Inspiration

Liberty Mutual, Nationwide and others have created Alexa Skills to allow consumers to get answers to insurance related questions. I wanted to do something similar but for field employees. That is, allow in-office employees in the insurance field to be able to get answers to insurance related questions from their Echo devices or computers and out-of-office field workers to get answers to insurance related questions from their smartphones and smartwatches.

What it does

My Insurance Expert Alexa Skill allows users to get answers to insurance related questions like "ask the Insurance Expert what is term life insurance", or "ask the Insurance Expert what is whole life insurance" from virtually any device: Echo, computers, smartphones, and smartwatches.

How I built it

On the backend, I used AWS Lambda and a C# web service hosted on AWS and on the frontend Android / Android Wear. The smartphone/smartwatch app makes use of the Insurance Expert Alexa Skill.

Challenges I ran into

The biggest challenge was dealing with a large variety of question types in a timely manner.

Accomplishments that I'm proud of

The apps defer to Alexa for most responses but also supports non-Alexa voice commands to:

Make phone calls or send text messages (e.g. "call my insurance agent") Retrieve accident photos (e.g. "show me photos for claim number 1234") Do role-based contact lookups (e.g. "who is the person in charge of marine insurance") Post to Slack Channels (e.g. “heading to a meeting now post to General channel”)

What I learned

With a little creativity we can allow voice commands to provide much more coverage.

What's next for Insurance Expert

Once users are comfortable using their voice to retrieve insurance information, I want to offer additional capabilities especially for insurance company employees and corporate teams. These would include things like: 1) allowing for easier communication with co-workers via posting to Slack Channels by voice, 2) allow for retrieval of business related documents and webpages by voice command especially for content residing inside the corporate firewall, 3) allow corporate teams to more easily retrieve organizational knowledge and operational information using spoken questions - a voice-enabled question-answering system specific to that team.

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Updates

posted an update

The Insurance Expert Alexa Skill can be invoked from Echo devices or from smartphones and smartwatches via the Insurance Expert demo app. First enable the Skill from the Alexa app or website then ask questions like "ask the Insurance Expert what is life insurance" or "ask the Insurance Expert what is a premium".

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