How technology is bringing insurers new opportunities, by Dan Freedman, Direct Line Group

UK motor insurance is one of the most competitive markets in the world. With new technologies developing rapidly, and new data being generated from connected objects now creating the connected home. But, how can we be proactive in embracing these opportunities?

We already live in a world where connectivity is universal via our smartphones – mobility as a service will play a greater role. This shifts the focus from car owning to buying a car as a service.

Let’s look to 2030. Where could autonomy and connectivity take us? Combined with the 50 billion connected devices Cisco predicted by 2020 and there lands a huge opportunity for insurers to embrace.

What does the future hold?

Looking to the future, we’ll need to focus increasingly on technology at the point of claim. This means knowing that any stated technology – such as anti-lock braking and electronic stability control – is present and being used effectively by the driver. The impending onset of driverless cars begs the question: who is liable when a robot is driving? It’s a challenge for us all.

Is the strategy of your organisation focused on autonomous and connected vehicles – do you have a specific position on these technologies? This might be ‘we’re going to sit back and wait and see what happens’, or it might be to take an active lead. The key thing is you’re engaging and not ignoring these technologies.

Insurers are on the front foot of change

The good news is that as insurers we are on the front foot of change. Direct Line Group relaunched its telematics service in 2014 and we’ve learnt some valuable lessons in how to engage with the long-term technology trend. Firstly, we know that it works, and the data is valuable in helping us to understand risk. Secondly, we’re moving towards app-based solutions to retrieve data.

The right partnerships are also vital. They should push and challenge your existing business model and take you slightly outside your comfort zone. Only by being flexible and adaptable can we change what we do, for the better.

*This blog is written by Dan Freedman and published on behalf of Dan by Experian. The views and content within this blog are of the opinion of Dan and not necessarily Experian.