Annuities and Amazon Echo: Insurers With ‘Skills’

photo_38751_20150614One of the most popular tech gifts this holiday season was the Echo line of smart speakers from Amazon. With the ability to control smart features in your home, like thermostats and lights, in addition to playing music, setting timers, reading the news, and buying products (from Amazon of course), all with voice activation alone, it’s no wonder why they have become so popular. And it’s not just basic everyday tasks that Echo can help you with either. According to a recent City A.M. article, Alexa can also help you with your annuity questions too.

The British insurance mogul, Aviva has developed the first skill for the voice activated speaker, Amazon Echo in the United Kingdom. For those of you new to the technology, a “skill” is comparable to an app for smartphones. The first edition of the skill includes users with over 300 insurance terms and their definitions, to better help their clients understand the industry jargon. The company is currently working on developing it further.

“Our first foray into this world is pretty straightforward but in the future you can expect this to be much more closely linked to your own policies. It is a new way for our customers to interact with us at Aviva.”

The company, along with many other industry leaders, feel that voice will be the future of customer service and engagement. Investment in the fin-tech industry had tripled by September 2016 compared to the prior year.

Few U.S. insurers, like Nationwide and Liberty Mutual, already have skills available to consumers, with numerous others working to develop their own. In addition to providing information on basic insurance terms, the skills can also connect you to local agents for assistance with quotes. 

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