09 May 2017

Artificial intelligence will improve insurance customer experience thanks to new local FinTech research partnership

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Data and technology-driven insurance specialist Hood Group, based in Southend, and the University’s School of Computer Science and Electronic Engineering are joining forces to exploit the rapidly growing area of artificial intelligence (AI) to gain greater insight into insurance customers and embed artificial intelligence technology in the insurance customer journey.

The partnership represents a further step forward for Hood Group in delivering its data-driven growth strategy. Through the partnership, Hood Group will be looking to take advantage of the power of data and innovative technology to create a highly effective and accurate predictive modelling infrastructure for its brand and underwriting partners alike in order to provide the best possible service and experience for customers. Machine learning, which allows computers to learn from examples rather than having to follow step-by-step instructions, can support critical areas such as customer experience, pricing risk, estimated losses and fraud monitoring.

Due to its public importance and potential impact, the 24-month project will be part-funded by the UK’s innovation agency, Innovate UK and take place through the Knowledge Transfer Partnership (KTP) initiative – a world-leading programme that helps businesses innovate by connecting them to the UK's wealth of academic resources. The project will be managed by a carefully recruited data scientist who will base themselves at Hood Group full-time and work closely with the AI team based at the University.

Simon Hood, CEO at Hood Group, said: “This partnership is an exciting extension to the work that we’re doing to embed the use of data across our operations. The whole area of AI and machine learning has huge potential for the insurance industry as a whole and will undoubtedly change – for the better – how we do business. We’re incredibly proud that Innovate UK, the UK’s innovation agency, has recognised our vision to innovate insurance through data. Its support and this partnership with the experts at University of Essex will help give us skills and knowledge that will take our data analysis capabilities to a new level.”

Dr Spyros Samothrakis, from the University's School of Computer Science and Electronic Engineering, added: “We are delighted to be involved in this long term partnership, particularly to see how we can apply machine learning principles within the financial services domain to increase the company’s competiveness and further enrich their data strategy.”

 

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