The feared robot takeover of insurance jobs may soon press ahead – UK industry giant Aviva, which sold its Aviva USA operations in 2013, is planning to consult its 16,000 employees on possible automation of roles, The Sunday Times reports.

According to the report, Aviva will ask its workers whether their jobs could be better done by robots. Those who will answer “yes” will be retrained for other roles in the company.

Employees who are most likely to have to retrain are those involved in the calculation of insurance policy prices, assessment of customers’ credit ratings and those at call centres, the report said.

Aviva finance chief Tom Stoddard devised the insurer’s automation programme, according to the publication. He laid out his plan during a meeting with top managers last week.

The latest report follows recent studies on the impact of automation on insurance. Earlier this month, Oxford University director Carl Frey reported new research findings which showed that underwriters face the highest risk of being automated among middle-income jobs, while in January, consultancy firm Accenture released a report which revealed that 74% of customers worldwide would get robo-advice and services for insurance, although two-thirds of consumers still want human interaction.

In the same month, the McKinsey Global Institute also reported that the finance and insurance sectors have an overall automation potential of 43%. According to its research, robots would take over back-office administrative jobs, while true relationship-based roles will continue to need humans.

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