Investment in insurtech is being stepped up, as the number of insurance-related patents filed worldwide jumped 40% last year, to 917 in 2017 (to Dec 31) from 657 in 2016, says RPC, the City-headquartered law firm.
RPC adds that insurance patent filings per annum have jumped by 116% over 5 years from just 435 in 2013.
RPC says that 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 explains that some of the most frequent filers of insurance-related patents last year included Allstate Insurance and State Farm, two leading American insurers who filed 35 and 34 insurance patents respectively, and Ping An Insurance of China, who filed 23 patents.
Other active filers of insurtech patents outside of traditional insurers include Alibaba, the Chinese e-commerce giant, which filed eight patents last year.