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AI to offer underwriting, claims handling benefits: QBE 

Artificial intelligence has the potential to offer “meaningful contributions” across underwriting and claims management, QBE Group CEO Andrew Horton says. 

“Like many we’re excited about AI,” he told a financial results briefing. “As a business which spends many hours ingesting documents and data that come with broker submissions, claims filings and legal documents, we see many meaningful contributions to QBE.” 

Underwriters deal with “pages and pages of relatively unstructured data” in assessing risk, similar issues arise in managing claims, and AI is likely to help in both of those areas, Mr Horton says. 

Use of AI should be well controlled, but it could be a “major changer” for the insurance industry, he told the briefing. 

QBE also expects cyber insurance to become a larger contributor to its business as the overall market grows and cyber is increasingly viewed as an important element of cover. 

The company currently mainly writes cyber in North America and in the International division and Mr Horton says building on existing foundations could see the business increase to “several hundred million” dollars.  

“It’s very hard now, at this point in time, to determine an actual number, but the market itself is forecast to grow into the tens of billions of dollars over the next few years. It’s been growing incredibly quickly,” he said. “We’re a fundamental believer that you need cyber as an offering, and need to ensure it’s a consistent offering.” 

Mr Horton says not providing cyber would open the door to “being competed against by others who will offer it”, but it’s important to carefully manage aggregation risks. 

QBE in April announced that US-based Serene Davis would join the group in May to take up the newly created position of Global Head of Cyber.