Insurtech firms point the way to major changes in the insurance industry with their Internet of Things offerings

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The innovative insurance solutions that start-ups are building around the Internet of Things (IoT) show the huge potential of this important technology. They also indicate how insurers will need to change to become successful in future.

The Internet of Things (IoT) offers insurers huge opportunities to improve and diversify their products and services. And insurtech firms have been quick to capitalize.

Investment in insurtech firms developing connected insurance solutions has grown almost twice as fast as the funding of the whole insurtech sector during the past few years. Between 2011 and 2015, according to researcher Venture Scanner, it achieved an impressive compound annual growth rate of 97 percent.

Smart start-ups are devising a wide range of innovative insurance solutions that combine the data-gathering power of the IoT with the number-crunching ability of sophisticated data analytics. They’re often at the forefront of the development of new business models that deliver highly-personalized, real-time insurance and risk management services.

Such innovation provides established insurers with insight into the capabilities of the IoT. More importantly, it gives them a glimpse of how they will have to change to be successful in future. Business agility; high-volume, real-time data analysis; close affinity with customers; diverse risk solutions; and strategic partnerships across digital ecosystems are likely to be the hallmarks of successful insurers in the next decade. The IoT will be the catalyst for much of this transformation. Other highly influential technologies, as I mentioned in earlier blog posts, will be artificial intelligence and blockchain.

Insurtech firms are harnessing the potential of the IoT to deliver smart solutions across the automotive, health and home insurance sectors. Key IoT start-ups include:

Metromile: An early mover into the IoT environment, the US firm uses an on-board tracking device to monitor customers’ use of their vehicles. This enables Metromile to charge customers insurance fees according to their mileage. The company plans further services such as remote vehicle diagnostics and driver alerts.

TrueMotion: Formerly Censio, TrueMotion in the US provides insurers with a data analytics platform that uses data relayed from customers’ smartphones to monitor their driving behavior. This enables carriers to identify high-risk customers and reward safe drivers.

Oscar Health: IoT health insurance pioneer Oscar Health provides its customers with Misfit wearables to encourage them to get fit and stay healthy. It monitors biometric information gathered from these devices and rewards customers for healthy behavior.

Sureify: Originally a vehicle to teach millennials about life insurance, US firm Sureify has grown into a comprehensive life insurance platform that uses IoT technology and data to help carriers tailor products for young consumers.

Cocoon: This UK firm uses sophisticated sound-detection technology as well as cameras and motion sensors, combined with machine learning and IoT technology, to alert customers to the presence of intruders in their homes.

Notion: Multi-purpose sensors developed by this US firm are able to notify customers about movement, sound and temperature changes within their homes as well as alert them to a variety of other hazards such as water leaks and fires.

Neosurance: This Italian firm combines artificial intelligence with the IoT to prompt young consumers about suitable insurance products for their often changing circumstances. Its “just one swipe to get insured” short-period micro-insurance mobile app has won several industry awards.

In my next blog post, I’ll discuss some of the start-ups that are driving the development of blockchain solutions for the insurance industry. Until then, have a look at this link. I think you’ll find it useful.

Three technologies that are changing the financial services game.

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