To celebrate Women’s History Month back in March, Megan Kuczynski, President, Insurtech Insights, sat with Denise Garth, Chief Strategy Officer at Majesco, to discuss the nuances of AI, the future of this technology, and some sound advice for other women wishing to enter and thrive in the industry.
Q. Denise, it was so valuable to listen to your perspective on market trends and the industry in general, reflecting on where we are now and where we might be headed. I know Majesco has enormous pride in not just keeping pace with change, but getting ahead of it.
In your view, how has AI changed in the last 5 years, and what do you predict will happen going forward?
A. Data and advanced analytics capabilities are poised to be a game-changer for insurance – with AI/ML analytics leading the way. Insurance has always been a data-driven business, but access to new data sources with AI/ML is redefining the industry. With the ever-increasing volumes of new, non-traditional data from IoT devices, geo-spatial, weather, unstructured sources and more, leading insurers are acknowledging the importance of leveraging this data to stay ahead of competitors in the race to meet rapidly changing customer needs and expectations.
Coupled with new and real-time data, insurers using AI/ML can make significant impact across the entire insurance value chain. From optimising business processes to enhanced decision making, pricing, marketing, customer experiences, automated underwriting and claims management, data and analytics are poised to help reimagine the insurance business model. The use of real-time data will enable insurers to stay on top of rapidly changing conditions, providing insight into new services and paving the way for constant product refinement to meet changing needs.
Q. What strategies are in place at Majesco that you are using to guide insurers and enhance the customer experience?
A. Majesco recognises that AI technology presents great potential and great challenges as it is integrated into our business and daily lives. Therefore, the company is committed to bringing these inventions to its products in thoughtful and responsible ways.
We have a broad portfolio of capabilities across a wide array of insurance products, covering front, middle, and back-office functions with unparalleled advantages, such as speed to market and agility to adapt. For example, Majesco recently announced MajescoGPT – its own version of ChatGPT leveraging Large Language Models (LLM) for providing better and faster customer services, as well as boosting productivity for insurers and their agents. MajescoGPT is a new venture aiming to demystify insurance so that customers and agents can get answers to their questions without needing to understand insurance jargon. As the industry continues to evolve and adapt to new technologies, Majesco is expected to play a defining role when it comes to AI in insurance.
Q. So, what challenges do you face in terms of the rate of adoption on the carrier side?
A. Data and analytics have consistently been one of the top internal challenges. In our Strategic Priorities research with insurers last year, we found Leaders vs. Followers and Laggards had significant leads in maturity – meaning high levels of use and implementation across all lines of business. As we looked at the maturity shift to AI, ML and NL, Leaders were ahead with a large percentage planning, implementing or using these technologies. For both maturity levels, these gaps suggest the lack of continued investment in these capabilities by many insurers in the industry, driven heavily by the challenges of legacy systems and the inability to capture and use data. AI and ML are only as good as the data available to train the models.
Q. Who’s making great strides in AI within the insurance industry at the moment, and what steps are they taking to achieve this?
A. I think the insurance industry is still in the very early stages of using AI, offering the opportunity for most anyone to make great advancements. The key reasons for this fall around legacy systems, lack of access to data to train AI/ML models, lack of talent and lack of thinking outside the box. However, the layoffs in big tech industries offer an opportunity for insurance to address the issue around talent and initiative. Insurers must still address their legacy systems however, and improve their access to data. Those looking to provide greater access to data in a cost-effective way, creating interesting new partnerships and approaches that democratise data will all help to advance the use of AI/ML in the industry.
Q. Will AI eliminate jobs in insurance?
A. Looking back, many thought technology would eliminate jobs in the industry. Alas – it grew the industry instead, helping to elevate jobs from manual work to intelligent work. I think AI will do the same. It will help to elevate the work people do, combining the insights from AI with the knowledge and expertise about the industry to do more, reach more, expand businesses and help reduce the protection gap of insurance across all lines of business. The future is full of opportunities with AI, as long as we use it in an ethical way!
Q. Denise, you are a very inspiring female leader. What has helped you get to where you are today, and what advice do you have for others who want to follow?
A. Insurance was not on my radar when I first entered the workforce. However, it was where I landed with my first job as a programmer at an insurance company. Within that insurance company, I have had a range of career opportunities across the IT and business spectrum, all of which have provided significant opportunity for learning. Five key things have stayed with me throughout this journey.
Firstly, remain curious and a continuous learner. Develop, nurture and keep relationships, because this business is all about relationships and they serve you well over time. Be courageous and think outside the box – these people are so crucial for the future of insurance. Keep a small circle of friends and mentors who will be there when you struggle. Finally, be open to opportunities and enjoy the journey. Don’t focus on what you think your career should be – it’s a marathon, not a sprint, and the journey has the potential to open up unexpected opportunities every day.
Majesco helps the insurance industry not only keep pace with change, but stay ahead of it – without compromising the safety and reliability that insurance must deliver.
Insurers know their customers expect the same engaging, simple experiences enjoyed in far less complicated sectors like entertainment and food delivery. Majesco is ready to help you deliver that experience today. We’re a software company with insurance DNA; we are built for continuous evolution through relentless innovation.
The insurance industry can no longer afford to react, it needs to lead. We give customers the confidence to decide, the products to perform, and the follow-through to execute, making insurance faster, easier and better for all.