The insurance industry continues to be a hotbed of patent innovation. Activity is driven by digitalization, personalization, and growing importance of technologies such as artificial intelligence (AI), Internet of Things, and cybersecurity in insurance documentation and data analytics, predictive risk assessment, fraud detection, and smart policy management. In the last three years alone, there have been over 17,000 patents filed and granted in the insurance industry, according to GlobalData’s report on Artificial intelligence in insurance: AI-assisted underwriting. 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 stabilizing 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.
20+ 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 70,000 patents, there are 20+ innovation areas that will shape the future of the industry.
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Within the emerging innovation stage, underwriting AI, predictive risk analysis, and insurance documentation AI are disruptive technologies that are in the early stages of application and should be tracked closely. Insurance fraud detection AI, smart policy management, and smart vehicle damage assessment are some of the accelerating innovation areas, where adoption has been steadily increasing. Among maturing innovation areas is automated weather forecasting, which is now well established in the industry.
Innovation S-curve for artificial intelligence in the insurance industry
Underwriting AI is a key innovation area in artificial intelligence
Underwriting AI refers to the use of artificial intelligence and data processing techniques by insurers to facilitate and ease the underwriting process. It involves analyzing and modeling data to assess risks, determine insurance premiums, and make informed decisions regarding policy approvals or rejections. By leveraging advanced algorithms and machine learning, underwriting AI enhances accuracy, efficiency, and automation in the underwriting process.
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 330+ companies, spanning technology vendors, established insurance companies, and up-and-coming start-ups engaged in the development and application of underwriting AI.
Key players in underwriting AI – a disruptive innovation in the insurance industry
‘Application diversity’ measures the number of applications identified for each patent. It broadly splits companies into either ‘niche’ or ‘diversified’ innovators.
‘Geographic reach’ refers to the number of countries each patent is registered in. It reflects the breadth of geographic application intended, ranging from ‘global’ to ‘local’.
Patent volumes related to underwriting AI
|Company||Total patents (2010 - 2022)||Premium intelligence on the world's largest companies|
|Ping An Insurance (Group)||598||Unlock Company Profile|
|State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance||228||Unlock Company Profile|
|Alibaba Group||181||Unlock Company Profile|
|Taikang Insurance Group||157||Unlock Company Profile|
|The Allstate||115||Unlock Company Profile|
|Cox Enterprises||92||Unlock Company Profile|
|INRIX||88||Unlock Company Profile|
|Advanced New Technologies||81||Unlock Company Profile|
|The Hartford Financial Services Group||78||Unlock Company Profile|
|International Business Machines||61||Unlock Company Profile|
|LyondellBasell Industries||55||Unlock Company Profile|
|Expanse Bioinformatics||52||Unlock Company Profile|
|Ant Group||47||Unlock Company Profile|
|Tractable||47||Unlock Company Profile|
|China Investment||43||Unlock Company Profile|
|Pictometry International||42||Unlock Company Profile|
|China Life Insurance (Group)||32||Unlock Company Profile|
|Sony Group||31||Unlock Company Profile|
|Apogee Technology||31||Unlock Company Profile|
|The Travelers||30||Unlock Company Profile|
|KBC Group||28||Unlock Company Profile|
|Accenture||28||Unlock Company Profile|
|23andMe||27||Unlock Company Profile|
|Taikang Pension Insurance||27||Unlock Company Profile|
|Flex||24||Unlock Company Profile|
|UnitedHealth Group||23||Unlock Company Profile|
|Black Hills IP||23||Unlock Company Profile|
|eBay||23||Unlock Company Profile|
|Baidu||19||Unlock Company Profile|
|Yembo||19||Unlock Company Profile|
|China Ping An Property and Casualty||19||Unlock Company Profile|
|Swiss Re Asia Pacific||17||Unlock Company Profile|
|The Toronto-Dominion Bank||16||Unlock Company Profile|
|Swiss Re||15||Unlock Company Profile|
|Hitachi||15||Unlock Company Profile|
|Healthy io||15||Unlock Company Profile|
|General Motors||14||Unlock Company Profile|
|Theator||14||Unlock Company Profile|
|Aon||14||Unlock Company Profile|
|Capital One Financial||14||Unlock Company Profile|
|Sunshine Insurance Group||13||Unlock Company Profile|
|The People's Insurance (Group)||13||Unlock Company Profile|
|American Well||13||Unlock Company Profile|
|Assurant||12||Unlock Company Profile|
|Cerebri AI||12||Unlock Company Profile|
|Vista Equity Partners||12||Unlock Company Profile|
|USAA||12||Unlock Company Profile|
|Guidewire Software||11||Unlock Company Profile|
|Owl Cameras||11||Unlock Company Profile|
|Sensata Technologies||11||Unlock Company Profile|
Source: GlobalData Patent Analytics
Ping An Insurance (Group) is one of the leading patent filers in underwriting AI. It has been at the forefront in utilizing advanced technologies such as AI, cloud, and big data to drive operational efficiencies, improve underwriting and claims management procedures, and minimize security risks. Ping An OneConnect is an AI-powered service platform for insurance companies to access and analyze large amounts of data from multiple sources quickly and accurately, and optimize risk control in underwriting and claim settlement.
In terms of application diversity, Theator held the top position, while INRIX and Healthy io stood in second and third positions, respectively. By means of geographic reach, Expanse Bioinformatics leads the pack, followed by Tractable and INRIX.
To further understand the key themes and technologies disrupting the insurance industry, access GlobalData’s latest thematic research report on Artificial Intelligence (AI) in Insurance.