Insurance hot topics include AI and opioids

  • Hot Topics: Karim Derrick, of Kennedys, will talk about augmented intelligence and blockchain at this afternoon’s forum (Photograph supplied)

    Hot Topics: Karim Derrick, of Kennedys, will talk about augmented intelligence and blockchain at this afternoon’s forum (Photograph supplied)

  • Hot Topics: Mark Chudleigh, managing partner of Kennedys Bermuda (File photograph)

    Hot Topics: Mark Chudleigh, managing partner of Kennedys Bermuda (File photograph)


Augmented intelligence is being used in the claims process and other areas of the insurance market, with the aim of helping speed up processes and generate better decisions.

How that is being put in to practice will form part of the discussions at the Hot Topics forum today, hosted by Kennedys Bermuda.

The law firm has first-hand experience of providing AI and blockchain solutions to assist insurance sector companies — specifically around claims handling, underwriting and developing smart policies.

Karim Derrick, head of research and development at Kennedys, in London, said the firm is also using data science and looking across the “insurance value chain” at ways to make improvements. He will speak on the topic at the forum.

He told The Royal Gazette: “The work began by helping claim handlers do more of the work themselves that they might otherwise have needed a lawyer for.

“It’s about augmenting the claims handlers with legal expertise via the [augmented intelligence] technology. Our systems will take the claims handler through a process, generating all the documents in good time and making sure they adhere to court timetables, and so on, in order to complete quite a sophisticated workflow. That’s where we began.”

Elsewhere, “intelligent workflows” assist capturing more refined data about claims, including multimedia such as video from the scene of an incident and witness statements.

Mr Derrick said: “A lot of the work we are doing with clients is taking a holistic view of the entire claims or insurance process and how the technology can be leveraged to make decisions faster by capturing better information at the outset, to automate or semi-automate the litigation process if you get to that stage, and to look at more efficient mechanisms for settlement.”

But will jobs be lost because of new technologies?

Mr Derrick said: “There are lots of scary headlines about lawyers and people in other sectors that may be replaced by machines.

He said such fears had surfaced “at every moment in recent history where there has been a step up in the level of automation”.

Giving an example of why he felt they are unfounded, he pointed to the arrival of the printing press, which caused concern about job losses. He said: “But actually, we ended up with more people doing graphic design than were originally working in the printing presses, so the number of people in that industry increased.

“It was the same with PCs and word processors. They were going to do all the secretarial work, now we have more people working in and around PCs than ever before.

“Each technology change does cause a shift, but from all the evidence I have seen it creates more employment not less.”

Mr Derrick and Nick Miles will lead the discussion on AI and blockchain at the Hot Topics forum.

Other topics featured on the agenda include social accountability in the boardroom, the opioid crisis, and a discussion on cannabis and the herbicide Roundup.

Mark Chudleigh, managing partner, Kennedys Bermuda, said: “The US opioid crisis is of intense interest to Bermuda insurers and reinsurers given the vast potential exposures. For example, the State of Oklahoma obtained a $572 million judgment against Purdue Pharma (now on appeal). Imagine the potential aggregate exposures with multiple US states, counties and cities filing litigation, not to mention potentially millions of claims by individual users and other parties affected by the opioid epidemic.

“We will be looking at the development of the crisis, the current litigation, attempts to secure settlements and insurance coverage issues.

He added: “Another area of developing litigation and potential exposures for the Bermuda market arises out of alleged injuries (including diagnosis of cancer) from exposure to Roundup and other glyphosate-based herbicides. We will discuss the litigation and the liability theories being advanced by US plaintiffs.

The Hot Topics forum has been held since 2002 and identifies topic of significant current interest for underwriting and claim professionals in the Bermuda market.

The forum in the Tradewinds Auditorium at the Bermuda Underwater Exploration Institute takes place this afternoon.

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Published Oct 10, 2019 at 8:00 am (Updated Oct 9, 2019 at 11:31 pm)

Insurance hot topics include AI and opioids

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