Connect with us


AI takes the pain out of insurance

Using artificial intelligence for insurance signing up and claiming was inspired by frustration, Granadilla Insurance CEO Jonathan Walker tells BRYAN TURNER



Many financial institutions are scrambling to fit artificial intelligence into their existing business models, because of the perceived hype around how artificial intelligence (AI) will leave behind those who don’t embrace it. But those who have considered AI from the very beginning have a different challenge.

Granadilla Insurance launched its applications in July 2018, and set its sights on making claims easier. In fact, Granadilla’s CEO Jonathan Walker started the company because of a frustrating claims experience.

“I started Granadilla because when my laptop and cellphone got stolen, it took 8 weeks to get them back, ” says Walker. “On top of waiting, it was such a laborious process to get the claim processed, even though I was in financial services at the time. I thought that there had to be a better way to do claims.”

Walker started working on a new insurance model that was based on automation and cutting down claim time.

“Automation is the biggest advantage for the clients,” he says. “We consider claims from a customer’s point of view, making it easier for clients to claim by using artificial intelligence to assess whether the claim is legitimate or not. Automation helps us to keep a small team and, ultimately, keeps the costs down for our clients.

“How the AI works on the claims side is an automatic detection system with several trained algorithms that range fraud risk into three sections: low-risk claims are processed immediately, medium-risk claims are manually checked by our team, and high-risk claims are instantly marked as fraudulent. The beauty of our AI system is, the more claims we put through the system, the smarter it gets at sorting claims into these risk categories.

“Of the low-risk clients, we’ve had a claim processed in 1.7 seconds – no questions asked.

“Another huge benefit is our chatbot, Nandi, who asks all the underwriting questions and, depending on what product you choose, she sends you down the right path to be insured in around 2 minutes. It’s quick because we don’t ask you more than we need to. If you need to insure something after the fact, it may take less than 30 seconds to be insured. What’s also great is that Nandi is our hardest working employee because she never sleeps, so you can wake up in the middle of the night with the urge to insure your laptop and you’ll be able to do that.”

When asked how Granadilla aims to compete with other insurance companies, Walker puts it down to offering.

“This type of insurance doesn’t really compete with those who are currently insuring all their household contents, for example. Our offering is for those who don’t want to spend a fortune on insuring everything, but insuring the things they value the most, like smartphones, laptops, and gadgets. Our market segment is the more savvy app users who don’t necessarily want to wait on hold to sign up or process a claim.”

Overall, Walker says artificial intelligence can increase trust in the insurance industry.

“You’ll find customers have been paying their claims for years, thousands of Rands, and then it takes insurance companies a very long time to process claims, on top of making the claims process inconvenient. We started this because we think the insurance industry needs to change. We can reduce costs, reduce time, all the while increasing customer satisfaction and overall respect for the insurance industry.”


Millennials turning 40: NOW will you stop targeting them?

It’s one of the most overused terms in youth marketing, and probably the most inaccurate, writes ARTHUR GOLDSTUCK



One of the most irritating buzzwords embraced by marketers in recent years is the term “millennial”. Most are clueless about its true meaning, and use it as a supposedly cool synonym for “young adults”. The flaw in this targeting – and the word “flaw” here is like calling the Grand Canyon a trench – is that it utterly ignores the meaning of the term. “Millennials” are formally defined as anyone born from 1980 to 2000, meaning they have typically come of age after the dawn of the millennium, or during the 21st century.

Think about that for a moment. Next year, the millennial will be formally defined as anyone aged from 20 to 40. So here you have an entire advertising, marketing and public relations industry hanging onto a cool definition, while in effect arguing that 40-year-olds are youths who want the same thing as newly-minted university graduates or job entrants.

When the communications industry discovers just how embarrassing its glib use of the term really is, it will no doubt pivot – millennial-speak for “changing your business model when it proves to be a disaster, but you still appear to be cool” – to the next big thing in generational theory.

That next big thing is currently Generation Z, or people born after the turn of the century. It’s very convenient to lump them all together and claim they have a different set of values and expectations to those who went before. Allegedly, they are engaged in a quest for experience, compared to millennials – the 19-year-olds and 39-olds alike – supposedly all on a quest for relevance.

In reality, all are part of Generation #, latching onto the latest hashtag trend that sweeps social media, desperate to go viral if they are producers of social content, desperate to have caught onto the trend before their peers.

The irony is that marketers’ quest for cutting edge target markets is, in reality, a hangover from the days when there was no such thing as generational theory, and marketing was all about clearly defined target markets. In the era of big data and mass personalization, that idea seems rather quaint.

Indeed, according to Grant Lapping, managing director of DataCore Media, it no longer matters who brands think their target market is.

“The reason for this is simple: with the technology and data digital marketers have access to today, we no longer need to limit our potential target audience to a set of personas or segments derived through customer research. While this type of customer segmentation was – and remains – important for engagements across traditional above-the-line engagements in mass media, digital marketing gives us the tools we need to target customers on a far more granular and personalised level.

“Where customer research gives us an indication of who the audience is, data can tell us exactly what they want and how they may behave.”

Netflix, he points out, is an example of a company that is changing its industry by avoiding audience segmentation, once the holy grail of entertainment.

In other words, it understands that 20-year-olds and 40-year-olds are very different – but so is everyone in between.

* Arthur Goldstuck is founder of World Wide Worx and editor-in-chief of Follow him on Twitter and Instagram on @art2gee

Continue Reading


Robots coming to IFA



Robotics is no longer about mechanical humanoids, but rather becoming an interface between man and machine. That is a key message being delivered at next month’s IFA consumer electronics expo in Berlin. An entire hall will be devoted to IFA Next, which will not only offer a look into the future, but also show what form it will take.

The concepts are as varied as the exhibitors themselves. However, there are similarities in the various products, some more human than others, in the fascinating ways in which they establish a link between fun, learning and programming. In many cases, they are aimed at children and young people.

The following will be among the exhibitors making Hall 26 a must-visit:

Leju Robotics (Stand 115) from China is featuring what we all imagine a robot to be. The bipedal Aelos 1s can walk, dance and play football. And in carrying out all these actions it responds to spoken commands. But it also challenges young researchers to apply their creativity in programming it and teaching it new actions. And conversely, it also imparts scholastic knowledge.

Cubroid (Stand 231, KIRIA) from Korea starts off by promoting an independent approach to the way it deals with tasks. Multi-functional cubes, glowing as they play music, or equipped with a tiny rotating motor, join together like Lego pieces. Configuration and programming are thus combined, providing a basic idea of what constitutes artificial intelligence.

Spain is represented by Ebotics (Stand 218). This company is presenting an entire portfolio of building components, including the “Mint” educational program. The modular system explains about modern construction, programming and the entire field of robotics.

Elematec Corporation (Stand 208) from Japan is presenting the two-armed SCARA, which is not intended to deal with any tasks, but in particular to assist people with their work.

Everybot (Stand 231, KIRIA) from Japan approaches the concept of robotics by introducing an autonomous floor-cleaning machine, similar to a robot vacuum cleaner.

And Segway (Stand 222) is using a number of products to explain the modern approach to battery-powered locomotion.

IFA will take place at the Berlin Exhibition Grounds (ExpoCenter City) from 6 to 11 September 2019. For more information, visit

Continue Reading


Copyright © 2019 World Wide Worx