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February 09, 2019

IoT for Insurance – The Developing Data Landscape

Philip L. Schwartz

Philip L. Schwartz
Chief Data Officer, Senior Technical Staff Member/International Business Machines (IBM)

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One of the most frequent categories of questions that I am asked by insurance executives is centered on the IoT for Insurance data ecosystem:

  • What do I see happening with data ownership?
  • What is the impact on use cases?
  • What sort of partnerships can insurers leverage?
  • What does the data monetization model look like?

The IoT data ecosystem is developing quickly. Unfortunately, many of the established partnerships that insurance firms have made are of a one-to-one nature, i.e., one insurance firm partnered with one device vendor, one data aggregator partnered with one insurance firm.

These one-to-one partnerships can give insurers short-term use case specific competitive advantages; however, they often do not support many of the broader use cases that insurance end customers are seeking.  Will a one-to-one partnership support a robust smarter home use case that also needs the integration of appliance vendors? Will the device vendor platform be able to provide the required data integration and analytics capabilities for the appliance data? Probably not. From a personal insurance perspective, most connected life use cases require the real-time integration of auto, home, health and elder care data. It is unlikely that a connected home vendor platform will support this level of data integration and analytics. This observation is valid for other personal insurance use cases and many of the commercial insurance use cases.

Many-to-many partnerships are essential to support the use cases and insights for which the market is looking. 

Before choosing vendors to partner with, insurance firms need to evaluate the inventory of their IoT business use cases to ensure that their selected partnerships will be able to support the required data aggregation, analytics, and cognitive needs. 

Comments? You can contact me directly via my AdvisoryCloud profile.

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