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AI for Insurers Enters the Pet Arena

Keith C. Lincoln - 11 April 2023

As the proud new owner of a puppy (now known as a pet parent), I recently purchased Pet Insurance. The last time I was a new dog owner was 17 years ago, and things certainly have changed since then. I first heard of pet insurance when it was offered to me as a company benefit. Given the age of my pet at the time and some pre-existing conditions, it didn’t make sense then. After having been through the full life cycle of a cherished pet, I knew the next time I had a new pet I would need pet insurance, and I am not alone in this conclusion.  

The lifespan of dogs and cats has doubled over the past 40 years. Given better pet nutrition, longer lifecycles and improved veterinary care, it only makes sense to insure your pet(s). This is a conclusion that a growing number of pet owners have come to as evidenced by the growth of the industry.   

In 2022, The North American Pet Health Insurance Association (NAPHIA) reported that the Pet Insurance Industry had more than doubled in the past four years, reaching a value of more than $2.83 billion in 2021. While North America is a large portion of the global market, pet insurance is growing globally, with growth of 14.3% and $16.8 billion in value globally by 2030. 

Alongside this growth, the level of sophistication and optimization that we see in the other areas of insurance are quickly making their way into the pet insurance arena. So, it’s no surprise that AI, specifically the natural language processing (NLP) segment, will be part of this optimization in the pet insurance space.  

Expert.ai has long had a presence providing AI insurance solutions in the Property & Casualty (P&C) space, including claims and policy review. And three years ago, we provided a claims solution to our first Pet Insurance client – RSA.  

Fearing the negative impact that a slow claims process would have on response times and the overall customer experience, RSA sought out a solution that could automate some of this work. Like our P&C, worker’s compensation and medical claims clients, RSA saw significant impacts: 

  • Reduced erroneous pet payouts by 5+%  
  • Reduced manual document review times by up to 90%  
  • Reduced overall claim review times by 75% 

Via expert.ai technology, RSA can review a higher volume of pet insurance claims and deliver accurate decisions far quicker than they could manually. As a result, claims handlers can focus more of their time on high-value tasks and significantly reduce customer response times. In addition to the customer benefits and increased throughout, the extraction of key data points also helps to reduce costs by highlighting fraud and decreasing erroneous payouts. 

For an overview of the full impact, read the RSA Case Study here. 

Value for Other Pet Insurance Use Cases

The value doesn’t end with the claims process. Expert.ai also provides solutions for additional pet insurance use cases. 

Another scenario is Medical Underwriting decisions. By looking at medical records, automated decisions can be made with regard to pre-existing conditions and pet insurability or cost. 

Also, as in any insurance scenario there are cases where individuals game the system and Fraud Detection is yet another example of a use case that expert.ai can provide alongside Claims and Underwriting.  

Peoples’ adoration for their pets is at an all-time high. Leveraging pet insurance continues to increase as pet life expectancy and reliance on veterinary service grows. As the segment becomes more sophisticated, AI will lead to cost containment for competitive pricing and better customer service for higher satisfaction.  

At expert.ai, a main principle of our solutions is “human-centered AI”…now that extends to pets!