Improved customer experience, real-time services and new business models. These are opportunities insurance companies can embrace once they begin leveraging data insights. According to three industry experts at our recent T/F/D panel discussion focused on the impact of disruptive and emerging technologies on insurance, data is being unlocked to transform the industry.

Insurers have historically been big data collectors and sit on substantial volumes of information. However, with the growth of online information and machine learning, they can now leverage these large data sets in ways previously unimaginable. And this is something that promises to massively disrupt the market.

Based on our ‘Insurance & Disruptive Technologies’ panel discussion, below are five ways data is disrupting the industry:

  1. Access to real-time insights: AppyParking CEO Dan Hubert believes access to data in real-time will enable faster transactions, which will in turn affect the type and number of services on offer by insurance companies. An application includes the placement and use of dash cams, for example, in vehicles to be able to gather traffic data in real-time which can be used for insurance purposes.
  2. Valuing the importance of context: for Stuart Woods, VP of Geospatial Content Solutions at Hexagon Geosystems, tech automation plays a key part in the way services can be improved. Companies that are in possession of data should know the needs of a particular customer in a particular location, without them having to select and navigate a lengthy process of forms. Furthermore, by having access to contextual or regionalised data, insurers can use this information to directly benefit the needs of each individual client at any given time offering them tailored services depending on their circumstances.
  3. Ability to predict and meet customer needs: there’s a goldmine of data lying in paper and areas in which insurance giants can partner-up with tech companies to unlock its value, says Adapt Ready Co-Founder and CTO Sandeep Chandur. Data can help make sense of who the customer is and where insurance services will ultimately be needed. It’s the ability to alert insurers that they have a client that will be filing a claim in the near future due to an unexpected event such as a natural disaster. “This is a very important area where we have been able to help, enabling insurance companies to support the customer and mitigate losses.”
  4. Advance towards new business models: insurers have traditionally kept at a distance from their customers, with brokers as mediators. However, new models are being introduced thanks to technology and real-time data which allow insurance companies to get closer and directly connect with their end-users. Improved customer experience and different payments systems, such as monthly subscriptions based on personal needs, are also possible and stand to drastically disrupt the existing models.
  5. Potential for new industry players: Dan Hubert states that the large volume and access to personal data collected by today’s tech giants, such as Apple and Google, could potentially turn them into insurers overnight. “The lesson for us from an insurance perspective is that we need to start bringing talent and machines to use the data we’re currently sitting on,” says Dan. Tech companies can potentially leverage their knowledge to offer individuals tailored insurance services.

Understanding and combining technologies such as blockchain, IoT and AI, will be key in guiding the industry in the right direction. Both existing data and data collected through these technologies will help insurers understand where risks are moving in near real-time and offer them the opportunity to not only improve their services, but create a mind-shift in the way consumers view and experience insurance.

Insurance & Disruptive Technologies Panellists

Dan Hubert is the CEO of AppyParking, a business that builds smart parking solutions using geospatial technology. AppyParking is backed by insurance multi-national Aviva and is helping them develop services based on city mapping that allow, for example, service bundles.

Sandeep Chandur is the Co-Founder and CTO of Adapt Ready, US-based insurtech start-up that’s developed a risk intelligence platform that provides a 360-degree view of complex risk by harnessing external data.

Stuart Woods is VP of Geospatial Content Solutions at Hexagon Geosystems, reality-capture solutions provider that’s currently transforming the insurance industry by providing smart mobile reality capture solutions for rail, roads, utilities and smart cities, meaning insurers can get more accurate, up-to-date spatial data to perform risk.

Stay tuned for more content from the T/F/D Insurance & Disruptive Technologies panel discussion and connect with us on Twitter, Instagram and LinkedIn.