Like many industries, the insurance landscape is changing rapidly as new technologies reshape our concept of what insurance is and how it works. Some of these emerging trends in the insurance industry change the way we think of insuring our items while others help prevent losses.
This is the future of insurtech as we know it.
What began with lights that turned themselves on and programmed settings to adjust your thermostat automatically has evolved into an entire ecosystem of sensors, appliances, and artificial intelligence that can all communicate with a variety of controllers, apps and technologies. As these technologies grow and become more advanced, we will start seeing them play a more important role in the industry beyond a box to be checked for policy discounts.
Sensors may soon allow a service provider to know immediately if a frozen pipe bursts in your attic while you are on vacation, alerting your plumber to deal with it immediately, for example. That same agency might be able to turn off forgotten stove tops, identify that your furnace is in dire need of maintenance, or alert law enforcement to break-ins the moment it happens.
All of this reduces the risk of damage and theft occurring in your home, which has the potential to lower your rates.
Anyone who enjoys downhill skiing knows that the theft of equipment from the ski racks at a resort is an all-too-common way to ruin a vacation. Sure, you might be able to add them to your homeowner’s policy, but it’s likely either expensive or too much of a hassle if you only ski a few times each year.
Consider how much easier it would be if you could pull out your smartphone and start insuring your gear from the moment you leave your home and stop the coverage when you return home after a full day of skiing. This usage-based approach can work for almost everything you own, including:
All of that will be easily managed from your phone in the future. This kind of coverage has yet to make a proper debut with consistent coverage, but you can expect to start seeing it in the next 7-10 years at least.
Emerging trends in the insurance industry are tied to your phone (but we both knew that already).
Of all the big ideas we’ve been talking about since we were teenagers, the autonomous vehicle is the holy grail. Not only are commercially viable autonomous vehicles just 6-24 months away (depending on you ask), but Tesla’s “Autopilot” mode essentially means it’s already here.
This upward trend in the auto sector will not only change the way insurance coverage is determined (who is responsible in the event of a loss, how is premium calculated, etc.), but the rise of these machines will also begin eliminating dangerous activities that raise insurance premiums, such as:
If all goes to plan, autonomous vehicles will make our roads safer, our insurance cheaper, and our lives a bit more convenient.
Imagine a world where fleets of autonomous vehicles are wandering our streets just waiting for you to hail them with a smartphone app. If the futurists are correct, this swarm of bespoke transport vehicles will arrive on demand and deliver you to your destination, removing the requirement to own a vehicle from millions of city-dwellers.
This massive shift in transportation comes with it an equally massive shift in insurance purchasing, as we expect ride sharing companies to charge you for insurance either when you sign up for their service or adding a small insurance surcharge to each trip you make.
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