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Random Thoughts: Data Sharing

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New study, new data, so I thought I’d revisit a topic I explored before, about the willingness of consumers to share data to improve either their premium paid, their convenience, or their risk/safety.

  • In general, the willingness has increased:
    All questions show a slight uptick except for the for the first house sensor one – but that was at a pretty high level already.[1]
  • Overall, the statement “measuring status is less controversial than measuring behavior” is still true. Take the first two questions. For the first, the question was worded “Sensors are installed in your car. When you have driven safely for a month (seat belt worn, driven within speed limits, …) you receive a premium rebate for the next month on your motor insurance”. Much more status-oriented than the second, “The vehicle regularly submits data to the insurance company about who drives and how many miles have been driven. The premium is then recalculated (down or up) according to this data” – and the 2nd has almost 20% less acceptance. [2]
  • Last time, I also checked out whether there was a difference by age; generally, millennials seemed more critical of data sharing than boomers. Here are the new results:
    A reversal, and millennials pull even further ahead in accepting health data used.
  • Why the changes? Some insurers have started implementing data sharing products in all three areas covered by the survey. Increased familiarity with the idea might have led to increased acceptance.
  • A less positive interpretation: consumers might be starting to give up on privacy.
  • Does that mean insurers should start going broadly into relying on data sharing, specifically the Internet of Things. Well, the latter will need some more acceptance efforts:


[1] For a follow-up post I’ll be digging up some data from 2007 where we asked the same questions to a subset of countries.

[2] All these questions were prefaced by “Several ideas are presented below about how insurance companies could support you to live safer. Please indicate whether or not you would consider the idea for yourself, personally.”

Insurance Leader, IBM Institute for Business Value

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