Google is embedding its technology into the lives of users and gathering new data to use in new, innovative ways that soon could begin to impact the insurance industry, according to “Google and Insurance: Far Reaching Implications,” a research brief from Strategy Meets Action, an insurance technology consulting firm.

“Three things make Google’s approach especially interesting,” said Denise Garth, author of the report and partner at Strategy Meets Action (SMA). “The first is data and technology. The second is location. And the third is people. Put together, Google is organizing data, technology and location around people, creating a new level of customer empowerment and centricity unheralded in any industry, let alone insurance. That is powerful.”

SMA notes a series of developments, products and acquisitions that could position Google as a partner or competitor to the industry, including Google Cars, the Open Automotive Alliance, BeatThatQuote.com, Google’s development of contact lenses that measure the glucose levels in diabetics’ tears, making the monitoring of blood sugar levels in real time and far less invasive and Google’s acquisition of Nest Labs. (Read more about them, here.)

“The vast amount of data and insights made available about individuals and their cars, homes and bodies is breath-taking, transformative and will fundamentally change the insurance value chain,” Garth said. “This is an outside-in, customer-driven approach to innovation that should cause insurers to rethink, reimagine and reinvent a technology-enabled future.” 

In an ever-more connected world, with rapidly advancing innovation and a flood of newly available data, SMA advises insurers to consider:

  • Committing internal and external resources dedicated to innovation, and to foster research, ideation and crowdsourcing.
  • Assessing the potential of emerging technologies, trends and customer expectations.
  • Developing scenarios, plans and priorities for the technologies and begin prototyping and experimenting.
  • Monitoring the speed of adoption and respond to these changes, effectively capitalizing on them and mitigate the impact of competitors.
  • Looking beyond the current insurance business models to one that embraces real-time data and offer more relevant and customized products and services.
  • Creating a nimble organization that leverages your ecosystem, people, emerging technologies and new data to adapt and thrive in a fast-changing landscape.

“The report emphasizes the speed with which the future of insurance is changing – more rapidly than most realize or are prepared for – and puts into question the long-standing approaches of wait-and-see or being fast followers,” Garth said.
Related content: Google’s Moving In

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