Artificial intelligence will help local insurance agents better serve clients.

Despite a rush by big insurance carriers to adopt artificial intelligence tools, local insurance agents will still be around. In fact, AI will likely only help them do their jobs.

Tech publication VentureBeat reports that the insurance industry is spending big on AI. According to VentureBeat:

According to the Global Trends Study 2017, insurance invests an average of $124 million per company in this alluring technology. That’s $54 million more than the average across all industries surveyed. Global insurance giant QBE, for one, invested earlier this year in a machine learning company called HyperScience — and that’s not even the first AI investment it’s made.

Such technology has fans that may surprise the general public, such as Farmer’s Insurance. Sara Castellanos of The Wall Street Journal reports that the company is experimenting with how AI in the claims adjusting process could free up humans for more complex tasks.

According to the Journal, top executives at the insurer were all for such experimentation:

Leveraging those technologies is part of a vision that Chief Executive Jeffrey Dailey also supports, said Rehan Ashroff, director of innovation lab and new ventures at Farmers.

“We’ve been lucky that we’re not fighting an uphill battle here. Leadership is extremely supportive,” said Mr. Ashroff. “Automation is key for many industries like ours because of the efficiency you can gain from leveraging (it) in a smart, tactical manner.”

Such talk of automation may be frightening to local insurance agents. But it needn’t be. Instead, according to Jeff Somers, writing for Property Casualty 360, the technology can make life better for such agents, and their clients.

Somers writes:

Currently, the industry widely relies on cold calling to make connections with new prospects. Thanks to AI, carriers and InsurTech firms will have the opportunity to more strategically target customers during the prospecting stage.

Here’s why: Customers use multiple channels to research and understand their options when buying insurance. They just don’t walk into an agent’s office or wait for a cold call. The industry needs to take that into greater account as we adjust our client acquisition approaches to take advantage of more sophisticated tools. The good news is that AI makes that easier to do, as it frees up agents’ time by automating simple service tasks and allowing them to focus on advising customers about their insurance coverage.

And advising customers about insurance coverage is the name of the game for the best local insurance agents, such as those at Seeman Holtz Property & Casualty.