By Neil Sheppard · January 27, 2022
9 minute read

Insurtech 2022: trends for life, health, and car insurance

Insurtech 2021: trends for life, health, and car insurance

What topics are shaking up the life and health, and car insurance industries in 2022? Spoiler: it’s all about innovative insurtech. 

Key takeaways 

  • What do all 2022’s insurance trends have in common? 
  • They’re all about innovative insurtech that needs a solid platform to work from 
  • To learn more about our Northstar insurance platform, book a demo 

The insurance industry was already undergoing a revolution before the events of the last few years. Yet, the rise of insurtech has been greatly accelerated by the pandemic and resulting lockdowns.  

It’s not about digital transformation, but ongoing digital evolution. You now need to be constantly iterating on your digital ecosystem to keep up with a rapidly changing world. 

Across motor, life, and health insurance, change is coming. What industry trends are arising across these three sub-sectors of insurance in 2022? 

Life and health insurance trends 

1 Remote medical screenings will become part of your onboarding 

Under COVID-19 lockdown, medical practice had to rapidly switch to a new model. Doctors’ surgeries and hospitals were breeding grounds for coronavirus variants, so medical practitioners had to find some way to cater to patients while minimizing risk. 

That’s where technology stepped in. Suitable, patients could be remotely assessed over a video call. Questions could be answered, and any visual examinations could be performed by high-quality video. 

These remote appointments were surprisingly effective and convenient for patients. Not to mention, with no need to wait for patients to leave and arrive, medical practitioners were able to get through many more appointments. 

This didn’t go unnoticed, and many health and life insurance providers are switching their medical screenings over to a remote setting. Guardian Life, for example, has been trialing this during lockdown. 

This means there’s no need for customers to make their way to a medical center, and screenings can be completed much more quickly. It’s also less costly than booking in-person time with a doctor for your patient. 

Going forward, we see this becoming a standard part of health and life insurance onboarding where a medical screening is required. It can even be incorporated into your customer onboarding process. 

2 Pay less for health insurance by exercising more 

Even as medical screening goes remote, insurtechs are also asking whether it’s needed at all. With consumer personal information being recorded and stored to a greater level than ever before, can we not use that to get what we need? 

New York-based PolicyGenius uses past medical and prescription data to offer third-party policies without the need for a medical screening. This allows the company to onboard a health or life insurance customer completely in a single phone call. 

Beyond this, however, that data can be used to consider renewal costs and offer rewards. Vitality, for example, offers health insurance that gets cheaper the more you exercise. 

This kind of setup will become more common as we move forward, with insurers seeing healthier customers as lower risk, and offering appropriate claim adjustments. Yet, how will they get that data? 

3 Wearable fitness trackers will be linked to insurance premiums 

Vitality accumulates data on its customers’ fitness habits through an app that accesses fitness tracker wearables like Apple Watch and FitBit. Using that data, Vitality can know how often they exercise, their average heart rate, and even what they eat, if they track that in their apps.  

With access to that real-time information, Vitality can compare and contrast it to their medical and prescription records. This cumulative data can show you common themes in your client’s behavior.  

Do customers who undergo chiropractic treatment and exercise three times a week tend to claim less? Then charge them a lower premium on the basis that they maintain their exercise levels and chiropractic appointments.  

If they drop to twice a week, on average, then their renewal quote will be higher. Increase to four? The quote goes down. 

This doesn’t just offer a financial incentive, but also gamefies insurance. Competitive customers will be driven to beat their own scores by exercising more and eating more healthily. 

Fitness trackers allow real-time data to influence premiums and even make pricing flexible according to your customer’s risk level. This kind of data analytics will become far more prevalent in coming years. 

Motor insurance trends 

1 Telematics: drive better, pay less 

Speaking of real-time data influencing pricing, the same can be said of motor insurance. In the UK, a survey found that 90% of businesses believed that the benefits of so-called ‘telematics’ outweighed the cost of investment. 

Telematics are essentially the motor vehicle equivalent of a fitness tracker. ‘Black box’-style devices are attached to vehicles to log details of the speeds they are driven at, how safely the driver brakes and corners, and when and how far they are driven. 

Newer, more-advanced telematics systems even use video recognition to automatically register how vehicles are being driven in relation to other cars.  

All this data is used to determine how at-risk of a crash the vehicle is. This, again, provides the insurance company with underwriting data across all its customers, but can also be used to determine premiums for each customer or business. 

Some insurers are even offering monthly variations in premiums. Customers can log onto your insurance app and see if they’ve been driving unsafely, they will then have chance to cut their speed and reduce future monthly payments. 

2 Drones: claims assessment from above 

Moving on from avoiding risk to determining fault once an accident has happened and a claim has been made, insurers are still looking at tech for the answer. In this case, drones are helping assessors resolve contested claims. 

Drones are small, remotely controlled helicopters that have the agility to fly through cities without causing disruption. Mounting a remote-control camera to a drone allows claims assessors to view a road layout from above or move it around to get the ideal view. 

At a basic level, this is an essential part of an assessor’s toolkit. Property assessors will be delighted to no longer have to climb up on a customer’s roof to see damage, but for auto accidents, being able to get an accurate aerial view of a road layout can be equally useful. 

Of course, we all have access to Google Maps nowadays, but Google’s imagery quickly goes out of date, and can’t compare with recent photo or video that accurately shows the journeys of traffic at the time of day the accident occurred. 

The potential for drone use goes far beyond this, however. Since drones are operated remotely, there’s no need to be there at all.  

With a sophisticated drone system, drones can be dispatched from a local hub and the footage viewed by your claims handler from their desk in your contact center. They can even change the course of the drone to get a better view of what they need from their own computer in the office.  

Accenture BeLux is proposing to take this one stage further. Their concept would allow a customer to report a motor accident from an app on their phone, causing an autopiloted drone to be dispatched to the scene to automatically take images of the accident and damage at the phone’s location. 

By the time your customer calls to report the accident, your claims handler could already have photos logged to their system showing an aerial view of the road layout, the customer and third-party’s vehicle damage, and even evidence the third party was involved in the accident. 

Combine this with artificial intelligence (AI) tools, and your system could also make a determination of fault, set a reserve, update a premium, book a repair and a courtesy car, and even send notification to the third-party insurer. All this before a claim has even been formally reported. 

This may all sound like science fiction, but the tools to do all of this already exist and are in use. Particularly, AI reserve setting is becoming popular. 

3 Automated damage assessment from a photo 

London start-up, Tractable is also in the AI claims assessment business, but their platform is focused on damage reserves. Their system allows your customer to take a photo of the damage to their car, upload it to your system, and then get an estimate for the cost of the damage within three minutes. 

The company’s AI compares the images the customer has uploaded to millions of other photos of accident damage, and accurately determines how much similar damage costs to repair. The system can then advise the customer whether the vehicle is repairable under their policy, and set a reserve for that cost in your system. 

Using Tractable’s platform has allowed Ageas to reduce its repair times by a week, on average. It achieved this simply by setting an accurate reserve and removing the need for the repairer to provide an estimate first. 

What this means for insurance in 2022

All these trends and products are exciting the insurance industry this year, and they’re just the first step towards the future of insurance. However, taken as a whole, what do they mean for you? 

The one thing all these amazing insurtech trends have in common is that they’re only accessible to insurers with a digital platform to base them on.  

Challenger insurers with brand-new systems will have no difficulty installing all these shiny new toys and attracting customers with their benefits. Incumbents, however, face an expensive and disruptive adjustment as they move away from their legacy systems to keep up – or do they? 

Digital platforms exist that can work on top of your existing legacy systems to connect them to the latest fintech tools. FintechOS Northstar, in particular, is aimed at getting new and innovative products to market faster than ever before, so you can take advantage of the latest insurtech, without an expensive transformation process.  

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