Last May, HERMENEUT’s member Digital Catapult attended the Digital Insurance Agenda conference in Amsterdam. This international event is a showcase for advanced digital technology companies, supplying services to commercial and consumer insurance markets. From the perspective of HERMENEUT, it reinforced the evidence of the importance of intangible assets like software, databases as well as IP intensive assets in traditional service industries.

The conference was a mix of TED type presentations showcasing leading digital technologies, plenary discussions and exhibitions. The two developments which stood out were the use of digital modelling for assessing property claims and the increasing use of sensor technologies in providing real-time data to help calculation of risk and premiums. In the case of 3D modelling, the company has developed machine learning algorithms that could accurately build computer models of properties from photos submitted by claimants. This enables claims assessors to review and settle claims without the need to travel to individual properties, thus allowing significant saving of time and money. In the case of sensors, the data transmitted enables the insurers to more accurately assess risk and apply premiums.

The increased digitisation of data in insurance, combined with the use of proprietary algorithmic analysis for sensitive data, highlights the growing importance of investments in intangible assets as well as the potential for cyber-attack on a key business sector. HERMENEUT is engaging with insurance companies in the field of risk and cyber-insurance; it may also help the wider market assess and protect itself against potential attacks from cyber breaches.