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 Internet of Things in Insurance: Vehicle forensic analysis

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, remote metering networks and vehicle image capturing sensors are disruptive technologies that are in the early stages of application and should be tracked closely. Vehicle anti-theft systems, fall detection sensing alarms, and vehicle navigation telematics are some of the accelerating innovation areas, where adoption has been steadily increasing. Among maturing innovation areas are property surveillance drones and intrusion sensing IoT networks, which are now well established in the industry.  

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

Vehicle forensic analysis is a key innovation area in Internet of Things 

The practice of recovering digital evidence or data from a vehicle's modules, networks, and communications transferred across operating systems is known as digital vehicle forensics. For instance, in the event of an automobile accident, insurers use forensic examination of the black box to determine if the driver was at fault and help prevent car insurance fraud. 

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 vehicle forensic analysis. 

Key players in vehicle forensic analysis – 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 vehicle forensic analysis

Company Total patents (2010 - 2021) Premium intelligence on the world's largest companies
State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance 238 Unlock company profile
Alphabet 59 Unlock company profile
Allstate 52 Unlock company profile
Flex 49 Unlock company profile
Ford Motor 20 Unlock company profile
Panasonic 11 Unlock company profile
Sony Group 10 Unlock company profile
International Business Machines 8 Unlock company profile
Honda Motor 8 Unlock company profile
Leonard Green & Partners 6 Unlock company profile
MiTAC Holdings 5 Unlock company profile
Zendrive 5 Unlock company profile

Source: GlobalData Patent Analytics

State Farm Mutual is one of the leading patent filers in systems and methods for reconstruction of a vehicular crash. Their systems detect an imminent crash and notify other sensors immediately. As a result, there is an improvement in both the speed and precision of spotting an impending vehicle collision. The system may additionally make use of car occupant positional data, internal sensor data, and exterior sensor data to anticipate future vehicle crashes, take appropriate action, automatically activate autonomous or semi-autonomous vehicle features, and/or rebuild the collision virtually. 

Some other key patent filers in the vehicle forensic analysis industry include Alphabet, Allstate, Flex, Ford Motor, and Panasonic

In terms of application diversity, Flex heads the list, with MiTAC and Zendrive in second and third positions, respectively. By means of geographic reach, Alphabet holds the top position, followed by Leonard Green & Partner and Sony Group

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.