The theme in November is wearable tech and specifically, how it can help with PI claims, prevent injuries for vulnerable people, or track people in hazardous working environments. New thinking like the Swnaholm Tech safety hi-viz vest, which tracks the movement, and sends an alert out in the event of a fall, will go a long way in maintaining site safety across the UK – assuming they are adopted as mandatory site wear of course.
In the same way, wearble tech can help insurers active in the care home sector, as similar devices can monitor the vulnerable and therefore reduce the risk of falls and insurance claims arising from those injuries.
But the lessons learned from utilising wearables are gold dust long term. Insurers can build up a risk modelling archive which will help price Commercial risk, especially thing like marine, cargo handling, construction, heritage building repairs and more. In the future, the broker, MGA or underwriter will be able to spot a potentially dangerous situation in advance and offer advice to the client, which can be automated emails, whatsapp messages or a localised support team making contact by other means.
What other opportunities are there? Chris Lankford at Pie Insurance offers these insights;
There are many exciting new technologies rolling out in the insurance industry, but there is one key tech trend that could be game-changing, especially for workers’ comp claims: wearables.
The use of wearables has the potential to have a tremendous impact across insurance. For example, if construction workers wear accelerometers, insurers could detect how they’re moving around construction sites and leverage the technology to create different risk scenarios.
Adding sensor bands to the inside of hard hats capable of detecting fatigue, preventing microsleep and sensing proximity could prevent accidents on site. New technology included in products like the SmartCap and WakeCap will add these features to construction helmets on more construction sites in the coming years.
The spike on the innovation curve in the construction industry is impressive, and wearables are no exception. According to MarketWatch, the global wearable technology market in 2019 was valued at approximately $28B USD and is anticipated to grow at a compound annual growth rate of more than 15% between 2020-2027.
There’s also an opportunity for wearables powered by augmented reality to make a similar impact—if construction workers wore helmets with AR capabilities built in, it might improve safety and awareness on the job and allow underwriters to make more accurate risk assessments. Ultimately, wearables could lead to more accurate pricing and most importantly, a safer work environment.
Rehab Is Key Factor in PI Claims
Personal Injury claims are by nature complex and long term. The rehab services offered by the NHS are often patchy and depend on their attitudes towards rationing resources. This means insurance brands have to be pro-active with things like ADR, counselling, plus physio treatments which can help people recover and regain as much movement, strength and agility as possible after a serious accident, fall or workplace injury.
Again, there are benefits to insurers in building up a bank of data. One way to do that is via gamification of treatments and therapies.
Ian Slater, Global Head Major Injury & Casualty at DWF comments;
Gamification is an interesting concept, as there have been several studies demonstrating its beneficial effects on a number of levels, covering patient engagement, reduced health costs and, most importantly, results for patients.
Taking the relatively simple example of a distal radius fracture, a study published as recently as September illustrates that in a randomised controlled trial (RCT) n=20 significantly better results in terms of hand function and functional independence were obtained in the gamification group than in the control group. Relying on virtual reality, this study was able to provide an immersive world and repurpose ‘everyday’ gaming technology into bespoke healthcare platforms. Think of a revolution started by the Nintendo Wii progressing through Microsoft’s Kinect and into such bespoke hardware as being developed by companies such as Evolv Rehab.
Studies like this, and more, are real proof points for gamification and virtual reality when it comes to patient rehab. They provide an exciting and challenging platform that is already bearing fruit for patients and healthcare providers.
Living Your Best Life
The stuffy old world of Life insurance is changing into something much more interesting and brands like YuLife, Bequest, Vitality, Corsano Health, Maxis Global Benefits, Optimy and many more are thinking of new ways to engage with consumers on Life cover, and lifestyle choices. Almost everyone carries a smartphone and so it’s easy to gather data via an app and then tailor various insurance products aorund that life.
In the future, that offers insurance brands the opportunity to customise travel, Life, healthcare, even Home insurance, based on hard data gleaned via apps and wearable tech. By sharing data consumers can get rewards, or discounted premiums, without ever filling in 9 pages of forms online. Wearble tech is the way insurers can channel data in both directions, making the customer feel that the insurance company is on their side in terms of health check invites, nutrition and fitness ideas, special mindfulness activities and more. Don’t just wait until renewal time, engage with your client via technology that is an integral part of the consumer’s everyday life.
That has to be a win.