LV=GI launch first car insurance voice skill

31 January 2020, 15:30   By Francine Carrel

LV=GI have launched a pioneering voice-controlled app: their car insurance customers can now access policy information through Alexa or Google Assistant.

LV = General Insurance (LV=GI) have launched a voice skill compatible with Amazon Alexa and Google Home - the first such app from the car insurance industry.

The voice skill will allow car insurance customers to ask their smart devices questions about their policies. Customers will use the command "Open LV" to start the skill, which will initially be primed to answer around 500 questions about car insurance policies.

LV=GI said the voice app would make things easier for their customers, who "can now find out details of their policy in a matter of seconds". Of course, it will also make things easier for the insurer, who hope that the new bit of tech will ease pressure on contact centres.

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Credit: Zapp2Photo/

What is it?

A skill (or an 'action' if you're talking about Google Assistant) is an app for a smart home device. Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant work by voice control, so their apps - their skills and actions - are opened and controlled via voice commands.

This new skill from LV=GI is, basically, a voice-activated FAQ centre. The 500-or-so questions they've launched with were collated from commonly asked questions to their call centre and webchat service.

As it's not one of Amazon or Google's integrated apps, it will need launching (using the "Open LV" command) before users can ask questions.

Why have LV launched a skill?

LV=GI have given several reasons for the project.

They say the app will help customers who less able to use telephones and computers. It should also benefit customers who simply want to save time.

One of the other main driving forces is the wish to take pressure off their call centres. LV=GI say their call centre employees receive 28,000+ questions per day.

First of its kind

LV=GI are the first direct car insurance providers to launch a voice skill. It was built with the help of specialist agency Rabbit and Pork, who are also working with InsureandGo to launch the first travel insurance voice app.

LV=GI have launched on Alexa and Google Assistant platforms at the same time, which should allow a wide audience from the get-go. Apple Home Pod, which launched in 2018, isn't included yet - but watch out for updates.

Smart home progress

Although this is the first car insurance voice skill, other sectors have already taken similar advantage of the rise in smart home technology.

The energy sector, for instance: Octopus Energy launched an Alexa integration in March 2019, while British Gas rolled out a Boiler Support system late in the year.

Things are moving fast, and the progress in smart devices has alarmed some security experts. The Government is currently working to regulate smart gadgets in response to concerns from bodies like the National Cyber Security Centre.

Apps like this one - which can answer questions about the user's financial documents - could be one cause for concern.

Room for improvement

LV=GI have been clear: this is the first version of their voice skill, and there will be many updates and improvements over the coming months.

They will be adding more questions to the databank as time goes on, as well as fine-tuning usability. The insurance provider say they will be added more features, too, but haven't been specific about the nature of any additional functionalities.

John Campbell, MD of Rabbit and Pork, said, "We look forward to building on this first version with more content and features in the future."

Insurance choices

LV=GI are pioneering this new tech, but there are plenty of other factors to consider when picking an insurer. Have a look at our free insurance comparison tool to get an idea of what's out there.

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