Digital 'gold rush' is bringing new players into the insurance industry

As digital data becomes increasingly valuable to the insurance industry we can expect players from diverse backgrounds to enter the market, analyst Stephen Applebaum has claimed.

Senior advisor at investment banking consultancy StoneRidge Advisors, Applebaum said there had already been several industry mergers and acquisitions between firms which are seeking to combine risk management and sophisticated analytics expertise.

He added that this was happening because the ability to acquire and translate data into actionable information would determine the future winners and losers in the insurance market.

“Most industry observers are beginning to understand that data is becoming the next great natural resource and will inform most business decisions in the future. So expanding the ‘data mining’ metaphor into the ‘digital gold rush’ seems perfectly apt,” he said.

“Today's digital data are the valuable nuggets and thousands of fortune seekers are flocking to virtual goldfields to pan for these grains of insight and meaning in the myriad Big Data streams in which they exist. And the Internet of Things is set to generate more and larger streams of data points which will be invaluable to insurance carriers.”

Applebaum said there is now a ‘virtual land grab’ taking place with ‘miners’ from diverse backgrounds  looking to acquire and aggregate disparate data to help develop new products.