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In Conversation with Dan Fiehn: Learnings from IoT Implementation outside of Commercial Property


SENSE is set to welcome members of the commercial property and insurance industries to delve into the benefits realised in other industries by embracing Internet of Things (IoT) technology and real-time data.


The event in question will look to ask (and answer) the following question: “What can Commercial Property insurance learn from other IoT implementations?”


We spoke to guest panellist Dan Fiehn – chief operating officer, tech thought leader, keynote speaker and leader of digital transformation in business – for a sneak peek into this topic.


With a decade of experience in motor insurance, Fiehn is well-placed to discuss the lessons the motor industry has learned from the increased use of telematics and how they could apply to commercial property insurance.


From recent webinars, the SENSE Consortium has heard from commercial property owners that the insurance industry is not keeping pace with IoT devices, the use of real-time data and new insurance products and services are lacking. The insights and learnings that can be derived from other industries will be invaluable.


“The use case is about generating more up-to-date or real-time data which insurance companies can use to design better products and come up with better pricing for their customers,” Fiehn tells us.


Describing the use case of commercial vehicle fleets complete with IoT sensors, Dan Fiehn articulates how the use of such devices and data can provide a broad overview of how a driver is acting on the road, which can present a numerous benefits:


  • Changes in driver behaviour

  • Fleet managers incentivising drivers to improve their driving

  • Decreased use of petrol – cutting costs and supporting sustainability goals


“The other benefit concerns a number of notable cases where a driver was involved in an accident and the footage captured in his vehicle gave indisputable evidence that the driver wasn’t responsible for that accident,” Fiehn said.


In the case of motor telematics, the primary beneficiary of the technology wasn’t considered to be insurance – but ultimately, insurance did benefit as described and as more organisations became comfortable using technology that addressed their challenges.


Applying this to commercial property, Fiehn highlighted that those running a particular property will not be focused on the insurance angle.


By encouraging the use of IoT technology and real-time data, organisations can be better prepared to solve their unique range of concerns, whilst also supporting any insurance arrangements as a by-product – for example, reducing the premium of running a retail centre.


Through the use of IoT, the insurance industry will have to grapple with the significant influx of data - which can be transmitted real-time if required. This will be overwhelming for insurance organisations, which highlights the need for a data processing layer: where data is aggregated and insights or tolerances applied so it becomes simpler to use.


“You’re taking an insurance company from a world where they’ve got very little data to one where they’ve got too much data, so it’s about finding the balance in between,” Fiehn notes.

For commercial vehicles, the obvious group of individuals that were excited about this technology and data were the fleet managers. For commercial property, Dan Fiehn expects those in similar positions (facilities managers, for instance) to be curious about the potential of such technology as opposed to the CEOs.


“I think this is an example in society where technology is ahead of the insurance industry and there kind of needs to be a meeting in the middle,” Fiehn notes.


“Insurance companies are on a digital journey, but this technology, these sensors, are so clever they have outpaced that digital journey. This should be a real call to action for insurance companies to build new products and services to serve their client base that is currently out-innovating them.” Fiehn concludes.


Those interested in learning more about this exciting dive-in into the world IoT implementation can join the SENSE webinar on 6th July (4pm – 5:30pm).


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