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: predictive risk analysis. 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

Predictive risk analysis is a key innovation area in artificial intelligence

Predictive risk analysis through AI refers to the use of machine learning algorithms and other data processing techniques to identify and analyze patterns in large data sets related to potential risks that may arise in the future. The goal of predictive risk analysis is to enable insurers to proactively identify and mitigate potential risks before they actually occur.

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 260+ companies, spanning technology vendors, established insurance companies, and up-and-coming start-ups engaged in the development and application of predictive risk analysis.

Key players in predictive risk analysis – 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 predictive risk analysis

Company Total patents (2010 - 2022) Premium intelligence on the world's largest companies
Ping An Insurance (Group) 233 Unlock Company Profile
State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance 191 Unlock Company Profile
Alibaba Group 163 Unlock Company Profile
International Business Machines 110 Unlock Company Profile
The Allstate 98 Unlock Company Profile
Cox Enterprises 95 Unlock Company Profile
INRIX 88 Unlock Company Profile
Advanced New Technologies 78 Unlock Company Profile
Expanse Bioinformatics 52 Unlock Company Profile
Tractable 50 Unlock Company Profile
Accenture 42 Unlock Company Profile
The Hartford Financial Services Group 40 Unlock Company Profile
Taikang Insurance Group 30 Unlock Company Profile
Qomplx 29 Unlock Company Profile
Equifax 28 Unlock Company Profile
Capital One Financial 28 Unlock Company Profile
KBC Group 28 Unlock Company Profile
Swiss Re Asia Pacific 27 Unlock Company Profile
23andMe 27 Unlock Company Profile
Mitchell International 26 Unlock Company Profile
China Investment 26 Unlock Company Profile
Baidu 25 Unlock Company Profile
UnitedHealth Group 25 Unlock Company Profile
Global Payments 24 Unlock Company Profile
Flex 24 Unlock Company Profile
Ant Group 23 Unlock Company Profile
Verisk Analytics 23 Unlock Company Profile
Aon 21 Unlock Company Profile
Lear 19 Unlock Company Profile
Yembo 19 Unlock Company Profile
Hitachi 18 Unlock Company Profile
Swiss Re 17 Unlock Company Profile
The Toronto-Dominion Bank 17 Unlock Company Profile
Leidos 16 Unlock Company Profile
Zendrive 16 Unlock Company Profile
Johnson Controls International 16 Unlock Company Profile
SAP 14 Unlock Company Profile
The Travelers 13 Unlock Company Profile
USAA 13 Unlock Company Profile
General Motors 13 Unlock Company Profile
CVS Health 12 Unlock Company Profile
OptumHealth Care Solutions 12 Unlock Company Profile
Leonard Green & Partners 12 Unlock Company Profile
Cerebri AI 12 Unlock Company Profile
Samsung Group 12 Unlock Company Profile
Didi Global 11 Unlock Company Profile
Express Scripts Insurance 11 Unlock Company Profile
Aioi Nissay Dowa Insurance Services USA 11 Unlock Company Profile
Visa 11 Unlock Company Profile
Samsung Life Insurance 11 Unlock Company Profile

Source: GlobalData Patent Analytics

Ping An Insurance (Group) is one of the leading patent filers in predictive risk analysis. The company developed an internal digital risk system using AI to assess insurance risk and prevent financial losses. Combining data points from multiple sources including Ping An’s own underwriting and claim records, the system employs cutting edge analytics engines and advanced technologies such as optical character recognition, natural language processing (NLP), and knowledge graphs to deliver a more thorough risk assessment.

Some of the other leading patent filers in the predictive risk analysis space include State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance, Alibaba Group, and IBM.

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

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.