5 Reasons Insurers Should Keep Tabs on Google

According to the report, a series of developments, products and acquisitions could position Google as a partner or competitor to the industry.

Google Cars

Google Cars: Audi and other manufacturers will be showing their prototypes of these new, self-driving vehicles at the 2014 North American International Auto Show. California has said the state will begin testing driverless cars on the roadways this year. Photo courtesy of Google

Open Automotive Alliance

Open Automotive Alliance: Google created the Open Automotive Alliance (OAA), an open standards organization, that may help the Google Android operating system become a development platform for many auto manufacturers.

BeatThatQuote.com

BeatThatQuote.com: Google acquired the UK-based aggregator of auto insurance in early 2011. “[T]he acquisition provided Google a foundation from which to study the insurance market and technology, and the required integration with insurers in order to effectively ‘sell’ insurance on the Internet, albeit in a much less regulated market than the US,” SMA said.

Contact Lenses

Contact Lenses: Google’s development of contact lenses that measure the glucose levels in diabetics’ tears, making the monitoring of blood sugar levels in real time and far less invasive. “The prototype contact lenses use tiny wireless chips and glucose sensors built into the lenses that measure blood sugar levels every second. While these are still being tested and are yet to be approved by the FDA,” SMA said.

Nest Labs

Nest Labs: Google’s acquisition of Nest Labs, which sells smart thermostats and smoke alarms, equipped with sensors and Wi-Fi connectivity, for real-time monitoring. Photo courtesy of Nest

Google is gathering new data to use in new, innovative ways that soon could begin to impact the insurance industry, according to a report from insurance technology research and consulting firm Strategy Meets Action.