News Technology09 Nov 2018

China:Ping An among most active insurers in filing InsurTech patents

| 09 Nov 2018

Ping An Insurance of China was among the insurance-related entities which filed the most number of InsurTech patents last year, according to the international law firm, Reynolds Porter Chamberlain (RPC).

Ping An filed 23 patents, behind three US insurance companies which led the field.

Other active filers of InsurTech patents outside of traditional insurers include Alibaba, the Chinese e-commerce giant, which filed eight patents last year.

Top InsurTech patent filers for 2017


Number of Insurtech patents

filed in 2017



State Farm Mutual


Hartford Fire


Ping An


Swiss Re


Source: RPC

RPC, in a statement, says that investment in InsurTech is being stepped up, as the number of insurance-related patents filed worldwide jumped 40% last year, to 917 in 2017 from 657 in 2016 and 425 in 2013.

The insurance patents filed last year were for innovations as diverse as the use of a system that checks whether a self-driving car is operating autonomously and switches between insurance policies automatically, and a mobile app to speed up the claims process for people affected by natural disasters.

RPC says that insurers and brokers now have significant opportunities to carve out competitive advantage through technology as the shift to automated processing has been slower in some parts of the insurance industry than in many other areas of financial services.

Mr Mark Crichard, partner at RPC, said,“InsurTech is touching all areas of the market from P2P retail insurance products to ever more sophisticated risk analysis capabilities.”

Telematics, artificial technology and machine learning, and peer-to-peer insurance among top patent trends.

22% (199) of insurance patents filed in 2017 related to pricing, as businesses looked for new ways to make pricing premiums and determining risk more accurate and efficient.

Telematics, where technology monitors driver behaviour, with data used to create risk-based products in the motor insurance sector, was also a key area of focus. 78 telematics-related patents were filed in 2017, up from 56 the previous year.

Patents related to machine learning increased to 100 in 2017, up from 73 the previous year.

For example, an electronics company has filed a patent for a means of evaluating risk based on real-time information from sensors in buildings such as fire alarms, intruder detection and surveillance systems. By using machine learning models to analyse the data, a quotation score could be developed that could be used across various insurance lines and carriers.

Peer to peer-related insurance patents also saw an increase to 62 in 2017 from 52 in 2016.


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