Erie Insurance improves work efficiency with Google Glass programme

(c) Barnett

The insurance industry is facing a crisis of talent. Experts hold that retiring baby boomers will leave a void of 400,000 open positions to fill by 2020. Insurance training provider The Institutes revealed that in 2013 the number of employees aged 55 and older was 30% higher in insurance when compared to any other industry. Additionally, 40% of potential employees – high school students – are not keen on building a career in insurance.

In light on this scenario, Erie Insurance is trailblazing on a path of innovation and has adopted Google Glass to assess improvements in workforce efficiency at its Commercial Risk Control group, which visits businesses to understand their risks before underwriting. The wearable allows supervisors to provide remote guidance to field employees through hands-free, live video streaming – thereby ensuring rapid coverage decisions for customers.

Jayashree Ishwar, chief underwriting officer, Erie Insurance, said: “Our experienced risk control supervisors frequently travel with field employees to provide them with expert advice, training and oversight. But now, Google Glass wearable technology coupled with you-see-what-I-see video streaming software enables supervisors to provide remote, real-time guidance without having to be physically present at the business. This dramatically reduces the amount of time they have to spend on the road, makes them more readily available to provide expert on-call advice and can lead to faster answers for customers.”

Ishwar argues that the use of Google Glass also enhances operations by boosting capabilities for cross-training and knowledge sharing among employees in different geographic locations. This will aid in the rapid hand over of institutional knowledge to new employees as baby boomers retire.

Ishwar added: “This is a case of high tech meets the human touch. Using Glass enables our risk control consultants to provide the in-person service our customers are accustomed to, while also providing expert guidance from a distance. The outcome is a better experience and better result all the way around—for our people and our customers.”
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