Have a Hearti chat with an insurance chatbot

An artificial intelligence-powered online insurance agent is now a perk of the job for some small business employees.

Workers at small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) that count on technology company Hearti Lab's human resource mobile application can use an in-app chatbot to access travel insurance plans, Sompo Insurance Singapore said.

The partnership with the insurance firm allows customers to buy travel insurance by credit card through their employers' Hearti app, which also manages human resources matters such as payroll and leave administration.

The artificial intelligence chatbot is capable of asking clients about their journeys and using given details, such as the number of travellers, to recommend specific plans.

The information provided by clients over the course of the virtual conversation can be used to automatically fill in online insurance application forms as well.

The chatbot can answer questions about eligibility, coverage and exclusions and will set up phone calls from human customer service officers if the questions fall outside the parameters of its program.

Sompo's chief distribution officer Koh Yen Yen said: "The Government's drive to develop Singapore into a smart nation has spurred the insurance industry to speed up on its digital transformation in operations and product offerings."

Her firm hopes to expand the in-app artificial intelligence program to offer personal accident insurance plans next.

Mr Keith Lim, chief executive and founder of Hearti Lab, called the tie-up one of the "value-added benefits" for SMEs and staff members using his company's app.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on July 19, 2017, with the headline 'Have a Hearti chat with an insurance chatbot'. Subscribe