Hailing from New Jersey and having seen the devastation that Superstorm Sandy caused in both my home town and home state, I have a deep understanding of just how debilitating a major natural disaster can be. This week, my thoughts – and the thoughts of our staff – go out to the victims of Hurricane Harvey and all of the people of Houston, who have had their lives disrupted, their homes or property destroyed and their towns flooded.
With rains stopping and flood waters receding, it will soon be time to rebuild. The insurance industry will play an enormous role in financing the reconstruction and rebuilding efforts. And even in these most dire and extreme of circumstances, innovation and ingenuity can bloom and work to make things better for people.
This week, we’ll look at how insurers will be using new technology and innovation to help expedite claims processing and get the rebuilding processes after Harvey on track. We’ll also look at an innovative insurance company that is embracing the Internet of Things (IoT) to improve customer experience, and we’ll look at the impact that self-driving cars will have on insurance rates.
Here is the top insurance technology news that we read this week:
Insurance drones expected to play a major role in Hurricane Harvey’s aftermath
Hurricane Harvey is truly a disaster that has had a catastrophic effect on the city of Houston and its residents. But the skies could soon be delivering something besides torrential rain and high winds – they could soon be delivering relief in the form of expedited insurance claims.
Technologists and insurance industry experts expect that drones could play a huge role in the recovery from Hurricane Harvey in Houston. These drones could be utilized to inspect damage to homes and properties, giving insurance companies an eagle’s eye view and accurate picture of just how much the storm damaged their customers’ properties.
This may seem silly to those that have lost property or have had their homes damaged, but it could deliver some benefits to them. Should roads remain flooded or impassible, it could slow down inspections and delay the process – making customers wait longer for money form insurers. By utilizing drones, these insurance companies can do inspections even if someone can’t physically reach the house. These drones can also make insurance personnel more effective and efficient, meaning they can work faster and cover more round – also expediting the process.
Home insurance gets a smart makeover
Proving that American companies don’t have the market cornered on innovative ideas and new technologies is British startup, Neos. The concept for Neos was cooked up because the founders felt that traditional insurance companies only really came into play when disaster struck. But, with new technologies, they could be more proactive – actively working to keep homeowners from having to deal with disasters by alerting them before things really took a turn for the worst.
How does the company accomplish this? Easy, they go all MI6 on your home – installing sensors and cameras to monitor for a wide variety of problems. Should those alerts fail to keep the problem from escalating, they then offer full home insurance coverage to help homeowners make their houses whole again.
Click the link above for an interview with Matt Poll, the CEO and founder of Neos, to learn more.
Self-Driving Cars are Confusing Drivers—and Spooking Insurers
The technologies powering self-driving cars may seem like magic to the uninitiated, but there’s really nothing that complicated or magical about them. In fact, it’s mostly an amalgamation of existing, common automobile technologies – including adaptive cruise control and lane keeping – working in concert to remove the human element from operating the automobile.
But that’s not very reassuring for insurers and regulators.
Although tens of thousands of people die on American highways and roads each year, there are concerns that self driving cars may not be the answer to reducing that number. The technologies are different automobile to automobile, and there are no real regulations in place yet. Also, many of those technologies work best in optimal conditions – which we all know aren’t always the ones drivers are driving in.
In this article from Wired, they take a deeper dive into the challenges facing the adoption of self driving cars, and what concerns insurers and regulators have about this new technology.