Metromile, an insurtech offering telematics-powered pay-per-mile insurance in eight states, is licensing its Connected Intelligence Platform -- a series of AI-based technologies -- to Tokio Marine, for use in the latter's home country of Japan.

The Connected Intelligence Platform includes AVA, Metromile's claims AI suite; as well as some other services for customer intelligence. The agreement comes weeks after Tokio Marine was part of a $95 million investment round in Metromile.

The AI technology Metromile has developed internally includes first-notice-of-loss, a "virtual witness" component that leverages sensors to get insight into an accident, automation of simpler claims and, on the customer-acquisition side, risk-targeting capabilities.

Shaun Clowes, chief product officer of Metromile, says the company sees licensing its proprietary software as a way to increase the value of that development work, but deals will be strategic and likely avoid areas where Metromile is writing its own coverage. The company is currently selling policies in eight states.

Metromile's San Francisco headquarters
Metromile's San Francisco headquarters Metromile

"We are 100% cognizant that you don't want to give your secret sauce to a competitor," Clowes explains. "Especially when we look outside the U.S. -- places Metromile isn't likely to be competing as a carrier, we can bring our tech to bear and bring scale without having to carry risk."

"We intend on growing the insurance business and this insurance technology part as well," Clowes continues. "We won't scale this side of the business at the expense of the other."

Insurers' willingness to share their internal innovation work with other carriers through licensing deals is on the rise, with Metromile following recent deals from Allstate (via its Arity unit) and MassMutual. Clowes credits Metromile's Bay Area location with the ability to leverage AI and be comfortable with letting other insurers license those projects as packages.

"It's all part of the Silicon Valley playbook -- getting maximum leverage from your tech investment," he says. "Even when we scale it out, we're able to continue to build out the platform" in ways that Metromile can benefit from specifically, he concludes.

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