Zurich has started a six-week chatbot pilot for non-emergency home and motor claims, the company announced.

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The new program, “Zara,” allows policyholders to notify Zurich around the clock, before first notice of loss information is passed along to a human claims handler who responds within three hours. Zara was developed in partnership with Spixii, a graduate of the Zurich-sponsored Startupbootcamp accelerator, and maker of chatbot technology leveraging behavioral economics.

Zurich first partnered with the UK-based insurtech accelerator in March 2017, with an eye toward getting early access to industry disruptors in return for mentorship and collaboration opportunities. The Admiral Group, Allianz, Munich Re and Swiss Re are other notable insurers on Startupbootcamp’s board.

"In a digital age, many of our customers expect to be able to interact with their insurer online and this pilot has allowed us to gauge interest in this type of innovative and exciting technology,” said David Nichols, Zurich’s chief claims officer, in a statement. "The move to use robotics shouldn’t necessarily be viewed as a hindrance. New and innovative technologies will help customers, but also empower us to redeploy people so they can develop new skill sets beyond traditional career paths."

Also see: Zurich aquires telematics startup BrightBox

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