For now, insurers are making bets that incremental technologies improve the business — for themselves and their customers — more than transform it.
The prime examples are technologies that let insurers monitor their clients’ cars and driving in exchange for discounts on coverage, which Seifert estimates that 20% of new policy holders use. The most popular let insurers see how often their clients are making sudden moves that can lead to accidents, or that may be meant to get drivers out of already-sticky situations. Others, like Allstate’s Milewise, monitor simply how many miles the car goes, letting little-used cars qualify for less-expensive policies. Start-ups like Root Insurance, which ranked No. 18 on the 2020 CNBC Disruptor 50 list, are also attempting to upend the industry’s approach to evaluating driver risk.