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 cloud innovations, 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: 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, 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

Vehicle forensic analysis is a key innovation area in insurance

Insurance companies can evaluate the liability and damages of a claim by using vehicle forensic analysis, which is essential for figuring out the right settlement amount. Vehicle forensic analysis entails inspecting the car's essential parts, including the tyres, steering system, and brakes. The information gathered can also assist insurers in determining whether the vehicle had any previous damage or wear and tear that might have contributed to the collision. Additionally, it can aid in finding any fraudulent claims, which is a rising issue in the insurance industry.

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 Automobile Insurance is one of the leading patent filers in systems and methods for the reconstruction of vehicular crashes. The company’s 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 systems 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 the second and third positions, respectively. By means of geographic reach, Alphabet holds the top position, followed by Leonard Green & Partners 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.