Click here to close now.


@ThingsExpo Authors: Chris Witeck , David Dodd, Anders Wallgren, Greg O'Connor, Ed Featherston

Blog Feed Post

Insurance Disrupted - Crowdsourced Policies and Social Marketing

Peter Abatan
Program Manager
Mobility Services
All industries are being impacted by digital transformations and data analytics (read Code Halos) today. Social, mobile, analytics and cloud based technologies are capturing, transmitting and storing more information than ever before.  This information, or the use of information dominance as a strategy, will completely reorient the competitive landscape in many industries.  Information intensive industries, including the following, will experience the biggest disruptions:

  • Banking
  • Healthcare
  • Insurance
  • Education
  • Government
  • Media
  • etc

In this article, my colleague Peter Abatan shares his observations on digital transformations within the insurance industry.

The Insurance industry has traditionally been slow to change, but that is changing as crowd and social insurance models are beginning to emerge.

Companies like upstart BoughtByMany connect people with similar insurance requirements who are able to aggregate demand for products that insurance companies have hesitated to insure on an individual basis in the past.

Another start-up, InsureMyFriend embraces P2P to form a network with friends and family to lower the individual’s insurance premiums. Each approach has its benefits and both lend themselves easily to social media.  They have the potential to reduce insurance claims because consequences impact the entire group and social pressures are predicted to make people think twice about risks.

These two companies presented their business models at the London Insurance Disrupters meetup held at the end of April this year in London.

BoughtByMany has about 18,000 members in about 180 interest groups. Overall, the average discount negotiated has been around 18.6%. The attraction to the insurance companies that BoughtByMany brings, lies in the fact that the cost of acquisition is much lower relative to the other channels these insurance companies use to acquire customers, this also applies to InsureMyFriend.

Typically, 90% of their traffic is driven through Facebook in which customers join the group for which they are interested in.  Once joined, they can invite friends.

InsureMyFriend makes it possible for you to link up with friends and family that you trust and provide a way of managing the “pot of money” that you are all setting aside when a claim needs to be made. Since the syndicate is made of people who trust each other, the claims are likely to be very low.
However, if your network has too many claims, a certain percentage of the premium that everyone puts into the pot will be paid to an insurance company to cover larger than expected claims.  In the case where there are no claims, premiums are reduced in subsequent years.

This type of insurance lends itself to smaller items like smartphones and gadgets, as these are easy and cheaper to replace. Motor insurance for young people is another possibility for the BoughtByMany business model with the benefit of getting a 50% rebate or more on their premium if they can stay accident free after a whole year.  Such incentives are thought to change behaviours and encourage safe driving.

Even though social networks are the means by which groups are formed to buy insurance, this process does not lend itself to fully assessing the risk that members are exposed to. In other words the person who goes on holidays twice a year assumes less risk relative to the person who takes 5 holidays a year. Social media is less of an exact science compared to a person’s actual lifestyle and buying behaviour. Hence, while it may be that Facebook is the platform from where social and crowd insurance are promoted and grow, it will be platforms like Amazon, eBay, Walmart and where these types of insurance may flourish because they have more personal information (read more on Code Halos) on the individual and their lifestyle.

I wonder if these models alone will really disrupt the insurance industry to the extent that its current business model needs to change? I am not convinced it will.  It may require many more players in the market for the insurance sector to sit up and take notice. The biggest benefit at the moment is the low cost of acquisition for the insurer.  For customers it is the potential to get reduced insurance premiums and customized policies.

The disruption to the insurance industry may not come through crowd and social insurance alone, but through many changes that are impacting the industry at the same time:

  • Quantified self
  • IoT (internet of things)
  • Mobile technologies
  • Telematics
  • Analytics
  • Big data
  • Crowd sourced policies
  • Social insurance models
It seems, however, the biggest disruptions to insurance will likely come from businesses outside of the traditional insurance industry.

In developing countries where the insurance industry is not as mature, one could see the opportunities for the growth of social and crowd insurance where uninsured liabilities are very high and possible pay-outs for a non-fault accident are very low. It may be insurance co-operatives are formed to cover risks, rather than mainstream insurance companies. Members will own a stake in the co-operative encouraging them to take less risk in order to minimize payouts.

Today, the regulatory environment is holding back the insurance industry from going through the disruptions that has shaped other industries.  It won't be long, however, before smart start-ups will begin to find ways to work around those barriers to provide a better service to the customer and in the process change the way we relate to insurance as a whole. One thing for sure, is that very soon the way we source insurance will change from how we know it today.

Kevin Benedict
Writer, Speaker, Editor
Senior Analyst, Digital Transformation, EBA, Center for the Future of Work Cognizant
View my profile on LinkedIn
Learn about mobile strategies at
Follow me on Twitter @krbenedict
Join the Linkedin Group Strategic Enterprise Mobility
Join the Google+ Community Mobile Enterprise Strategies
Recommended Strategy Book Code Halos
Recommended iPad App Code Halos for iPads

***Full Disclosure: These are my personal opinions. No company is silly enough to claim them. I am a mobility and digital transformation analyst, consultant and writer. I work with and have worked with many of the companies mentioned in my articles.

Read the original blog entry...

More Stories By Kevin Benedict

Kevin Benedict is the Senior Analyst for Digital Transformation at Cognizant, a writer, speaker and SAP Mentor Alumnus. Follow him on Twitter @krbenedict. He is a popular speaker around the world on the topic of digital transformation and enterprise mobility. He maintains a busy schedule researching, writing and speaking at events in North America, Asia and Europe. He has over 25 years of experience working in the enterprise IT solutions industry.

@ThingsExpo Stories
Cloud computing delivers on-demand resources that provide businesses with flexibility and cost-savings. The challenge in moving workloads to the cloud has been the cost and complexity of ensuring the initial and ongoing security and regulatory (PCI, HIPAA, FFIEC) compliance across private and public clouds. Manual security compliance is slow, prone to human error, and represents over 50% of the cost of managing cloud applications. Determining how to automate cloud security compliance is critical to maintaining positive ROI. Raxak Protect is an automated security compliance SaaS platform and ma...
We all know that data growth is exploding and storage budgets are shrinking. Instead of showing you charts on about how much data there is, in his General Session at 17th Cloud Expo, Scott Cleland, Senior Director of Product Marketing at HGST, showed how to capture all of your data in one place. After you have your data under control, you can then analyze it in one place, saving time and resources.
Today air travel is a minefield of delays, hassles and customer disappointment. Airlines struggle to revitalize the experience. GE and M2Mi will demonstrate practical examples of how IoT solutions are helping airlines bring back personalization, reduce trip time and improve reliability. In their session at @ThingsExpo, Shyam Varan Nath, Principal Architect with GE, and Dr. Sarah Cooper, M2Mi’s VP Business Development and Engineering, explored the IoT cloud-based platform technologies driving this change including privacy controls, data transparency and integration of real time context with p...
The Internet of Things (IoT) is growing rapidly by extending current technologies, products and networks. By 2020, Cisco estimates there will be 50 billion connected devices. Gartner has forecast revenues of over $300 billion, just to IoT suppliers. Now is the time to figure out how you’ll make money – not just create innovative products. With hundreds of new products and companies jumping into the IoT fray every month, there’s no shortage of innovation. Despite this, McKinsey/VisionMobile data shows "less than 10 percent of IoT developers are making enough to support a reasonably sized team....
Internet of @ThingsExpo, taking place June 7-9, 2016 at Javits Center, New York City and Nov 1-3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA, is co-located with the 18th International @CloudExpo and will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading industry players in the world and ThingsExpo New York Call for Papers is now open.
With major technology companies and startups seriously embracing IoT strategies, now is the perfect time to attend @ThingsExpo 2016 in New York and Silicon Valley. Learn what is going on, contribute to the discussions, and ensure that your enterprise is as "IoT-Ready" as it can be! Internet of @ThingsExpo, taking place Nov 3-5, 2015, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA, is co-located with 17th Cloud Expo and will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading industry players in the world. The Internet of Things (IoT) is the most profound cha...
Just over a week ago I received a long and loud sustained applause for a presentation I delivered at this year’s Cloud Expo in Santa Clara. I was extremely pleased with the turnout and had some very good conversations with many of the attendees. Over the next few days I had many more meaningful conversations and was not only happy with the results but also learned a few new things. Here is everything I learned in those three days distilled into three short points.
DevOps is about increasing efficiency, but nothing is more inefficient than building the same application twice. However, this is a routine occurrence with enterprise applications that need both a rich desktop web interface and strong mobile support. With recent technological advances from Isomorphic Software and others, rich desktop and tuned mobile experiences can now be created with a single codebase – without compromising functionality, performance or usability. In his session at DevOps Summit, Charles Kendrick, CTO and Chief Architect at Isomorphic Software, demonstrated examples of com...
As organizations realize the scope of the Internet of Things, gaining key insights from Big Data, through the use of advanced analytics, becomes crucial. However, IoT also creates the need for petabyte scale storage of data from millions of devices. A new type of Storage is required which seamlessly integrates robust data analytics with massive scale. These storage systems will act as “smart systems” provide in-place analytics that speed discovery and enable businesses to quickly derive meaningful and actionable insights. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Paul Turner, Chief Marketing Officer at...
In his keynote at @ThingsExpo, Chris Matthieu, Director of IoT Engineering at Citrix and co-founder and CTO of Octoblu, focused on building an IoT platform and company. He provided a behind-the-scenes look at Octoblu’s platform, business, and pivots along the way (including the Citrix acquisition of Octoblu).
In his General Session at 17th Cloud Expo, Bruce Swann, Senior Product Marketing Manager for Adobe Campaign, explored the key ingredients of cross-channel marketing in a digital world. Learn how the Adobe Marketing Cloud can help marketers embrace opportunities for personalized, relevant and real-time customer engagement across offline (direct mail, point of sale, call center) and digital (email, website, SMS, mobile apps, social networks, connected objects).
The Internet of Everything is re-shaping technology trends–moving away from “request/response” architecture to an “always-on” Streaming Web where data is in constant motion and secure, reliable communication is an absolute necessity. As more and more THINGS go online, the challenges that developers will need to address will only increase exponentially. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Todd Greene, Founder & CEO of PubNub, exploreed the current state of IoT connectivity and review key trends and technology requirements that will drive the Internet of Things from hype to reality.
Two weeks ago (November 3-5), I attended the Cloud Expo Silicon Valley as a speaker, where I presented on the security and privacy due diligence requirements for cloud solutions. Cloud security is a topical issue for every CIO, CISO, and technology buyer. Decision-makers are always looking for insights on how to mitigate the security risks of implementing and using cloud solutions. Based on the presentation topics covered at the conference, as well as the general discussions heard between sessions, I wanted to share some of my observations on emerging trends. As cyber security serves as a fou...
Continuous processes around the development and deployment of applications are both impacted by -- and a benefit to -- the Internet of Things trend. To help better understand the relationship between DevOps and a plethora of new end-devices and data please welcome Gary Gruver, consultant, author and a former IT executive who has led many large-scale IT transformation projects, and John Jeremiah, Technology Evangelist at Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE), on Twitter at @j_jeremiah. The discussion is moderated by me, Dana Gardner, Principal Analyst at Interarbor Solutions.
Too often with compelling new technologies market participants become overly enamored with that attractiveness of the technology and neglect underlying business drivers. This tendency, what some call the “newest shiny object syndrome” is understandable given that virtually all of us are heavily engaged in technology. But it is also mistaken. Without concrete business cases driving its deployment, IoT, like many other technologies before it, will fade into obscurity.
With all the incredible momentum behind the Internet of Things (IoT) industry, it is easy to forget that not a single CEO wakes up and wonders if “my IoT is broken.” What they wonder is if they are making the right decisions to do all they can to increase revenue, decrease costs, and improve customer experience – effectively the same challenges they have always had in growing their business. The exciting thing about the IoT industry is now these decisions can be better, faster, and smarter. Now all corporate assets – people, objects, and spaces – can share information about themselves and thei...
The Internet of Things is clearly many things: data collection and analytics, wearables, Smart Grids and Smart Cities, the Industrial Internet, and more. Cool platforms like Arduino, Raspberry Pi, Intel's Galileo and Edison, and a diverse world of sensors are making the IoT a great toy box for developers in all these areas. In this Power Panel at @ThingsExpo, moderated by Conference Chair Roger Strukhoff, panelists discussed what things are the most important, which will have the most profound effect on the world, and what should we expect to see over the next couple of years.
Discussions of cloud computing have evolved in recent years from a focus on specific types of cloud, to a world of hybrid cloud, and to a world dominated by the APIs that make today's multi-cloud environments and hybrid clouds possible. In this Power Panel at 17th Cloud Expo, moderated by Conference Chair Roger Strukhoff, panelists addressed the importance of customers being able to use the specific technologies they need, through environments and ecosystems that expose their APIs to make true change and transformation possible.
The cloud. Like a comic book superhero, there seems to be no problem it can’t fix or cost it can’t slash. Yet making the transition is not always easy and production environments are still largely on premise. Taking some practical and sensible steps to reduce risk can also help provide a basis for a successful cloud transition. A plethora of surveys from the likes of IDG and Gartner show that more than 70 percent of enterprises have deployed at least one or more cloud application or workload. Yet a closer inspection at the data reveals less than half of these cloud projects involve production...
Microservices are a very exciting architectural approach that many organizations are looking to as a way to accelerate innovation. Microservices promise to allow teams to move away from monolithic "ball of mud" systems, but the reality is that, in the vast majority of organizations, different projects and technologies will continue to be developed at different speeds. How to handle the dependencies between these disparate systems with different iteration cycles? Consider the "canoncial problem" in this scenario: microservice A (releases daily) depends on a couple of additions to backend B (re...