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: Video telematics. 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, 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

Video telematics is a key innovation area in Internet of Things

A comprehensive picture of a connected car is provided by video telematics, which combines video equipment with vehicle analytics. Video telematics gathers information through the IoT about the location of the vehicle, motor diagnostics, fuel usage, and overall vehicle health. It also keeps track of activities inside and outside the car, including the actions of the driver and other road users as well as the surrounding landscape. It is frequently used as a component of driver safety and fleet management programs and uses sensors and dashcams to provide visibility into driving behavior.

IoT is used for real-time data transfer which is used by insurers to develop more accurate and personalized insurance policies, reduce risk, and improve overall safety for policyholders. With IoT-enabled video telematics, insurers can leverage data to provide better services and more accurate risk assessments.

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 40 companies, spanning technology vendors, established insurance companies, and up-and-coming start-ups engaged in the development and application of video telematics.

Key players in video telematics – 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 video telematics

Company Total patents (2010 - 2022) Premium intelligence on the world's largest companies
State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance 217 Unlock Company Profile
SoftBank Group 136 Unlock Company Profile
Flex 113 Unlock Company Profile
Alphabet 59 Unlock Company Profile
Ping An Insurance (Group) Company of China 49 Unlock Company Profile
Allstate 39 Unlock Company Profile
Pictometry International 37 Unlock Company Profile
USAA 34 Unlock Company Profile
Tractable 24 Unlock Company Profile
Clearlake Capital Group 20 Unlock Company Profile
Baidu 18 Unlock Company Profile
International Business Machines 18 Unlock Company Profile
Zendrive 18 Unlock Company Profile
NetraDyne 16 Unlock Company Profile
Lear 16 Unlock Company Profile
Mitchell International 15 Unlock Company Profile
Hartford Financial Services Group 13 Unlock Company Profile
Leonard Green & Partners 12 Unlock Company Profile
Theator 11 Unlock Company Profile
Toyota Motor 10 Unlock Company Profile
Yembo 9 Unlock Company Profile
Cox Enterprises 9 Unlock Company Profile
American International Group (AIG) 9 Unlock Company Profile
Toronto-Dominion Bank 8 Unlock Company Profile
Vista Equity Partners 8 Unlock Company Profile
Conduent 8 Unlock Company Profile
Nauto 8 Unlock Company Profile
Mile Auto 8 Unlock Company Profile
Taikang Insurance Group 7 Unlock Company Profile
CoreLogic 7 Unlock Company Profile
ReviverMx 7 Unlock Company Profile
Hyundai Motor Group 6 Unlock Company Profile
Travelers Companies 6 Unlock Company Profile
Geomni 6 Unlock Company Profile
Loveland Innovations 6 Unlock Company Profile
Continental 6 Unlock Company Profile
Ant Group 5 Unlock Company Profile
Accenture 5 Unlock Company Profile
MiTAC Holdings 5 Unlock Company Profile
SZ DJI Technology 5 Unlock Company Profile

Source: GlobalData Patent Analytics

Alphabet is one of the leading patent filers in video telematics. The company’s technology tracks the vehicle's motions and records information about changes in speed, lanes, and distance between two vehicles. The vehicle may also record information about fuel, brake, and throttle usage. The data gathered may also be used to analyze different driver preferences. Alphabet uses cameras, GPS, lasers, and acoustic sensor systems, among others to capture the vehicle's telematics. Some other key patent filers in video telematics include State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance, SoftBank Group, Allstate, Flex, and Ping An Insurance. 

In terms of application diversity, Flex heads the list, with Hyundai Motor Group and Pictometry International in the second and third positions, respectively. By means of geographic reach, Alphabet holds the top position, followed by Cox Enterprises and Vista Equity Partners. 

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.