ICICI Lombard, Microsoft roll out AI-enabled car inspection app

Image courtesy of Microsoft

ICICI Lombard has partnered with Microsoft to develop India’s first AI-enabled car inspection feature in its mobile app “Insure,” which allows customers to buy or renew policies anytime, anywhere.

Also, the app will soon simplify the process of making a repair claim. In case of lapsed policy instead of a physical inspection, customers can simply take images of their vehicle and upload them with Insure.

The app then uses artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning to divide the images into frames and identify the various parts of the car to look for damage. In most cases the AI module can make a judgement very quickly, reducing the time from days to mere minutes.

“We had been envisioning something like this for a long period of time,” said Girish Nayak, chief of customer service, operations and technology at ICICI Lombard. “We were not really successful working with some start-ups. Therefore, we approached Microsoft to see if we could do this together.”

Using the Azure platform, computer vision, and machine learning (ML) technologies, they refined the process until the accuracy was fit for purpose. The feature was launched in December 2018 and has worked as expected.

With the app, insurance personnel are more productive as they no longer have to be physically present to inspect vehicles and can focus on less repetitive tasks. With improved efficiency, customer satisfaction has also increased considerably.

Renewing policies online has proven to be successful — the company is currently processing between 150 to 200 cars per day — but as Nayak pointed out, using AI for renewals is just a stepping stone for the company.

AI is a major thrust for the company, and they are very near to using AI to process repair claims as well. The solution is currently in beta stage and is expected to be launched within this year.

With AI, ICICI Lombard intends to process over 80,000 simple claims every month with same-day turnaround when the module is launched towards the end of 2019.

The app is also valuable to ICICI Lombard from a business perspective. Automating the process reduces the possibility of inaccurate assessments due to human error. And, increased efficiency and productivity improves the bottom line.