Will digital technology replace insurance brokers?

CSIRO Senior Principal Scientist and keynote speaker at the 2018 NIBA Convention in Hobart, Dr Stefan Hajkowicz, believes there is still a need for humans despite the rapid growth in artificial intelligence and digital technology.

The insurance broker in the next decade may not be too different from the insurance broker of the past. The historical fundamentals of insurance haven’t changed despite adding technology into the mix, one can draw many parallels between the old and the new.
For those worried about Artificial intelligence (AI), making brokers redundant he explains, “AI is 90 per cent hype and 10 per cent real. It’s just that the 10 percent is enough to change the world as we know it.”

Hajkowicz says, “In some ways digital is creating so much complexity that humans are needed more not less. Spreadsheets didn’t kill off accountants; the smart accountants learned how to use them and got better jobs.”

“AI, machine learning, informatics and distributed ledger technology will play-out similarly. Our workforce will be more digitally literate but the human skills of complex problem solving, manual dexterity, judgement, advanced reasoning and social intelligence will remain under high (increased) demand.”

The world is certainly changing from a geopolitical standpoint and much of the change is driven by the rapid growth of Indo Pacific economies and the restructuring of these economies.

Hajkowicz is of the opinion that as wealth in Asia changes so too will the geopolitics, “The main opportunity for Australian businesses is to expand into the Asia region. Economies which once sought iron ore, coal, metals and other raw materials now want services like insurance and we need to diversify and transition our exports.”

He thinks our strongest advantage will come from playing into the safety and reliability demands placed on markets by higher-wealth investors.

He says, “We believe that restructuring of Asia Pacific economies is going to be associated with a flight to quality. This means increased demand for high quality and provenance assured foods, high quality education, reliable financial services and high quality tourism and healthcare. Australia is a safe, stable, transparent and well governed country that can easily fulfil these needs.”

As a keynote speaker at the 2018 NIBA Convention in Hobart, Hajkowicz plans to share more of his research findings on digital economy trends, risks and opportunities.

Meet Stefan Hajkowicz on Day 1 of the NIBA Convention.