Reports  |    |  January 16, 2020

Promoting Responsible Artificial Intelligence in Insurance

Reprt written by Benno Keller. Published by The Geneva Association—International Association for the Study of Insurance Economics, Zurich. 24 pages.

The use of artificial intelligence (AI) in insurance can bring economic and societal benefits by lowering insurance costs and helping insure more people. The Geneva Association analysed a selection of the many ethics guidelines issued by governmental and non-governmental organisations and private companies. Of the five core principles for the responsible use of AI identified, this report takes a close look at two—1) transparency and explainability and 2) fairness—that are particularly complex for insurers to interpret and implement. It also explores how to address the key trade-offs that arise in applying these principles.


Since the end of the ‘AI Winter’, the period from the 1970s to the end of the 1990s characterised by setbacks and disappointment, artificial intelligence (AI) has made remarkable progress. Today, AI systems are commercially used in a growing field of applications. Many insurers are rolling out intelligent systems that automate routine tasks or assist human decision-making along the entire insurance value chain. Such systems combine new types of learning algorithms with the analysis of data from new types of data sources, such as online media data and Internet of Things (IoT) data. In the future, intelligent systems will autonomously take standardised decisions in a growing number of areas. The use of AI in insurance has the potential to yield economic and societal benefits that go beyond insurers and their customers by improving risk pooling and enhancing risk reduction, mitigation and prevention. In order to foster the adoption of AI systems and realise these benefits, insurers need to earn the trust of their customers by using the new technology responsibly. [ . . . ]