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: Insurance claims handling platforms

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 

Insurance claims handling platforms is a key innovation area in insurance 

Insurance claims management systems are employed by insurance companies and agencies to assist agents in handling their clients' claims. It primarily facilitates the data and knowledge required for analysing claims through the use of a consolidated record system. 

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 90+ companies, spanning technology vendors, established insurance companies, and up-and-coming start-ups engaged in the development and application of insurance claims handling platforms. 

Key players in insurance claims handling platforms – 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 insurance claims handling platforms

Company Total patents (2010 - 2021) Premium intelligence on the world's largest companies
State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance 268 Unlock company profile
SoftBank Group 188 Unlock company profile
Ping An Insurance (Group) Company of China 96 Unlock company profile
Clearlake Capital Group 96 Unlock company profile
INRIX 83 Unlock company profile
Allstate 63 Unlock company profile
Hartford Financial Services Group 57 Unlock company profile
Flex 49 Unlock company profile
USAA 44 Unlock company profile
Toronto-Dominion Bank 42 Unlock company profile
Swiss Re Asia Pacific 34 Unlock company profile
Discovery Holdings 32 Unlock company profile
Black Hills IP 27 Unlock company profile
International Business Machines 21 Unlock company profile
Uber Technologies 20 Unlock company profile
Leeo 20 Unlock company profile
Didi Global 18 Unlock company profile
Viavi Solutions 18 Unlock company profile
Sonos 18 Unlock company profile
Samsung Life Insurance 17 Unlock company profile
CoreLogic 17 Unlock company profile
Booking Holdings 15 Unlock company profile
Aon 14 Unlock company profile
VeriFone 14 Unlock company profile
RELX 14 Unlock company profile
Hyundai Motor Group 13 Unlock company profile
Greater Than 13 Unlock company profile
Eagle View Technologies 13 Unlock company profile
Sony Group 12 Unlock company profile
MS&AD Insurance Group Holdings 12 Unlock company profile
Hitachi 11 Unlock company profile
Taikang Insurance Group 11 Unlock company profile
Accenture 11 Unlock company profile
Toshiba 11 Unlock company profile
Swiss Reinsurance 11 Unlock company profile
Pictometry International 11 Unlock company profile
EagleView Technologies 11 Unlock company profile
Panasonic 10 Unlock company profile
Owl Cameras 10 Unlock company profile
Sensata Technologies Holding 10 Unlock company profile
American International Group (AIG) 10 Unlock company profile
Alphabet 10 Unlock company profile
Berkshire Hathaway 10 Unlock company profile
MetLife 10 Unlock company profile
Swiss Re 10 Unlock company profile
Huawei Investment & Holding 10 Unlock company profile
Crawford Group 10 Unlock company profile
Yembo 9 Unlock company profile
Samsung Group 9 Unlock company profile
Bank of America 9 Unlock company profile

Source: GlobalData Patent Analytics

Clearlake Capital Group is one of the leading patent filers in systems and methods for mobile image capture and processing. When processing an insurance claim, their technology assesses if a document is pertinent to the claim and, if it is, sends the image data and the information extracted to a remote server for claims processing. The picture capturing and processing methods also make it easier to file insurance claims and/or medical records by providing a variety of extra features that can be utilised separately or together. Some other key patent filers in the industry include State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance, SoftBank Group, Ping An Insurance, INRIX, and Allstate. 

In terms of application diversity, Flex tops the list, with INRIX and Clearlake Capital Group in the second and third positions, respectively. By means of geographic reach, Discovery Holdings holds the top position, followed by Owl Cameras and Alphabet. 

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.