The insurance industry continues to be a hotbed of innovation, with activity driven by growing demand for digitalisation and personalisation. With growing importance of technologies such as telematics, machine learning, big data, deep learning, and data science, insurers are overcoming demographic challenges, low penetration rates, cybercrimes and fraudulent claims. In the last three years alone, there have been over 11,000 patents filed and granted in the insurance industry, according to GlobalData’s report on Innovation in Insurance: Automated data annotation.

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 stabilising 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.

90 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 65,000 patents, there are 90 innovation areas that will shape the future of the industry.

Within the emerging innovation stage, property maintenance sensor networks and automated data annotation are disruptive technologies that are in the early stages of application and should be tracked closely. Fall detection sensing alarms, vehicle motion estimation, and building design risk analysis are some of the accelerating innovation areas, where adoption has been steadily increasing. Among maturing innovation areas are trip metering-based insurance and real-time fault monitoring systems, which are now well established in the industry.

Innovation S-curve for the insurance industry

Automated data annotation is a key innovation area in insurance

The process of labelling data is called data annotation. Data can be labelled manually or automatically using machine learning. Even with automation from machine learning, a person must supervise data annotation. In label assignment, the algorithm takes the feature vectors and assigns a class label or gives a probability that the input contains a particular class. For the classification algorithm to achieve this result, it needs to be trained on thousands of examples of this class of images.

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 10+ companies, spanning technology vendors, established insurance companies, and up-and-coming start-ups engaged in the development and application of automated data annotation.

Key players in automated data annotation – a disruptive innovation in the insurance industry

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

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

Patent volumes related to automated data annotation

Company Total patents (2010 - 2021) Premium intelligence on the world's largest companies
Ping An Insurance (Group) Company of China 84 Unlock company profile
Hartford Financial Services Group 39 Unlock company profile
Tractable 23 Unlock company profile
Paperclip 13 Unlock company profile
KBC Group 11 Unlock company profile
Aon 10 Unlock company profile
Addepar 10 Unlock company profile
Taikang Insurance Group 8 Unlock company profile
International Business Machines 6 Unlock company profile
Leonard Green & Partners 6 Unlock company profile
Berkshire Hathaway 5 Unlock company profile
Allstate 5 Unlock company profile
Parkland Center for Clinical Innovation 5 Unlock company profile

Source: GlobalData Patent Analytics

Ping An is one of the leading patent filers in automated data annotation. Their group insurance information table maintenance method creates a group insurance information table, which records basic information and employee level of an insured person, verifies and flags suspicious elements, configures insurance coverage, and updates an insurance policy. A system for maintaining group insurance information tables is also provided by the invention. Some other key patent filers in the automated data annotation industry include The Hartford Financial Services Group, Paperclip, KBC Group, and Aon.

In terms of application diversity, Tractable leads the pack, with Leonard Green & Partners and Allstate in the second and third positions, respectively. By means of geographic reach, KBC Group holds the top position, followed by Paperclip and The Parkland Center for Clinical Innovation.

To further understand the key themes and technologies disrupting the insurance industry, access GlobalData’s latest thematic research report on Insurance.

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.