Insurers will spend $634 million on robotic process automation (RPA) solutions by 2024, rising from $184 million in 2019; a 245 per cent increase over the next five years.

The figures are contained in a new report from Juniper Research.

RPA is software designed to reduce operational costs by automating basic repetitive tasks. The new research, Robotic Process Automation in Telecoms & Insurance: Vendor Positioning, Strategies & Forecasts 2019-2024, found that previous growth strategies using M&A in the highly-saturated insurance market have resulted in disparate policies, practices and software. Adopting RPA solutions will appeal to insurers by enabling substantial cost and time savings, created by mitigating these disparities.

North American and European insurers are tipped to lead investment, over the next five years, with more than 65 per cent of insurance providers adopting the technology by 2024.

As the insurance market is largely saturated in these areas with flat premium growth, insurers must cut their operational costs quickly to remain competitive. The research found that RPA will become a crucial enabler in this search for efficiency gains. The research urged vendors to ensure effective AI integration so that RPA can handle valuable tasks in a highly reliable way.

The research anticipated that advances in RPA solutions will drive growth of the average spend on RPA per insurer. It forecast that the technology would leverage advances in AI to offer increasingly sophisticated services in fields including underwriting, claims management and data handling; driving average spend per company to 30 per cent over the next five years.

Research author Maite Bezerra said, “Although automation can bring results in a few weeks, scalability can only be achieved when bots ‘learn’ how to operate outside simulated environments. Bots must be continuously trained to understand exceptions and non-linear processes, or companies risk being left with limited return on their RPA investment.”

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