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Staying sharp: Legal operations in the evolving AI-powered insurance era

26 April 2024
Legal operations need to evolve alongside legal teams to navigate new opportunities and challenges introduced by the growing use of AI. We present three guiding principles to stay sharp in this changing landscape.

The introduction of artificial intelligence (AI) has become a force multiplier for the insurance industry, providing increased efficiencies and precision. As AI continues to reshape the industry, legal professionals within the sector are going to find themselves at the forefront of this paradigm shift.

Legal teams in turn are also grappling with introducing AI techniques into their workflows. AI powered contract data extraction, drafting support, playbook comparison and analytics provide both new opportunities and challenges.

Legal professionals must not only understand the intricacies of evolving AI applications but also play a pivotal role in ensuring compliance, risk mitigation and ethical considerations. Legal Operations must evolve in tandem with the rest of your legal team to keep pace. Your legal operations team and partners should at the very least enable your business to concentrate on its daily activities. Ideally, legal operations will not only support business as usual, but also be well prepared to address emerging challenges and information related to the use of AI.

The following guiding principles can help shape your legal operations strategy to reap the rewards of innovation in a shifting landscape.

1. Turning your data into ‘smart data’

Legal operations have made great strides in leveraging structured data within legal teams to save time. Document automation and playbooks can be used to generate first drafts of contracts or do the first-pass comparison of third-party contracts. However, AI-based platforms utilizing Generative AI can swiftly extract valuable information from large, complex agreements that defy automation or playbooks. Similarly, AI-based extraction techniques can perform bulk ingestion of legacy contracts and make them both text and clause searchable.

2. Aim for an end-to-end process, not silos

When looking at process improvement in the insurance sector, it is important to take a bird’s eye view. Are you managing contracting using a Contract Lifecycle Management (CLM) system? If yes, you can integrate additional information like precise pricing generated by AI models as metadata to accompany the parent contracts. Similarly, if a ChatBot cannot answer a query it can trigger a request for the legal team. Data from the CLM, legal front door and the ChatBot could inform not just the legal team’s workload but could shed light on the type and frequency of work over a period. All this and more is possible if legal operations are seen as a unifying function between the business and the legal team, and the wider business in turn employs processes that augment data from different teams to feed into legal advice.

3. A formal plan that facilitates testing new technologies through pilot projects

There are many new AI-based technologies on the market for the legal team. However not all of them are good or safe for a particular business. A few years ago, it was safer and easier to let the market determine technology winners for the industry and adopt them. However today waiting is risky, and you should jump into the fray armed with a plan for a small team to pilot test the new technologies. Your legal operations team or consulting partners should be able to support with this.

Remember that the AI landscape is dynamic, and staying sharp in this era is not just a choice but also a strategic imperative.

Further Reading