The insurance industry continues to be a hotbed of innovation, with activity driven by growing demand for digitalization and personalization. With the 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 Internet of Things in Insurance: Remote vehicle maintenance monitoring. 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 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, vehicle image capturing sensors, building automation networks, and remote metering networks are disruptive technologies that are in the early stages of application and should be tracked closely. Vehicle navigation telematics, building health monitoring, and digital twins are some of the accelerating innovation areas, where adoption has been steadily increasing. Among maturing innovation areas are location-sensitive alarms and automated anti-theft alarms, which are now well established in the industry. 

Innovation S-curve for Internet of Things in the insurance industry

Remote vehicle maintenance monitoring is a key innovation area in Internet of Things

Remote vehicle maintenance monitoring systems are predominantly used by businesses to track the movements of their vehicles, especially trucks, and trailers. They are also referred to as fleet management systems when used exclusively for commercial vehicles. Remote vehicle maintenance monitoring systems provide location tracking, monitor driving behavior, track fuel consumption, and enable users to save time, resources, and effort, apart from increasing control and safety and lowering management costs through more automation and less human operation.

The IoT has a critical role in remote vehicle maintenance monitoring, which has implications for insurers. IoT devices collect real-time data from vehicles and transmit it to a centralized system for analysis. Insurers can use this data to offer more personalized insurance policies, reduce risk and provide proactive maintenance services. This technology benefits policyholders by providing real-time data on vehicle health, resulting in reduced costs and improved safety.

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 60+ companies, spanning technology vendors, established insurance companies, and up-and-coming start-ups engaged in the development and application of remote vehicle maintenance monitoring.

Key players in remote vehicle maintenance monitoring – 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 remote vehicle maintenance monitoring

Company Total patents (2010 - 2022) Premium intelligence on the world's largest companies
State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance 437 Unlock Company Profile
Allstate 240 Unlock Company Profile
INRIX 83 Unlock Company Profile
Cambridge Mobile Telematics 56 Unlock Company Profile
SoftBank Group 49 Unlock Company Profile
Flex 49 Unlock Company Profile
Intel 33 Unlock Company Profile
Ford Motor 30 Unlock Company Profile
Hartford Financial Services Group 30 Unlock Company Profile
Sony Group 28 Unlock Company Profile
Discovery 25 Unlock Company Profile
Greater Than 25 Unlock Company Profile
Verisk Analytics 24 Unlock Company Profile
USAA 20 Unlock Company Profile
Allianz 20 Unlock Company Profile
Toyota Motor 19 Unlock Company Profile
International Business Machines 18 Unlock Company Profile
Swiss Re Asia Pacific 17 Unlock Company Profile
Lear 16 Unlock Company Profile
Leonard Green & Partners 15 Unlock Company Profile
Intellectual Ventures Management 15 Unlock Company Profile
Appy Risk Technologies 14 Unlock Company Profile
RELX 14 Unlock Company Profile
Panasonic 13 Unlock Company Profile
Zendrive 13 Unlock Company Profile
Hitachi 13 Unlock Company Profile
NetraDyne 12 Unlock Company Profile
Huawei Investment & Holding 12 Unlock Company Profile
Viavi Solutions 12 Unlock Company Profile
Hyundai Motor Group 11 Unlock Company Profile
Progressive 11 Unlock Company Profile
Samsung Group 11 Unlock Company Profile
BlackBerry 10 Unlock Company Profile
Mile Auto 10 Unlock Company Profile
JC&C Bowers 10 Unlock Company Profile
AT&T 9 Unlock Company Profile
Mitchell International 9 Unlock Company Profile
Porsche Automobil Holding SE 9 Unlock Company Profile
Tencent Holdings 9 Unlock Company Profile
General Motors 9 Unlock Company Profile
Denso 9 Unlock Company Profile
Guggenheim Credit Services 9 Unlock Company Profile
Pioneer 8 Unlock Company Profile
Kia 8 Unlock Company Profile
Travelers Companies 8 Unlock Company Profile
Swiss Reinsurance 8 Unlock Company Profile
Smartcar 8 Unlock Company Profile
Toshiba 7 Unlock Company Profile
Verizon Patent And Licensing 7 Unlock Company Profile
Octo Telematics 7 Unlock Company Profile

Source: GlobalData Patent Analytics

Cambridge Mobile Telematics is one of the leading patent filers in remote vehicle maintenance monitoring. The company’s system collects vehicle telematics data using a sensor tag that is attached to the vehicle. It has a battery to power the tag and a processor that analyses accelerometer data using executable code. The processor is managed by an accelerometer, which also detects the acceleration of the tag and subsequently of the vehicle. The mobile communication gadget collects GPS information, combines it with acceleration data, and sends it to a server for analysis.

Some other key patent filers in the industry include Allstate, INRIX, State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance, SoftBank Group, and Flex. 

In terms of application diversity, INRIX heads the list, with Flex and Intel in the second and third positions, respectively. By means of geographic reach, Discovery holds the top position, followed by Allianz and JC&C Bowers. 

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