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Insuring the future

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Liberty has recently launched a new generation insurance product that uses telematics, chatbots and new technology, allowing for enhancements to be made in real life.

Imagine a future where ‘simple, flexible and  transparent’ are words you would use to describe the service you receive from your insurer.  What if the quick, friendly exchange that made your day was with a robot that processed your claim with lightning speed using a friendlier and easy-to-use platform?

That scenario is not as far-fetched as it sounds.  In fact, it is what you can expect from Liberty’s Short-term insurance offering, which has been developed together with our underwriter Standard Insurance Limited (SIL).

The short-term insurance market in South Africa is extremely competitive but we identified a gap for a fully digital offering a while ago. The number of digitally savvy consumers who bank, shop and make payments online is growing rapidly and they expect simplicity, convenience and innovation from other products and services, including insurance.  That is certainly true of our current and prospective customers. We are therefore launching a Short-term insurance business that meets the needs of our customers.

Together with SIL we are building a new generation insurer that uses telematics, chatbots and other cutting-edge technology which allows enhancements to be made in real time.  Thus ensuring our products and services are agile and evolve with time as the circumstances and aspirations of our clients change.

With the distinct make up of our offering, we have truly brought the concept of Artificial Intelligence (AI) to life. AI which is based on the idea of building machines capable of thinking, acting, and learning like humans allows for a business and brand such as Liberty to respond more effectively and efficiently.

We have developed a bot (a web robot based on a software application that runs automated tasks over the internet) that has a personality; it is intuitive and learns with each customer interaction so that it can classify, identify and understand customer needs. And it can also deliver a firm quote within five minutes.

The Liberty Short-term insurance’s value proposition will appeal to digitally savvy professionals as well as to people who want to experience exceptional service without the excessive bureaucratic rigmarole. Many of the targeted consumers have grown up with technology and readily embrace telematics and chatbots, which are revolutionising financial services around the world.

Buying insurance can be intimidating for younger drivers and bots can make the experience easier and friendly.  Traditionally, younger drivers also pay more for their car insurance premiums but that’s changing, thanks to telematics. Demonstrating you’re a safe driver regardless of your age makes premiums affordable. Research has also shown that drivers don’t mind sharing data if it comes with benefits.

In our case, we will be offering a significant discount based on a ‘driving test’ that measures driver behaviour over a two week period. The premium reduction kicks in after (within 2 weeks/ 300km) the test is successfully completed and will apply for the remainder of the year until renewal.  All clients will need, is a mobile phone and the Liberty’s Short-term insurance app, which they will also need, to access emergency services.  However, customers can engage on any digital channel, including Facebook Messenger, to get a quote, make a claim and to service their policy.

We are starting off with car insurance, but we are planning to broaden our offering later this year.   We will leverage SIL’s existing claims-handling capabilities with a dedicated Liberty Short-term insurance team to service the Liberty customer base.

As for the future, we are excited by the power and flexibility of the technology we’re deploying and the freedom to explore new features, guided by customers’ needs and wants.

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CES: And thanks for all the beer!

Last week, the Las Vegas expo showed off its fun side with state-of-the-art technologies for making and enjoying beer, writes BRYAN TURNER

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From craft beer-making machines to robots that pour beer, CES had more beer than usual in Las Vegas last week. And even free beer if you found the right stand. Stampede’s saloon-style booth offered beer to visitors who tried out its latest drones, virtual reality, and other gaming products. No beer tech, though.

Here are some of the beer technologies that stood out:

LG HomeBrew – Craft beer made at home

LG’s HomeBrew craft beer-making machine,  debuted at CES 2019, brings the brewing process home thanks to single-use capsules,  a self-cleaning feature, and an algorithm optimised for fermentation. 

Like a Nespresso coffee machine, the beer maker uses capsules, which contain malt, yeast, hop oil and flavouring. At the press of a button, LG HomeBrew automates the whole procedure from fermentation and carbonation to ageing. A companion app lets users check HomeBrew’s status at any time during the process, from their handsets.

The beer machine not only offers a simple way to make craft beer, but also enhances the quality of beer it makes. The fermentation algorithm intelligently controls the fermenting process with precise temperature and pressure control. It automatically sanitises itself, using nothing more than hot water, ensuring everything is hygienically clean for the next batch.

Designed with discerning beer lovers in mind, HomeBrew allows for in-home production of batches of more than 4 litres of beer in a variety of styles. The following five distinctive, flavoured beers are available now: 

  • Hoppy American IPA
  • Golden American Pale Ale
  • Full-bodied English Stout
  • Zesty Belgian-style Witbier
  • Dry Czech Pilsner

The only catch? It takes about two weeks to make, depending on the beer type.

“LG HomeBrew is the culmination of years of home appliance and water purification technologies that we’ve developed over the decades,” said Dan Song, president of LG Electronics Home Appliance & Air Solutions Company. “Homebrewing has grown at an explosive pace, but there are still many beer lovers who haven’t taken the jump because of the barriers to entry, like complexity, and these are the consumers we think will be attracted to LG HomeBrew.”

Click here to read about the party speaker that holds beer and robots that pour beer.

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CES: Alienware gets Legend-ary

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At CES in Las Vegas last week, Dell’s Alienware released a family of high-end, thin, light, and affordable machines for both amateur and professional gamers – and a new identity.

Alienware marked CES 2019 as a brand milestone with the debut of a new design identity, Alienware Legend. It aims to set a new bar of excellence for what gamers want most – performance and function. Alienware says it evaluated multiple concepts and chose one that was the biggest and boldest departure from its current look.

Alienware Legend, says the company, stays true to the brand’s core design tenets, taking cues from its deep roots in sci-fi culture and its early industrial designs, to distinguish the brand from the rest of the industry. The new Legend design is optimised with cutting-edge thermal cooling technology to achieve and sustain overclocking power, improved AlienFX lighting, and ultra-thin screen borders. It also unveiled a new “three-knuckle hinge” design that reduces the overall dimension while creating a stronger assembly, all combining to yield a better gaming experience.

“We’re excited to come to this year’s CES with some truly groundbreaking products, next-gen software and strategic partnerships that will bring more people to experience PC gaming and advance the industry,” said Frank Azor, vice president and general manager of Alienware. “The legend design answers the call for more and better from our gaming community, and the new G Series laptops will make PC gaming even more accessible to those looking for high-performance gaming at a cost they can appreciate.”

Click here to read about Alienware Legend in action with the Area-51m and m-series laptops

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