The insurance industry continues to be a hotbed of patent innovation. Activity is driven by digitalization, personalization, and growing importance of technologies such as artificial intelligence (AI), Internet of Things, and cybersecurity in insurance documentation and data analytics, predictive risk assessment, fraud detection, and smart policy management. In the last three years alone, there have been over 17,000 patents filed and granted in the insurance industry, according to GlobalData’s report on Artificial intelligence in insurance: AI in driver risk profiling. Buy the report here.

However, not all innovations are equal and nor do they follow a constant upward trend. Instead, their evolution takes the form of an S-shaped curve that reflects their typical lifecycle from early emergence to accelerating adoption, before finally stabilizing and reaching maturity.

Identifying where a particular innovation is on this journey, especially those that are in the emerging and accelerating stages, is essential for understanding their current level of adoption and the likely future trajectory and impact they will have.

20+ innovations will shape the insurance industry

According to GlobalData’s Technology Foresights, which plots the S-curve for the insurance industry using innovation intensity models built on over 70,000 patents, there are 20+ innovation areas that will shape the future of the industry.

Within the emerging innovation stage, underwriting AI, predictive risk analysis, and insurance documentation AI are disruptive technologies that are in the early stages of application and should be tracked closely. Insurance fraud detection AI, smart policy management, and smart vehicle damage assessment are some of the accelerating innovation areas, where adoption has been steadily increasing. Among maturing innovation areas is automated weather forecasting, which is now well established in the industry.

Innovation S-curve for artificial intelligence in the insurance industry

AI in driver risk profiling is a key innovation area in artificial intelligence

AI in driver risk profiling refers to the use of artificial intelligence techniques to analyze and assess the driving behavior and risks associated with individual drivers. By utilizing machine learning algorithms and analyzing data from various sources such as vehicle sensors, telematics, and historical driving data, AI can accurately profile drivers based on their behavior on the road. The technology aims to improve road safety, customize insurance premiums, and provide insights for driver training and risk management.

GlobalData’s analysis also uncovers the companies at the forefront of each innovation area and assesses the potential reach and impact of their patenting activity across different applications and geographies. According to GlobalData, there are 100+ companies, spanning technology vendors, established insurance companies, and up-and-coming start-ups engaged in the development and application of AI in driver risk profiling.

Key players in AI in driver risk profiling – a disruptive innovation in the insurance industry

‘Application diversity’ measures the number of applications identified for each patent. It broadly splits companies into either ‘niche’ or ‘diversified’ innovators.  

‘Geographic reach’ refers to the number of countries each patent is registered in. It reflects the breadth of geographic application intended, ranging from ‘global’ to ‘local’. 

Patent volumes related to AI in driver risk profiling

Company Total patents (2010 - 2022) Premium intelligence on the world's largest companies
State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance 409 Unlock Company Profile
Cox Enterprises 92 Unlock Company Profile
INRIX 88 Unlock Company Profile
The Allstate 73 Unlock Company Profile
Alphabet 62 Unlock Company Profile
Sony Group 57 Unlock Company Profile
Expanse Bioinformatics 52 Unlock Company Profile
Toyota Motor 45 Unlock Company Profile
Intel 34 Unlock Company Profile
Cambridge Mobile Telematics 29 Unlock Company Profile
Greater Than 28 Unlock Company Profile
23andMe 27 Unlock Company Profile
Flex 24 Unlock Company Profile
Verisk Analytics 21 Unlock Company Profile
Ford Motor 20 Unlock Company Profile
Swiss Re Asia Pacific 20 Unlock Company Profile
Didi Global 18 Unlock Company Profile
NetraDyne 18 Unlock Company Profile
Zendrive 18 Unlock Company Profile
Honda Motor 17 Unlock Company Profile
The Hartford Financial Services Group 15 Unlock Company Profile
International Business Machines 15 Unlock Company Profile
General Motors 14 Unlock Company Profile
Swiss Re 14 Unlock Company Profile
USAA 12 Unlock Company Profile
Panasonic 12 Unlock Company Profile
Huawei Investment & Holding 12 Unlock Company Profile
Leonard Green & Partners 11 Unlock Company Profile
Hitachi 11 Unlock Company Profile
Nio 10 Unlock Company Profile
Denso 9 Unlock Company Profile
Guggenheim Credit Services 9 Unlock Company Profile
Tencent 9 Unlock Company Profile
Ricoh 7 Unlock Company Profile
Tata Sons 7 Unlock Company Profile
Nippon Telegraph and Telephone 6 Unlock Company Profile
Cognata 6 Unlock Company Profile
Optex 6 Unlock Company Profile
Octo Telematics 6 Unlock Company Profile
Stellantis 5 Unlock Company Profile
Lytx 5 Unlock Company Profile
Hyundai Motor 5 Unlock Company Profile
Kia 5 Unlock Company Profile
Aliphcom 5 Unlock Company Profile
Here 5 Unlock Company Profile
Yamaha Motor 4 Unlock Company Profile
SK on 4 Unlock Company Profile
Sumitomo Electric Industries 4 Unlock Company Profile
Thinkware 4 Unlock Company Profile
Accenture 4 Unlock Company Profile

Source: GlobalData Patent Analytics

Among the companies innovating in AI-based driver risk profiling, State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance, the largest auto insurance provider in the US, is one of the leading patent filers. Some of the patents filed by the company are related to advanced methods and systems of collecting and using telematics and other driving data to identify driving behavior and determine the risk profile and insurance pricing for an insured driver. Other prominent patent filers in the space include Cox Enterprises, INRIX, and Allstate.

In terms of application diversity, Zendrive held the top position, while Expanse Bioinformatics and 23andMe stood in second and third positions, respectively. By means of geographic reach, Expanse Bioinformatics leads the pack, followed by INRIX and Intel.

To further understand the key themes and technologies disrupting the insurance industry, access GlobalData’s latest thematic research report on Artificial Intelligence (AI) in Insurance.

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GlobalData, the leading provider of industry intelligence, provided the underlying data, research, and analysis used to produce this article.

GlobalData’s Patent Analytics tracks patent filings and grants from official offices around the world. Textual analysis and official patent classifications are used to group patents into key thematic areas and link them to specific companies across the world’s largest industries.