Editor's note: This article's headline has been updated from its original version

Among the hundreds of sessions and thousands of products at the 2016 CES (Consumer Electronics Show), there were many with significant implications for insurers. A number of sessions mentioned the potential for insurance, and tech vendors revealed that they were in conversation or partnership with insurance companies. The only thing missing from the equation were the representatives from the insurance industry. Sure – there were 170,000 people there and at least a few were probably insurers. But aside from Liberty Mutual and their partnership announcement with Subaru, insurers were missing the action. It was difficult to find any insurance professionals as speakers or spectators anywhere in the crowd – and believe me, I looked. This is not meant to imply that all insurers are sitting on the sidelines. There are many great examples of insurers that are investing in startups and experimenting with the IoT, drones, wearables, and many of the other emerging technologies that were highlighted at the event. But things are moving fast, and I would have expected the industry to field a greater presence.

By definition, the CES is consumer oriented and traditionally focused on computer and electronics products sold direct-to-consumer or through retail channels. In the past, there would be little reason for insurers to participate, other than IT professionals tracking the latest trends in laptops, smart phones, etc. But the CES focus and audience are changing. The rapidly evolving, connected world makes it mandatory that companies in every industry keep up with tech developments. Consider the major keynote speech by Ginni Rometty, CEO of IBM – the quintessential B2B company. It’s the first time IBM has had such a presence at the CES, and it is precisely because their customers across every industry face new challenges and opportunities from the connected world. The tech advances showcased at CES are enabling new products and services, new business models, and new operational efficiencies for all industries, not to mention completely new ways companies can interact with their customers.

Insurance is no exception. There are monumental implications regardless of the line of business you represent, especially in view of the developments in areas like the connected life/quantified self, smart homes, connected cars, and many other areas. Stay tuned for more SMA research and blogs on the themes and implications of the connected world for insurers. And by the way, if you are an insurer reading this and you were there at the CES, touch base with me and let me know your thoughts about the show and the implications for the insurance industry. 

This blog entry has been republished with permission from SMA.

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The opinions posted in this blog do not necessarily reflect those of Insurance Networking News or SourceMedia.

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