The Virtual Agent: Natural Language Processing in Insurance

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24 August 2017

Key research questions

  • How is natural language processing used in insurance?
  • What attributes should be considered in an NLP solution?
  • What are best practices for using NLP?


Virtual agents and natural language processing (NLP) are hot topics in the world of insurance. This report defines the usages of NLP and provides use cases for insurance. It also provides best practices for adoption.

Insurers are under increasing pressure to cut costs and offer better digital services to their customers. While core systems replacement and modernization activities close the gap to a degree, insurers are looking to a range of automation technologies to improve service, reduce costs, and increase profits.

Artificial intelligence, including natural language generation (NLG) and natural language processing, is an adoptable form of cutting-edge technology that is getting a lot of attention from insurers for its ability to improve efficiency and generate operational excellence. Process automation, chatbots, and cognitive computing will bring benefits in productivity. The technology will allow insurers to reallocate work hours to much more value-added tasks.

There are several insurers already using artificial intelligence, including virtual agents, to solve internal and external business problems. NLP can be used to assist insurers and agents alike with on-boarding and providing customer support. NLP is also used for garnering sentiment analysis to improve the customer experience.