Custom Software Development

A multichannel chatbot solution to the tedious process of requiring, submitting and receiving insurance quotes for multiple policy types (vehicle, building, home content and funeral insurance).

Project Overview

Problem:Applying for insurance quotes is a daunting and tedious process which can be intimidating for potential clients unfamiliar with the industry. Capturing all the required details to obtain an accurate quote can be a slow manual process involving long forms or seemingly endless digital web forms.. This process has to be repeated for every policy quote. The waiting period to receive a quote can be from 24 hours up to a few days, leaving potential clients frustrated and less likely to sign up.

Solution:The Nedbank Insurance Chatbot (NIC) is an AI assistant that allows a user to capture information digitally via chat and receive a quote instantly once completed. The assistant currently supports quotes for the following policy types:

  • Building cover
  • Home contents cover
  • Funeral cover
  • Vehicle cover

Existing Nedbank policy holders are also able to use the NIC platform to submit claims, query claim related FAQ’s, record complaints and contact live agents for updates or assistance. This eases the load on heavily burdened call centres, and provides an easy to use interface for policy holders to interact with their insurer.

Highlighted features


As seen in Figure 1 – NIC currently supports four quote options. A user is also able to select ‘ALL’ allowing them to easily get quotes for all four options without having to re-enter required information common across multiple quotes.

NIC banner

Shared quote features

Each of the dialogue flows for the various quote types contains specific questions capturing information required for the quote to be accurate. Any time captured information can be reused, such as Client Name, Date of Birth or Home Address, the assistant will pre-populate this information when completing the other quote types.

Date capturing via chatbot can be challenging, with multiple format types and no calendar date pickers available. NIC is able to handle various date formats, allowing the user to enter dates in their preferred format.

When entering large numbers - building value, for example - NIC is able to interpret multiple number formats e.g. 350k = R350 000 or 1.5 mill = R1 500 000. This allows the user to easily complete the required fields for an accurate quote without having to worry about mistyping a zero.

Back and help functionality is also offered throughout the user journey by typing ‘back’ or ‘help’ into NIC’s message window. Navigating back allows a user to select a different menu option or to simply edit a field that they have previously answered. Typing ‘help’ displays hint text for the current question NIC is asking the user, and live agent assistance is offered via the ‘Contact Us’ flow or by directly asking NIC for a live agent.

Validation is shared across quote types as there is a variety of data types captured by NIC - Date of Births, ID Numbers, Suburbs, Vehicle Makes, Residence Types, Currency values, Month/Year combinations, Email addresses and Phone Numbers for example. The Atura Form Engine allows the current field being captured to be validated simultaneously so no invalid information is captured before submitting to the Nedbank API for the required quote.

Figure one: quote features

Vehicle quote features

Vehicle quotes can currently be obtained for the following types:

  • Car
  • Motorbike
  • Trailer
  • Caravan

Once a user has captured their vehicle year model (e.g. 2015), NIC is then able to populate a list of vehicle makes and descriptions that were manufactured for that year. This information is retrieved via the Nedbank Insurance API and is maintained regularly to keep an up to date vehicle database. The user is easily able to easily from a list making use of a custom web view which is rendered on top of the chat window (as seen in figure 2).

Figure two: Vehicle descriptions

Building and Home Contents Quote Features

When the user is capturing the location of where the vehicle is stored at night, or simply entering their home address for a Building Insurance quote, a custom lookup webview is offered to ensure valid and accurate suburb information before submitting the quote request to the Nedbank API. The webview is able to calculate a partial match on the suburb - for example “Pine” will provide similar matches to the required suburb “Pinelands”. NIC will then look up the correlating postal code for the suburb the user is trying to enter – figure 3.

Figure three: Suburb look up

Funeral Quote Features

The funeral quote allows you to select a variety of cover options depending on your requirements. NIC supports quotes for multiple spouses, multiple dependants and extra funeral package options such as the Family Supporter Benefit and Premium Waiver.

The following dependant types are supported:

  • Children
  • Parents
  • Grandparents
  • Siblings
  • Aunt/Uncle
  • Nephew/Niece
Figure four: Completed Funeral Quote

Domestic Workers

Once the total policy cover, number of spouses, dependants and funeral package options have been captured, NIC is able to provide a quote, detailing the costs and user selections. If a user wants to change any of the previously entered information, they are able to go back and resubmit for an updated quote.

The Final Quote

Once the user has completed the required information for the quote type they have chosen (or all quote types), NIC will return with various policy options offered by Nedbank Insurance for the user to choose from. A ‘Read More’ button will display all benefit options for the selected policy and allows the user to email all captured details to themselves. Once they have selected a policy option, a live agent will contact them back to finalise the process and ensure the client is happy.

Figure five: Quote options
Figure six: Quote options
Figure seven: Selected quote


NIC offers two options relating to claims – to chat to a live agent or to search the Nedbank Insurance frequently asked questions (FAQs) regarding claim submissions. The claims FAQ functionality leverages Microsoft’s QnA Maker functionality to provide matches on keywords in the user’s text to map against claim related information in the knowledge database.

Figure eight: Claim FAQ
Figure nine: Claim selected FAQ

Service Desk

Users are able to ask for a live agent at any point in their journey, and the request pops up on the new chat window for the agent to take over. If the request is out of office hours, as configured on the settings page of the service desk, NIC prompts the user to leave a message and their contact details for the agent to contact them back on.

Agents are able to see the full chat conversation with NIC, and get context of what the user is requiring assistance with faster than would be possible over the phone. There are no queues when requesting a live agent, if an agent is unable to takeover immediately, NIC will provide the conversation to the live agent and ensure they contact you back later.

Figure ten: Service desk


  • Atura Form Engine
  • LUIS Cognitive Services
  • Microsoft QnA Maker
  • Microsoft Bot Framework
  • Nedbank Insurance API integration
  • Webpack
  • SCSS
  • CosmosDB
  • Application Insights
  • Custom built webchat
  • Microsoft Service Bus
  • Chronic DateTime Parser
  • Facebook Channel Support
  • ES6 JavaScript
  • Sendgrid
  • React


A comprehensive overview of the architecture can be found on the Atura web site