Exploring The Future Of Insurance

Uwe Hofstaetter

The insurance industry is evolving quickly. New technology and innovative solutions are providing consumers with much more than a basic policy that sits in a drawer and is sought after only when they need to file a claim. Today’s insurance industry is far-reaching, providing a wide variety of services to consumers. Insurance has become a life service.

Insurance is transforming as innovation continues

Insurance is evolving from a service that provides help when a problem occurs to a tool that helps prevent the problem in the first place. Insurance is helping people live healthier lives, enjoy safer homes, avoid vehicle accidents, and much more.

Predicting risks helps reduce loss

Information allows insurance companies to assess situations with real-time data and lessen the potential damage from natural disasters. For example, over the previous few years, devastating hurricanes have hit the United States and other areas of the world. However, the amount of destruction and the number of lives lost has decreased due to better use of data. According to Bob Cummings, head of the insurance industry business unit at SAP, data and technology behind the scenes are helping make this possible. In the “S.M.A.C. Talk Technology” podcast, he explains, “This is just because we’ve been able to protect much more, and much of that protection actually is thanks to technology, thanks to data, thanks to sensor technologies which allow us to have early warning systems.”

Zillow Research indicates that in Florida alone, $400 billion in real estate value is at risk from climate change by the year 2100. Analyzing and assessing data could help reduce this loss significantly. Today’s innovative technology is leading the way.

Companies can innovate and still reduce privacy risks

A key concern with innovation in the insurance industry is privacy. A survey from On Device Research for Mobile Ecosystems Forum found that 70 percent of Americans, and 62 percent of people globally, are worried about privacy and the Internet of Things.

There’s no doubt that the insurance industry has an unnerving amount of access to a person’s private information. Consider, for example, a watch that monitors a person’s pulse, or a device that constantly gathers information about their level of physical fitness. These devices can help health insurers provide more cost-effective policies to healthy patients and guide to others to obtain health care before life-threatening conditions arise. Yet there is a privacy concern here. Can data stream in and still be protected?

“I would say even most importantly, wrap it in-iron clad security so that this data really stays within its business context and its business model and is not available to other areas. This is probably our fastest growing area,” says Bob Cummings in the podcast. In many ways, the technology that’s now transforming this data into usable information is becoming some of most sophisticated from a security perspective. That’s good news for both consumers and insurance companies: It reduces risks, enhances access to usable data, and ensures privacy.

Harnessing data has never been easier

Just a few decades ago, insurance companies could not access data to accurately predict risk with consumers. Today, that data is available in many forms. Consumers wear smartwatches that stream data. Mobile connectivity through smartphone apps has exploded. New technology is synthesizing patient data to make it usable in real time.

Consumers benefit first and foremost when insurers have data from such technological advances and connection points. Weather data can help predict storms. Smart home technology can save lives by monitoring carbon monoxide levels.

While IoT, machine learning, and predictive analytics technologies help consumers, they also help mitigate risks to insurance companies. Insurers can provide better service to consumers and work to improve systems and offer health guidance to minimize claims. With privacy solutions built in, consumers can feel confident that sharing their personal information will benefit them in both the short and long term. In this way, technology empowers insurance companies, brokers, agents, and industry leaders to provide a life service.

Where will the insurance industry go from here?

It is an exciting time to be in the insurance industry. New resources and tools are becoming available as companies explore innovative ways to meet the needs of their customers. To explore the innovation and changes occurring and how your company can adapt to them, take a few minutes to listen to the full podcast from SAP’s Bob Cummings at S.M.A.C. Talk Technology.

Hear the full podcast episode here. Learn how to bring new technologies and services together to power digital transformation by downloading The Future Services Sector: Connected Services for Continuous Delivery.