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: repair estimation AI. 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.

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

Repair estimation AI is a key innovation area in artificial intelligence

Repair estimation AI refers to the use of artificial intelligence and image processing techniques by insurance companies to automatically estimate the cost of repairing a damaged vehicle. By analyzing images of the damaged vehicle, AI can detect external damage to specific parts and infer internal damage. It then calculates an estimated repair cost based on a parts database that includes repair and labor costs for each damaged part.

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 40+ companies, spanning technology vendors, established insurance companies, and up-and-coming start-ups engaged in the development and application of repair estimation AI.

Key players in repair estimation 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 repair estimation AI

Company Total patents (2010 - 2022) Premium intelligence on the world's largest companies
State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance 194 Unlock Company Profile
Alibaba Group 109 Unlock Company Profile
Alphabet 96 Unlock Company Profile
Clearlake Capital Group 81 Unlock Company Profile
Tractable 80 Unlock Company Profile
Advanced New Technologies 51 Unlock Company Profile
Ping An Insurance (Group) 36 Unlock Company Profile
Yembo 30 Unlock Company Profile
Cox Enterprises 28 Unlock Company Profile
Healthy io 26 Unlock Company Profile
The Allstate 22 Unlock Company Profile
Baidu 22 Unlock Company Profile
Verisk Analytics 20 Unlock Company Profile
Mitchell International 16 Unlock Company Profile
American International Group (AIG) 13 Unlock Company Profile
Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation 10 Unlock Company Profile
Curiteva 10 Unlock Company Profile
The Toronto-Dominion Bank 9 Unlock Company Profile
Allianz 8 Unlock Company Profile
Taikang Insurance Group 8 Unlock Company Profile
Tata Sons 7 Unlock Company Profile
ArcSoft 6 Unlock Company Profile
BedaBox 6 Unlock Company Profile
LyondellBasell Industries 6 Unlock Company Profile
Leonard Green & Partners 5 Unlock Company Profile
X Development 5 Unlock Company Profile
USAA 4 Unlock Company Profile
Liberty Mutual 4 Unlock Company Profile
International Business Machines 4 Unlock Company Profile
Conduent 3 Unlock Company Profile
ServiceNow 3 Unlock Company Profile
TensorFlight 3 Unlock Company Profile
Nanotech Galaxy 2 Unlock Company Profile
Swiss Re Asia Pacific 2 Unlock Company Profile
Wuxi Tongchun New Energy Technology 2 Unlock Company Profile
Ant Group 2 Unlock Company Profile
Shenzhen Aisidi 1 Unlock Company Profile
Mitsubishi Electric 1 Unlock Company Profile
Toyota Motor 1 Unlock Company Profile
Genpact 1 Unlock Company Profile
HOVER 1 Unlock Company Profile
Kyndryl 1 Unlock Company Profile

Source: GlobalData Patent Analytics

State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance is one of the top patent filers in repair estimation AI. Some of the patents granted to the automotive insurer are related to methods and systems of automatically predicting the repair costs of a damaged vehicle from images and photo deformation techniques for vehicle repair analysis. The technology further uses AI and blockchain to determine the fault and manage the subrogation claim process related to a vehicle accident or collision.

Some of the other leading patent filers in the repair estimation AI space include Alibaba Group, Alphabet, and Clearlake Capital.

In terms of application diversity, Curiteva held the top position, while Alphabet and Tractable stood in second and third positions, respectively. By means of geographic reach, Alphabet leads the pack, followed by Clearlake Capital and Tractable.

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.

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GlobalData, the leading provider of industry intelligence, provided the underlying data, research, and analysis used to produce this article.

GlobalData’s Patent Analytics tracks patent filings and grants from official offices around the world. Textual analysis and official patent classifications are used to group patents into key thematic areas and link them to specific companies across the world’s largest industries.