Over the years, with the (understandable) focus on the cost of doing business, many technologies have been seen by insurers as ways of reducing cost - 10 years ago the push for straight-through-processing, more recently the growth of RPA.

As AI pilots become more prevalent and companies look to see how everything from customer-engagement to fraud detection can be handled by a machine the default in most cases is to reduce the amount of 'human effort' and save costs as a  result.

Reducing a unit of cost directly and immediately hits the bottom line so it's naturally an attractive approach. Redeploying the resources to drive top-line (whether directly through sales, indirectly through customer satisfaction, or more long-term by better understanding customer needs) requires more time and investment and includes a degree of uncertainty.

Who will win? Those who radically reduce the cost of doing business (and thus prices); or those who can redeploy some of those resources in ways that grow the company...