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IoT technology saves both insurance companies and those they insure directly and indirectly. Demonstrating this to potential clients can secure you some “big fish” as an IoT agency— CEOs and CTOs take note!
Here’s the angle: collateral savings are still savings. If you save three days of waiting, that’s three days you can do something productive. Imagine getting in a wreck and waiting several days for an appraiser to reach you. In the meantime, you have no car and must work out travel solutions for yourself. But with IoT, that is changing. One example that’s very tangible is a downloadable smartphone app which allows those involved in an accent to file an insurance claim without the need of an appraiser. One example is called PhotoEst and it’s commonly used by USAA.
Say someone backs into your car in your driveway. You get their insurance info, they get yours. You call the insurance company and it turns out your area is too remote for an appraiser to reach you unless they travel for several days. Or, you can download an application, snap some pictures, and have your settlement check direct-deposited in your account before the week is out. This is a rudimentary IoT application, and it is only one example of many notable ways in which the insurance industry has begun to totally transform. Several others your IoT agency should familiarize itself with, if it already hasn’t, include:
- Geospacial applications
- Environmental sensors
- Connected biometrics
IoT technology can gather information concerning braking patterns of policyholders, their turning patterns, how these factors compute when distance is factored in, and many other factors. This gives policy-holders what’s known as UBI or User-Based Insurance. For those who don’t drive like maniacs, this can mean a substantial cost-reduction in their insurance bill. For those that do, insurance companies can hike up the price of coverage, allowing them to safeguard interests. If you work in insurance, you already know statistics are the name of the game. As vehicles become more computerized, you can bet this will be a defining factor in coverage going forward.
IoT also helps policyholders refrain from avoidable incidents. Certain weather-sensing equipment can tell if, for example, a storm with hail is approaching, allowing a policyholder to find cover and preserve their vehicle.
This leads into a second notable area of innovation that is changing how insurance businesses will run in the near future: environmental sensors. Now, these aren’t strictly for vehicles. Environmental sensors can be installed in a home, office building, school, or other structure where sensors are desired. They can detect if an earthquake is approaching, whether toxic substances have polluted the air, whether dangerous temperature fluctuations will affect interior atmospheres or make exiting the building dangerous, and whether mold has made itself a resident of the property.
There are numerous “wearable” technology solutions today— like the fit bit, for example— which are connected to the Internet of Things. Google Glass, smartphones, etc. Some businesses can leverage IoT tech against corporate insurance policies by giving employees wearable tech which monitors activity. If employees start getting healthier, the business gets a break in the cost of coverage.
Such devices can additionally help those who need to keep track of certain individuals. This improves workplace compliance. It’s an upward spiral for both insurance companies and employers— everybody wins.
Sensors are increasingly embedded in a variety of manufacturing equipment, toys, appliances, electronics used by consumers— the list goes on. Warranty protection— a kind of insurance all its own— can provide preventative services should sensors indicate this is necessary, extending the life of products and decreasing costs of repair and replacement. Again, everybody wins.
As IoT technology grows to define daily life with the integral nature traditional web-browsing already has, easily rectifiable errors will be stopped before they can compromise anyone. Operational costs will be curbed and insurance companies can avoid paying out unnecessary settlements. Through IoT tech, they can fully cover those who deserve it, diminish recurrent losses, and even expand profitability. Marketing such advantages to such companies is lucrative for agencies specializing in the provision of IoT solutions.