Global insurance leader Hiscox achieves sustainable growth with communications automation

Hiscox insurance case study


automation rate achieved in claims triage in only 3–4 months


reduction in process lead time for work to enter queue in UK broker services

The world of specialist insurance is challenging, fast-moving, and exciting. Forget home and pet insurance, specialist providers deal in professional indemnity insurance and coverage for rare and irreplicable assets. The clientele tends to be high-net-worth individuals with considerable assets and capital. They demand exceptional service that’s responsive and tailored to their needs. Naturally, competition for this elite customer cohort is fierce. 

As a major specialist insurance provider, Hiscox aims to deliver the best protection available through high-quality products, excellent service, and claims support. Hiscox also strives to grow its international insurance business, taking on more clients and offering more new products and services. However, with growth comes greater complexity, higher demand and, above all, more communications to process. 

To achieve the company’s strategic goals and fulfill its service promise to customers, the European change and IT teams at Hiscox turned to AI-powered automation. 

On a mission for sustainable growth  

Automation plays a crucial role in Hiscox's change and IT teams, which work with every department to drive continuous improvement across the organization. Its aim is to streamline processes, improve efficiency, and reduce costs through automation. 

The goal is sustainable growth, [...] We want to increase our revenue without an equivalent increase in our operating expenses.

Guilherme Batista Process and Operations Manager at Hiscox

Guilherme joined Hiscox in 2017 as a business analyst and quickly rose through the ranks of the European change team. In late 2023, he transitioned to a leadership role in process and operations, responsible for many of the insurer’s pan-European applications for automation and operational excellence.  

Hiscox quickly identified an opportunity to revamp its client service model, driving higher throughput while taking the pressure off agents. 

Testing times for Hiscox services  

Competitive service depends on swift communication. Half of customers are less likely to do business with a company that takes longer than expected to respond. Yet service teams at Hiscox were feeling the pressure as the company’s growth drove more demand and more client emails to their mailboxes. 

So, an automated solution that could rapidly reduce this repetitive workload by 28%, while reducing average response time, held the promise of improving both customer and employee satisfaction—critical for Hiscox's long-term success. 

As a specialist insurance company, much of our business requires a personal touch. Our service teams receive a lot of emails, and those emails each need a personalized and tailored response... Even when a new message lands, the service team needs to do a lot of manual work just to read and then act on them correctly.

Guilherme Batista Process and Operations Manager at Hiscox

Service and communications-based processes were difficult to automate at Hiscox. The Hiscox services team spent much of their time simply triaging emails—reading and then forwarding them to the correct team. As Guilherme explained, “triage is one of the most time-consuming processes that our services and admin team needs to deal with.” 

In addition to manual email processing, Hiscox had tried to streamline the triage process through keyword matching. However, the system struggled to account for variance and subtlety in communications. “For example, if you saw the word ‘referral’ appear a lot, then the system classified it as a referral request,” Guilherme said. “As you can imagine, this was prone to some error and could not cover all of the different use cases we needed it to.” 

The change team was eager to find a way to streamline, or even automate, the email triage process at Hiscox. However, in a business where swift response and exceptional service are critical, they needed greater accuracy and sophistication than what keyword matching could provide. Fortunately, Hiscox Europe found a solution in UiPath Communications Mining, and Guilherme played a key role in its design and implementation. 

Communications mining: discovering the value 

UiPath Communications Mining uses best-in-class AI to transform messages—like emails, chats, and support tickets—into structured data for analysis and automation. It helps businesses gain new insights into customer needs, business challenges, and opportunities for improvement. It also enables the automation of some of the most common service processes, like email triage and case creation. 

This wouldn’t be the first time that Hiscox had leveraged communications mining technology. Guilherme was inspired by an earlier successful implementation in the UK broker services function. Using Communications Mining to triage incoming messages, the UK team succeeded in reducing the process lead time for requests to enter workflow by 300%. Furthermore, brokers could expect a response in under three hours where previously they could have waited upwards of three days. 

Guilherme wanted to put these impressive triage capabilities to the test, and he didn’t have to wait long to start seeing value.

We did a proof of concept in 2019 and the feedback was very good. At the time, we didn't do any automation. We just uploaded the emails and did some training to see the efficacy of the model. But we were very impressed with the results.

Guilherme Batista Process and Operations Manager at Hiscox

The European change team were particularly impressed with how easy it was to use Communications Mining. “The tool got very positive feedback. It's very easy to use. It almost makes model training fun!... It’s very user friendly and easy to use, with a lot of features that are quite convenient. I felt like, whenever we had a problem or question on how to train something, we quickly found an easy way to handle it within the tool.” 

Fast time to value with AI and communications automation 

Following a successful pilot of UiPath Communications Mining, Guilherme and the IT team hit the ground running with their deployment. After an initial use case with the insurance administration team, they soon applied Communications Mining for intelligent triage in the company’s high-stakes claims function. As soon as an email landed in an agent’s mailbox, Communications Mining got to work extracting the relevant information, helping Hiscox rapidly identify what the message was about and allocate it to the right person or team. 

“We started seeing value very quickly,” Guilherme said. “In claims, we went from talking about the idea to achieving a 28% automation rate in just three to four months.” 

The claims team was able to automate over a quarter of its entire message volume, with the emails accurately triaged to the correct team for processing without any human intervention. In the past two months, Hiscox managed to save nearly 480 working hours using Communications Mining. 

One of the key benefits of triage automation for Hiscox was the ability for their service team to focus more on valuable tasks. This included devoting more time to responding to customer inquiries. 

Thanks to Communications Mining, our team now spends less time on email triage and more time on the work that matters to them and their clients. We can also serve a larger number of policies without having to increase headcount.

Guilherme Batista Process and Operations Manager at Hiscox

Guilherme was also pleasantly surprised at how well the services team responded to Communications Mining. Training an AI model to understand your business can take some time, but the team became more and more enthusiastic as they saw the results.  

“They were super happy with it!” Guilherme said. “I think they appreciate how they're actually driving forward the changes in Communications Mining rather than just accepting them from above... In claims, the team proactively comes to me with new labels and automation ideas. They want to train even more.” 

The more benefits we deliver, the more engagement we see in the short term.

Guilherme Batista Process and Operations Manager at Hiscox

A roadmap for end-to-end communications automation 

"I see Communications Mining as this machine that can accurately interpret anything you send its way. That’s its true value,” Guilherme said. And this capability has opened up many potential new use cases that he wants to explore. 

The change team is currently looking to repeat their success in the German claims branch, and for policy-related operations in France. Hiscox is also investigating how new Generative AI features in Communications Mining, especially Generative Extraction, could‌ help teams train models and extract value from their communications even faster than before. 

Ultimately, however, Guilherme’s ambition is to deliver end-to-end communication automation for some of Hiscox’s most time-consuming client requests. While the team is still scoping out smaller, low-risk processes for testing, this could involve integrating Communications Mining with other applications in the business, such as optical character recognition (OCR) or intelligent document processing (IDP) to automate the processing of customer forms received by email. 

“We could have Communications Mining identify who the client is and what document they want, and then we just send it to them automatically,” Guilherme said. Hopefully, this will make our customers happier and also our teams happier as they can focus on more meaningful tasks.” 

A transformation in progress 

With UiPath Communications Mining, Guilherme and the IT team have built an intelligent workflow management system for the categorization and allocation of work in claims. Clients can expect faster response times and better service, while agents can get more done and focus on more enjoyable, rewarding work. 

However, Guilherme acknowledges that they’ve only just begun their Communications Mining journey. An ongoing migration of Hiscox’s core automation system, and early difficulties in engaging teams on model training meant that, in Guilherme’s words, “we are still not seeing the full potential of what Communications Mining can do for us.” Yet, he remains optimistic for the future: 

If our people can spend less time going through the emails that have already been allocated, then we’re able to serve and answer those messages more quickly. Essentially, they’ll spend less time reading and more time replying. Communications Mining is giving us the ability to meet customer demands quicker.

Guilherme Batista Process and Operations Manager at Hiscox 

Register now for UiPath AI Summit to learn more about Guilherme and the communications automation journey at Hiscox.

To learn more about UiPath Communications Mining, download our Ultimate Guide to the capability now.

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