The Internet of Things: Connected Home, Auto, and Life

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1 The Internet of Things: Connected Home, Auto, and Life An Author: Denise Garth, SMA Partner Published Date: November, 2014

2 SMA Summit A Connected Experience During the 2014 SMA Summit, and for a week and half afterward, participants were given a unique opportunity to experience innovation in action using SMA s Next-Gen Innovation Communities, an online crowdsourcing and collaboration platform that is used to discuss, debate, and collaborate around topics critical to Next-Gen insurers. This collaboration extended a Summit discussion about the IoT with the panel of inside and outside industry experts who offered ideas on how IoT will disrupt and transform the business of insurance. Later, specifically within the communities, participants were asked the following questions: How and why will this be transformative and/or disruptive? What are examples outside insurance that can inspire insurance? Why should insurers care? What areas will be impacted? How can insurers respond proactively? What ideas and approaches can insurers use? SMA Summit Experience: o o What will you do with the information, experience, and collaboration from the SMA Summit back at your company? What did you learn, and what insights did you gain for future use of the Internet of Things (IoT) at your company? To experience the SMA Innovation Communities, all Summit participants were able to respond to key questions, comment, and vote on three topics related to the Internet of Things (IoT): the Connected Home, Connected Auto, and Connected Life. Based on the comments, voting, and discussions, an Idea Cloud was generated to highlight the words that occurred with the most frequency and that indicated the highest priorities around each of the three topics. In addition, a summary of the comments, discussions, and ideas from all of the participants provides a view from industry leaders on the opportunities, issues, and challenges in each of the connected topic areas. This summary creates a great starting point for discussion within your organizations to help you assess and determine how your company will develop plans and experiment with the IoT around one or more of these areas. Page 2

3 Connected Home The connected home is the most active of the three topics among the participants, reflecting the high level of activity and interest in the marketplace within and outside the insurance industry. Based on the comments reflected in the Idea Cloud in Figure 1, it is seen as one of the most potentially disruptive and transformative areas for insurance. Figure 1. Connected Home Idea Cloud Source: Communities 2014 The following are some of the main ideas and information that emerged around the key themes: Disrupt and Transform Insurance Connected home will reduce or eliminate the need for insurance. It will disrupt current traditional underwriting and claim practices, through the feed of continuous risk data. The connected home will help streamline the underwriting and claims process. Applying additional sensors will provide information that is far beyond what is available from the traditional smart home features of thermostat control, lighting, security cameras, etc. Employ additional sensors like Shake sensors, thermostats in the attic for roof degradation, occupancy sensors, thermal sensors for heat/cooling analysis, water sensors for leak detection that have shut-offs, etc. Claims can benefit through the validation of risk without having to disrupt the customer... just validate information. Allowing the insureds to be rated on actual personal use and behavior is fair and advantageous for all parties. Insurers could learn a lot from the design industry. Page 3

4 Risk Prevention and Mitigation The insight from the data will drive greater prevention and mitigation. It will be transformative - dryer fires and frozen pipes could be discovered and remediated prior to fire or water damage. This may drive greater insurer/product partnerships. Rain sensors could prevent water damage. It will allow insureds to be rated on their risk mitigated or not. Home is the base for all we do, and the abilities of smart appliances and other devices afford us the opportunity to prevent loss. It will provide insurers a lot of useful information to help manage risk and understand what is happening in the home today and over time. Improved Safety, Security, Lifestyle, and Service A connected home will allow greater safety and security when you are away, keep the utility bills low through efficient utilization, and help in preventive maintenance of smart appliances. Secure homes will reduce theft loss. This data can enable insurance companies in the areas of claims and underwriting and much improve customer service. Added services could be provided as part of a connected home offering. Insurers could learn a lot from a company like Zappos that centers their entire business on the customer. Not only do I get personalized s from them but they will actually follow up days after a return or exchange to see if everything is ok. Page 4

5 Connected Auto The connected auto is the second most active of the three topics among the participants, reflecting a growing interest within the insurance industry, particularly given the fastpaced introduction of services by auto manufacturers. Similar to the connected home, it is seen as one of the most potentially disruptive and transformative areas for insurance, as reflected in the Idea Cloud in Figure 2. Figure 2. Connected Auto Idea Cloud These are some of the key ideas and information shared around key themes: Disrupt and Transform Insurance Source: Communities 2014 Non-insurers are the custodians of the auto ecosystem. Insurers will become disenfranchised and disintermediated if they do not participate at the start. Automobile manufacturers will become insurers. This is transformative because it will inspire an ecosystem of information usages that we can't imagine today. We shouldn't restrict the possibilities because of a lack of imagination. This has the power to shift the economy and understanding away from the current business model to others insurance will become a component of the product (a widget), not the product itself. This said, insurers have the ability and innovative will to change this future. Transformative: Usage based insurance will likely become much more wide spread. And new products covering vehicle maintenance and extended warranties could be other policy considerations. This allows for much more data-driven policy information and rates. This is both challenge and opportunity for insurance and will force carriers to rethink pricing and the traditional approach to measuring profit. Opportunities include Page 5

6 leveraging customer touch points, different types of policies, and methods of payments, plus more. Well defined best practices can be utilized to extend an organization's vision into market opportunities that have yet to fully emerge. Products and Services When auto ownership shifts to sharing instead of ownership by auto manufacturers, insurance will be included. If you are interested in autonomous vehicles, but not sure how to experiment, get involved in piloting/testing with other collaborators. Retrofit some company cars. Tokenization of payments I want my Facebook or Twitter profile to buy insurance from my Bank of America account and have it sent to my Watch. The machine to machine to service connectivity is something that the industry needs to experience. The Volvo discussion was excellent; similar things are happening with drones (remote monitoring, not delivery), driver detection, etc. Touchless payments system trust economy. Apple payment, NFC, EFTPOS, etc. Connected Life The connected life is the least active of the three topics among the participants, probably reflecting a greater focus on auto and home for now. The areas discussed for connected life are more health-related, and are reflected in the Idea Cloud in Figure 3. Emerging opportunities for life and annuities seem to be still in the infancy stages. Figure 3. Connected Life Idea Cloud as Source: Communities 2014 Page 6

7 Some key ideas and information emerged around the key themes: Products and Services Health care has begun using devices like Fitbits to monitor patient s health. There are other monitoring devices that can be used to check/map various vital signs to predict health problems for patients/members who have had a history of health issues. Consumers are and will be more cognitive of life activities, especially as the market has access to this data and provides benefits from it. Healthy life style choices are already being used by employers to adjust employee contribution levels for healthcare. Annual renewable rates for term insurance could be impacted by healthy life choices. Reduce the cycle time by eliminating requirements such as attending physician statements. The APS request should be a thing of the past. Increase placement rates to help make smoother and faster experiences for applicants. Customer retention and loyalty will drive revenue. With IoT, we have surrendered much of our personal privacy. SMA Call to Action It is all about a connected world. From connected auto to connected home and connected life, the IoT is transforming our digital environment from static and point-intime to a dynamic, real-time, actionable insight environment. The world is quickly becoming an environment of distributed data, devices, technology, intelligence, and computing that is highly connected, whether via the auto, home, life, or all of them together. We are seeing the fast emergence of a smart and connected world and economy with connected businesses, ecosystems, and customers that are forming new business and revenue models while destroying others. This collective connectivity is changing the rules for businesses and unleashing a reimagination of any and every part of business. The combination of people with mobile devices that have sensors uploading massive amounts of data to the cloud that is accessible, shareable, and can be analyzed in real-time offers the opportunity to create game-changing solutions that are much more than an insurance policy to cover potential risk. IoT holds the potential to reduce risk, changing centuries-old foundational assumptions and having significant financial implications for existing revenue and profitability models. To grab hold of the opportunity and potential of the connected world, SMA strongly recommends the following actions for insurers: Think Outside Your Paradigm. What are your vision, mission, and strategies? Are they steeped in tradition, or do they align with the new connected world your customers are embracing? Do they reflect the growing customer power and expectations? What new business and revenue models can be used? Your vision should create a meaningful Page 7

8 relationship with value-added products and services that deepen your customer s trust and loyalty while creating a consistent, connected, personalized experience. Experiment and Pilot. Take the first step and do something. Invest now in research and pilot projects to prepare for full deployment. Experiment, think outside the box, and look at outside-the-industry initiatives to gain an understanding of the potential. Develop a roadmap of IoT applications. Rethink Insurance Products and Services. Consider what your insurance products cover today and rethink those products based on having real-time information that can change risk on a regular basis. Explore new product opportunities jointly with industries and companies that are embedding IoT to be part of the solution offering. Begin to rethink and redefine risk and pricing models in an era of real-time risk data. Engage in Open Innovation and with an Ecosystem. Engage an ecosystem to build content and capabilities and to reduce implementation efforts while creating new solutions that offer value-added, integrated services. Create a way to share best practices, ideas, successes, and failures. Understand the wave of new vendors in this space and who potential partners might be. Finally, remember this quote from the Summit by Charles Darwin: It is not the strongest of the species that survives, nor the most intelligent that survives. It is the one that is the most adaptable to change. Change is coming, bringing with it a connected world of everything. We either define the change, or it will be defined for us by those companies and industries rapidly adopting the Internet of Things. About Strategy Meets Action Strategy Meets Action (SMA) is dedicated to helping the business of insurance modernize, optimize, and innovate for competitive advantage. Exclusively serving the insurance industry, SMA blends unbiased research findings with expertise and experience to deliver business and technology insights, research, and advice to insurers and IT solution providers. By leveraging best practices from both the management consulting and research advisory disciplines, we take a unique approach offering an unrivaled set of services, including retainers, research, consulting, events, and innovation offerings. Use of Our Reports The entire content and context of this research report is subject to copyright protection, with all rights reserved. Reproduction or distribution of the report, in whole or in part, without written permission is not allowed. The material and observations contained in this publication have been developed from sources believed to be reliable. SMA shall Page 8

9 have no liability for omissions or errors and no obligation to revise or update any data or conclusions should new information become available or future events occur. The opinions expressed in this report are subject to change without notice. About the Author Denise Garth, a Partner at Strategy Meets Action (SMA), leads the firm s Innovation Practice and heads up the industry s first Innovation Communities, a unique avenue for fostering and facilitating innovation across the insurance industry. Denise is a recognized industry leader in the innovation space, noted for her fresh outside-in focus and strategic thinking. Her extensive insurance experience and her strong grasp of day-to-day challenges, key business issues, and the rich opportunities ahead help insurers capitalize on the power of innovation to envision and embrace the future and do business in more sophisticated, productive, and profitable ways. Denise can be reached at or via at 2014 Smallwood Maike & Associates, Inc. USA. May not be reproduced by any means without express written permission. All rights reserved. Page 9

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