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 Innovation in Insurance: Video telematics.
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
Video telematics is a key innovation area in insurance
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 Internet of Things (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. Video telematics is frequently used as a component of driver safety and fleet management programs and uses sensors and dashcams to provide visibility into driving behavior.
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 - 2021)||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.