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 (IoT), 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 Internet of Things in insurance: smart inspection. Buy the report here.

According to GlobalData’s Technology Foresights, which uses over 70,000 patents to analyze innovation intensity for the insurance industry, there are 20+ innovation areas that will shape the future of the industry.

Smart inspection is a key innovation area in Internet of Things

Smart inspection refers to the use of advanced technologies like AI, IoT, and instant damage detection and assessment tools to evaluate and assess the condition of various objects or properties timely and more accurately. It is being increasingly adopted by the insurance industry to make the inspection process a seamless experience for the policy holder, while saving time and costs of manual inspection for the insurer. Smart inspection helps in simple and faster claim registration, processing and settlement and better reach in remote areas, improving the operational efficiency and overall profitability of  insurance providers.

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 110+ companies, spanning technology vendors, established insurance companies, and up-and-coming start-ups engaged in the development and application of smart inspection.

Key players in smart inspection – 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 smart inspection

Company Total patents (2010 - 2022) Premium intelligence on the world's largest companies
State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance 184 Unlock Company Profile
Ping An Insurance (Group) 144 Unlock Company Profile
Alibaba Group 141 Unlock Company Profile
Clearlake Capital Group 66 Unlock Company Profile
Advanced New Technologies 61 Unlock Company Profile
Alphabet 60 Unlock Company Profile
Tractable 50 Unlock Company Profile
Baidu 30 Unlock Company Profile
The Toronto-Dominion Bank 21 Unlock Company Profile
The Allstate 20 Unlock Company Profile
Lear 19 Unlock Company Profile
Yembo 19 Unlock Company Profile
USAA 18 Unlock Company Profile
Mitchell International 16 Unlock Company Profile
Verisk Analytics 16 Unlock Company Profile
Taikang Insurance Group 16 Unlock Company Profile
Healthy io 15 Unlock Company Profile
The Hartford Financial Services Group 14 Unlock Company Profile
Cox Enterprises 14 Unlock Company Profile
American International Group (AIG) 12 Unlock Company Profile
NetraDyne 12 Unlock Company Profile
Leonard Green & Partners 12 Unlock Company Profile
ReviverMx 11 Unlock Company Profile
Nauto 10 Unlock Company Profile
International Business Machines 10 Unlock Company Profile
LyondellBasell Industries 9 Unlock Company Profile
Donan Engineering 9 Unlock Company Profile
Vista Equity Partners 8 Unlock Company Profile
CoreLogic 7 Unlock Company Profile
Curiteva 7 Unlock Company Profile
Click-Ins 7 Unlock Company Profile
Daifuku 6 Unlock Company Profile
Capital One Financial 6 Unlock Company Profile
Tempus Labs 6 Unlock Company Profile
The Reynolds and Reynolds Company 6 Unlock Company Profile
Conduent 6 Unlock Company Profile
Laboratory Corp of America 6 Unlock Company Profile
Aon 5 Unlock Company Profile
Loveland Innovations 5 Unlock Company Profile
Sony Group 5 Unlock Company Profile
IAA 5 Unlock Company Profile
MiTAC 5 Unlock Company Profile
Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation 5 Unlock Company Profile
Allianz 5 Unlock Company Profile
Visa 5 Unlock Company Profile
Toyota Motor 4 Unlock Company Profile
UIEvolution 4 Unlock Company Profile
Open Text 4 Unlock Company Profile
Massachusetts Mutual Life Insurance Company 4 Unlock Company Profile
Tata Sons 4 Unlock Company Profile

Source: GlobalData Patent Analytics

State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance (State Farm) is one of the leading patent filers in smart inspection. The company filed several patents related to methods and systems of machine-assisted vehicle inspection for post-collision damage assessment and detecting malfunctions. It was recently granted a patent for autonomous vehicle operation feature monitoring and evaluation of effectiveness.

State Farm also filed patents related to advanced methods of collecting and analyzing aerial imagery for real-time inspections of insured properties including buildings and infrastructure to assess damage resulting from fire, wind, hail, water, or hurricanes.

Ping An Insurance (Group), Alibaba Group, and Clearlake Capital are some of the other leading patent filers in smart inspection for the insurance industry.

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

To further understand the key themes and technologies disrupting the insurance industry, access GlobalData’s latest thematic research report on Internet of Things 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.