Insurance companies may be in the business of providing financial peace of mind to their customers in the event that tragedy strikes, but they’re increasingly in the technology business. That’s not to say that they’re selling technology products or services to their customers – but rather that they’re increasingly relying on technology to do their job effectively.
New technologies are revolutionizing how these companies do everything – from how they measure risk, to how they underwrite policies to how they communicate with prospects and customers. Some of the hottest technologies in this area are Big Data, data analytics and high performance computing, which – combined – are automating processes and making things more efficient for people and insurers.
Here are some of the top stories that we’ve seen this week specifically about highly intelligent computers rising up to take jobs away from weak, soft, fleshy humans.
THE ROBOT UPRISING IS UPON US!
Regulators Under Pressure to Develop Rules of Road Minus Drivers
If – like me – you live in a place with crazy traffic and overcrowded highways, you probably think that replacing the average driver on the road with a hyper-intelligent Chihuahua would be a huge improvement. Luckily, car and technology companies like Tesla and Google have a better solution for replacing the average motorist – artificial intelligence (AI) and highly accurate sensors working together to empower self-driving cars.
Unfortunately, the shift to self-driving cars isn’t as easy as it may seem.
The government tends to be much more reactionary than it is proactive, which means that regulations often fall behind the rapid pace of innovation. What does that mean? Well, the government, including the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) simply doesn’t have the automobile safety regulations in place yet for self driving cars.
In this recent article from the Insurance Journal, they talk about how regulators are feeling the pressure to get these safety regulations in the books before self driving cars become the norm – something that experts expect within the next decade. This could be hugely important for insurers who will most likely being looking at safety guidelines and regulations to measure risk and underwrite auto insurance policies for this next generation of automobile.
With $4 Million in Funding, Kin Wants to Change How Homeowners Get Insured
In previous posts on the Insurance Tech Insider, I’ve looked at the ways that data could help make insurance providers more effective and efficient. Well, apparently one insurance startup has been listening and is taking my advice to heart.
Allow TechCrunch to introduce you to Kin, a new insurance startup that thinks it can do everything a little bit better than the traditional property insurance company.
The concept is simple, by using the universe of available data and information about a property and relying less on the consumer to accurately relay that information to the company, Kin feels that is can more accurately weigh risk and – likely – offer more competitively priced policies to customers. Also, by utilizing and analyzing available data, the company can lower the amount of man hours needed to underwrite a policy, reduce overhead and pass that savings on to consumers.
The company has raised $4M from Commerce Ventures, Omidyar Network, 500 Startups, Chicago Ventures, Portag3 Ventures, Avant, Square, Capital One, LinkedIn and Facebook. Needless to say, they’re off to a good start!
The Pitfalls of Cyber Insurance
Finally, here’s something not about robots replacing humans.
Cybersecurity remains one of the hottest topics and priorities for CIOs and IT departments across all industries and enterprises simply because of how pervasive cyber breaches have become, and how incredibly harmful they can be to a company. However, despite the concern about breaches, a surprisingly small amount of companies have purchased cyber insurance. But that may not be a bad thing.
In this article published in Dark Reading, Chris McDaniels, the CISO of Mosaic451, discusses how cyber insurance may not offer the level of coverage that companies require. He also discusses how insurance isn’t a viable alternative to having good cyber hygiene and solid cybersecurity.