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: smart policy management. 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

Smart policy management is a key innovation area in artificial intelligence

Smart policy management refers to the use of advanced technologies, such as machine learning and image processing, to automate and optimize various aspects of insurance policy management. It involves the training and use of machine learning models to analyze data, such as images and text, to make informed decisions and perform tasks related to insurance policies. These technologies enable efficient underwriting processes, accurate determination of damage to property, verification of vehicle odometer mileage, submission of insurance claims, generation of insurance data and policies, processing of image data for vehicle damage assessment, and depiction of vehicle information in augmented reality.

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 50+ companies, spanning technology vendors, established insurance companies, and up-and-coming start-ups engaged in the development and application of smart policy management.

Key players in smart policy management – 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 smart policy management

Company Total patents (2010 - 2022) Premium intelligence on the world's largest companies
Ping An Insurance (Group) 85 Unlock Company Profile
Clearlake Capital Group 81 Unlock Company Profile
State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance 35 Unlock Company Profile
Taikang Insurance Group 31 Unlock Company Profile
Alibaba Group 20 Unlock Company Profile
Visa 19 Unlock Company Profile
Paperclip 19 Unlock Company Profile
The Allstate 18 Unlock Company Profile
KBC Group 17 Unlock Company Profile
LyondellBasell Industries 13 Unlock Company Profile
Ant Group 12 Unlock Company Profile
Curiteva 9 Unlock Company Profile
Tempus Labs 9 Unlock Company Profile
Samsung Life Insurance 8 Unlock Company Profile
Mitek Systems 8 Unlock Company Profile
Laboratory Corp of America 8 Unlock Company Profile
Capital One Financial 7 Unlock Company Profile
Accenture 6 Unlock Company Profile
Advanced New Technologies 5 Unlock Company Profile
The Travelers 5 Unlock Company Profile
IAA 5 Unlock Company Profile
First American Financial 5 Unlock Company Profile
Vehcon 4 Unlock Company Profile
UnitedHealth Group 4 Unlock Company Profile
AIMS 4 Unlock Company Profile
China Merchants Bank 3 Unlock Company Profile
The Toronto-Dominion Bank 3 Unlock Company Profile
Bank of America 3 Unlock Company Profile
China Investment 3 Unlock Company Profile
USAA 3 Unlock Company Profile
FMR 2 Unlock Company Profile
SAP 2 Unlock Company Profile
Taikang Pension Insurance 2 Unlock Company Profile
Sunshine Insurance Group 2 Unlock Company Profile
Fujifilm 2 Unlock Company Profile
Incar Financial Services 2 Unlock Company Profile
DataInfoCom USA 2 Unlock Company Profile
China Ping An Property and Casualty 2 Unlock Company Profile
Shandong Zhongyang Haigong Construction Engineering 1 Unlock Company Profile
Shanghai Eye Control Technology 1 Unlock Company Profile
Mitchell International 1 Unlock Company Profile
Chengdu Knowledge Vision Technology 1 Unlock Company Profile
Discovery 1 Unlock Company Profile
Huawei Investment & Holding 1 Unlock Company Profile
GMS 1 Unlock Company Profile
Centene 1 Unlock Company Profile
The People's Insurance (Group) 1 Unlock Company Profile
CoreLogic 1 Unlock Company Profile
Aon 1 Unlock Company Profile
athenahealth 1 Unlock Company Profile

Source: GlobalData Patent Analytics

Ping An Insurance (Group) is one of the top patent filers in AI-driven technologies for smart policy management. The company uses advanced AI technologies such as deep learning, data mining, biometric identification, and natural language processing to automate and improve the efficiency of the entire policy management system, from risk assessment and policy underwriting to evidence verification and claims processing.

Some of the other leading innovators in the smart policy management space include Clearlake Capital, State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance, and Taikang Insurance.

In terms of application diversity, Clearlake Capital held the top position, while Curiteva and Capital One Financial stood in second and third positions, respectively. By means of geographic reach, Clearlake Capital leads the pack, followed by Paperclip and Visa.

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.