This interview is part of our new AI in Insurance series, where we interview the world's top thought leaders on the front lines of the intersections between AI and insurance.
In this interview, we speak with Jim Grace, CEO of InsureMyTrip, to understand how his company is using AI to transform insurance, and what the future of the insurance industry holds.
1. What's the story behind InsureMyTrip? How and why did you get started?
JG: InsureMyTrip was founded in 2000. I'm an avid sailor and licensed pilot with years of experience in both engineering and insurance, and I realized that we could blend my passions and knowledge to create a unique website that would put the power of comparing travel insurance options and making informed decisions in the hands of travelers themselves. InsureMyTrip.com became the world’s first major travel insurance comparison website, and over the course of more than a decade, has continued to lead the industry by sticking to one simple principle: Making sure we get it right for travelers, every time. InsureMyTrip allows travelers to travel more and worry less.
2. Please describe your use case and how your company uses artificial intelligence:
JG: We just completed a new wave of upgrades on our travel insurance comparison tool. InsureMyTrip's SMART System is the first of its kind to enable predictive modeling and AI techniques to be applied to travel insurance comparison. SMART combines machine learning through user interaction, vast libraries of data from past traveler needs, and over 1,000 coverage options available on our website. From this, SMART recommends the right plan for a traveler's personalized needs. The AI tool automatically filters thousands of travel insurance plans, enabling travelers to find the right plan roughly 15-20x faster than comparing quotes manually online. In turn, this provides a radically different — and efficient — personalized customer experience for travelers.
3. Could you share a specific customer/user that benefits from what you offer? What has InsureMyTrip done for them?
JG: June 1st to November 30th is Atlantic hurricane season. What if a traveler is traveling to a hurricane-prone destination? SMART will quickly identify plans with specific hurricane-related coverage that also rates well with customer reviews. The algorithm will filter plans relevant to the hurricane warning and present them to the traveler. SMART additionally offers a customer other robust coverage options for bad weather. InsureMyTrip's AI tool empowers travelers to feel more confident in their travel insurance purchases.
And SMART “learns” customer needs with every user experience. For example, cruisers are typically concerned about missing the ship's boarding time due to a flight delay or missed connection. The recommendation engine has already learned this attribute and will use this type of data to make a more intelligent decision on behalf of the customer requesting a quote, and offer a travel insurance plan that will also include various missed connection and travel delay benefits.