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Chris Perini, Verisk
Chris Perini, Verisk
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How Insurers Can Adopt Advanced Mobile Technology

Mobile is more than mobile apps: Advanced cellular-based technology provides insurers with opportunities for better service and underwriting.

It's been said time and again (and again) how the insurance industry, with its cautious nature, tends to lag other industries in hopping on the next-big-thing technology bandwagon. However, unconventional applications of big data and predictive analytics will sooner than later become the norm in all industries, including insurance. Those applications will provide a new perspective on what we think of as the more foundational technology of risk management and analytics. Here are two examples that show how our personal, business, and online lives are only becoming larger parts of business platforms now and in the future:

Telematics, while seemingly cost-prohibitive for some carriers, is gradually gaining ground and breaking new ground. How? Take a look at a recent Ernst & Yount report, "The Quest for Telematics 4.0." A few interesting observations:

  • The U.S. will continue its lead with sales of approximately 16 million new cars with embedded telematics by 2025
  • the global telematics market is poised to hit approximately 104 million new cars with some form of connectivity by 2025
  • the penetration of integrated telematics will be driven by the growing importance of smartphones and regulations for driver safety

[Related: Why insurers must stop worrying and learn to love smartphone telematics]

While the origins of telematics are in safety and security, other functions, such as remote diagnostics and Internet radio, are adding to the value proposition. These are enabled by cellular, Bluetooth, and Wi-fi technology embedded in cars. Further fueling this trend is an explosion of smartphone apps that may be relevant in a car. Pay-as-you-drive may be just the first of other insurance-specific functions that ultimately may include many more competitively advantageous offerings that boost customer service and reduce costs.

Chris Perini, Verisk Analytics
Chris Perini, Verisk Analytics

Aerial imagery will soon be a viable alternative to exterior inspections and save insurers on the annual $100 million tab for them, according to Verisk analysis of carriers and their inspection programs. But that advancement won't address internal inspections. Can technology come to the rescue? Yes, with smartphones.

A smartphone can guide insurance buyers through a short tour around their homes to take photos and document the necessary information to complete an internal inspection. They can take photos of the kitchen, the breaker box or fuses, heating/AC unit, water heater, or any other component for which an insurer needs a visual image. Time stamping and geocoding embedded in the photo will ensure the photo is current and taken at the property address.

[Related: How Amica leverages advanced mapping]

And that's just homeowners. What about all the ways a smartphone can apply to commercial coverage?

Cautious insurers, take note: Mobile technology is fast becoming one of the most disruptive forces ever known, altering how customers do business and how business gets done. In future blogs, I'll share some views on other key elements of this trend for insurers -- the related disruptive effects of big data, predictive analytics, and risk assessment.

About the author: Chris Perini, CPCU, is vice president and chief marketing officer of Verisk Analytics.

[To learn more about new opportunities in mobility in financial services, register for Interop here and check out the “New Opportunities for Mobility: A Financial CIO/CTO Roundtable” session on October 3 in NYC.]

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HirenS976
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HirenS976,
User Rank: Apprentice
1/15/2014 | 7:15:49 AM
re: How Insurers Can Adopt Advanced Mobile Technology
In year 2013 we have tested and initiated major Mobility initiative. In few month after rollout we have started seeing clear advantage and business benefits.

You can visit our Mobile Application at Google Play store. Search for "ICICI Lombard".

Please share your view...
Cara Latham
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Cara Latham,
User Rank: Apprentice
10/1/2013 | 3:21:22 AM
re: How Insurers Can Adopt Advanced Mobile Technology
That would be useful! When I had to fill out my homeowners renewal form this year, I had to call the company and ask for help in trying to determine the dimensions and other categories into which my home fit. It would have been easier for me to just use a GPS and send in the data.
llogan
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llogan,
User Rank: Apprentice
9/30/2013 | 6:23:16 PM
re: How Insurers Can Adopt Advanced Mobile Technology
SpinCam records 360-degree 'spin' images, which can be included in consumer apps or for claims. Shows more 'you are there' context of a scene, or can circle around a vehicle to record all sides in one image. http://spotmetrix.s3.amazonaws...
Nathan Golia
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Nathan Golia,
User Rank: Author
9/25/2013 | 10:30:10 AM
re: How Insurers Can Adopt Advanced Mobile Technology
A homeowners' insurance CIO I work with fairly regularly has often suggested going a step further, combining the video capability of smartphone cameras with their GPSes to create a dynamic floor plan of a home. In many ways, still photos are just the beginning.
Becca L
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Becca L,
User Rank: Author
9/24/2013 | 6:12:52 PM
re: How Insurers Can Adopt Advanced Mobile Technology
Exactly. I don't claim to know much about insurance claims, but I understand a lot of people make the mistake of not taking pictures of damage before any kind of reconstruction begins and miss out on any claims. This really eases the process.
Cara Latham
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Cara Latham,
User Rank: Apprentice
9/24/2013 | 4:26:58 PM
re: How Insurers Can Adopt Advanced Mobile Technology
I would assume this is also a good fraud prevention tool. If you take a picture with a smartphone and upload it to the app or to an insurance company database, it would be harder to claim later on that you had XYZ materials when you didn't.
Geraldine Austin
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Geraldine Austin,
User Rank: Apprentice
9/20/2013 | 8:17:19 AM
re: How Insurers Can Adopt Advanced Mobile Technology
We-Estimate Ltd (NZ) have developed a smart phone application, a bolt on digital technology (vs clipboard & camera), that provides transparency & efficiency in the Claims Approval Process when included (by in-house or out-sourced assessors) as part of and Insurers, Early Intervention Strategy in the prevention of fraud. The software can be customised & integrated with existing businesses.

We-Estimate are looking for Partners. At this stage, as far as we're aware, we are still first it the market. But we need contacts &/or a partner to quickly penetrate the market.

For more information please contact geraldine@we-estimate.co.nz
Becca L
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Becca L,
User Rank: Author
9/19/2013 | 9:23:32 PM
re: How Insurers Can Adopt Advanced Mobile Technology
I agree, it's so smart! That kind of location and time stamping is something I use seamlessly with other applications - the technology is already there for the taking. It's also great for reporting property damage in an easy and timely manner.
Cara Latham
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Cara Latham,
User Rank: Apprentice
9/18/2013 | 4:42:07 PM
re: How Insurers Can Adopt Advanced Mobile Technology
I definitely agree with the ideas in this article. Using a smartphone to snap images inside my home and send to my insurer would definitely remove some of the stress in the process and would create a documented trail should I need to reference them in the future.
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