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CompariSure chatbot sells almost 10K funeral policies online

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CompariSure’s proprietary chatbot has gained ground in helping local insurance companies target customers previously excluded from financial services markets, selling almost 10 000 funeral policies online.

The Cape Town-based insurtech company, founded in November 2017 by CEO Jonathan Elcock and CFO Matt Kloos, compares financial services products and helps customers choose the cover that suits them best via its e-marketplace.

It also leverages platforms like Facebook Messenger and WhatsApp to enable customers to have automated, personalised conversations with SA’s insurers, such as Sanlam, Old Mutual, Momentum and Metropolitan.

The company bills itself as the only authorised financial services provider in SA to have successfully completed end-to end sales via a fully-automated Facebook Messenger chatbot.

After introducing the funeral insurance products on its chatbot platforms in early 2019, CompariSure says it has made strides in helping insurers sell thousands of policies, while allowing human agents to spend their time solving more important issues.

Conversational artificial intelligence (AI) is fast becoming a key feature in the digitisation of customer-facing industries like insurance, with Gartner predicting that by 2020, customers will manage 85% of their relationship with organisations without interacting with a human being.

Matt Kloos, co-founder and CFO of CompariSure, says underpinning the insurtech firm’s chatbot technology is the deep analysis of reams of data being generated via authentic conversations.

“To date, we’ve had over eight million touchpoints with end-users, with every conversation point and path being analysed so as to improve the customer experience.

“Most other chatbots in SA sit on the insurer’s Web sites and are typically simply used to gather basic information from users (eg, name, surname, phone number, etc) , which is then passed on to a call centre for follow-up. CompariSure allows users to complete the entire quoting and purchase process in-chat. No phone calls, simply convenience running around the clock,” he explains.

CompariSure’s chatbot has "chatted" to over 350 000 individuals from all over SA, with the most popular product being the funeral insurance policy, notes Kloos.

The company has partnered with insurers in two ways: by building customised white-labelled chatbot solutions for their customer service applications; and secondly, insurers can sell their products on CompariSure’s e-marketplace.

After COVID-19 plunged the world into crisis, local insurtech companies told ITWeb they have witnessed a surge in life and asset insurance policy sales since the lockdown period was introduced in SA towards the end of March.

CompariSure says it has witnessed accelerated existing trends, with sales levels more than doubling the pre-COVID-19 period.

“Despite the global insurance industry moving in a digitised direction for some time, SA had been slow to adapt, resulting in an industry that was still heavily reliant on call centres to complete sales and provide customer service. That is, until the COVID-19 crisis hit,” states Kloos.

“Lockdown has helped increase CompariSure’s sales, for two main reasons: individuals spending more time at home and therefore more time on social media and other online platforms. Secondly, insurers are looking to diversify their sales and support channels with field agents less able to work, and call centres having to operate at reduced capacities during lockdown.”

The next step for the company’s AI journey is to introduce vehicle insurance across its platforms and CompariSure is also actively exploring opportunities beyond financial services with other consumer-facing brands, concludes Kloos.

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