues that we need to address as part of the voluntary Code. From here on in, we will be drafting the initial clauses of the Code and seeking input from our group members. This is the difficult bit! The debates so far have been great – wide ranging and incredibly constructive. We now need to harness those views, focusing on drafting the code and gathering agreement.
Q. How can people get involved?
A. They can drop me a line on email@example.com or look me up on LinkedIn, where you will see the most recent postings all about the work we are doing. Alternatively, you can give me a call to discuss the issues on +44(0)7904 568049.
This subject is not just a ‘flavour of the month’ issue that will go away with time. The advent of AI is incredibly exciting; it has the potential to genuinely transform the claims function. This means that in the first instance, we really need to get it right and keep all stakeholders onboard – especially the policyholder. A voluntary Code of Conduct won’t address every issue, but it will be a great base on which to build for the future.